Your headshot is your first impression on your online dating profile and arguably the most important part of enticing a more in-depth look at the rest of profile. If you were to list your home for sale, you’d want it to have great “curb appeal” to draw potential buyers inside for a better look. A wonderful headshot gives your profile that curb appeal it needs to magnetize your new love!
The most important thing is to be authentic and up to date with your profile pics. Remember that you will be meeting potential partners in person, so keep it real and always have fun!
Professional Photo Shoot? YES! Ideally, you should have a professional photo shoot done with a photographer who is skilled at taking natural looking photos outside, not in a studio. You don’t want to look too posed, just natural and genuine.
If a professional photo shoot is not in the cards for you, ask a good friend or family member to play photographer, or do it yourself following the selfie tips below.
Pick a well-lit location with natural lighting. Sometimes indoor lighting can make you look orange in photos and florescent lighting is just horrible. Sunlight is the best, but not directly in your face (squinting and shadows can result). Diffused sunlight indoors works well. Stand near a window and take a couple of pictures to test the lighting before you start your “photo shoot”. Outside is fine especially if you pick a slightly cloudy or overcast day, or shoot during the last hour of sunlight to capture what photographers call the “golden hour” for a softer, more glowing effect.
TIP: Turn the flash off. The flash can make you look much older and tends to be less flattering.
Choose a solid, non-distracting background like a plain wall or a leafy bush or tree if you are outside. If taking your headshot in front of an indoor wall make sure it's not a pure white wall, as that can make your pic look like a mug shot. Stand a few feet away from the wall so as not to create unwanted shadows. Make sure there is contrast between you and the background. For example, if you are shooting in front of a tree, don’t wear green.
Wear solid colors so as to keep the focus on you, not your clothes. If you are not sure what your best colors are, pick the ones that always get you compliments when you wear them.
TIP: Women: Showing some cleavage is proven to get more profile views…imagine that! Don’t go crazy though; leave something to the imagination.
SMILE. A genuine, natural smile is engaging and inviting to others. Don’t worry about crow’s feet or wrinkles, let your light shine and your soul express through your eyes.
TIP: Look directly at the camera and imagine you are already in love with someone and are smiling at them.
TIP: Take some dorky photos that make you laugh, then snap your natural smile.
Angle yourself slightly to keep the camera from adding the illusion of extra pounds. If photos tend to make you look thinner than you are, stand directly facing the camera.
TIP: Women, tilt your head slightly to one side for a bit more inviting pose. You can also look over your shoulder at the camera for a different angle that looks great in photos.
TIP: Go outside and let the wind blow your hair around while thinking of something that cracks you up. Snap away!
Always take a bunch of photos with different poses so you can choose the best one.
Use a selfie stick. Make sure you get one that extends at least 2 or 3 feet.
TIP: You can get selfie sticks online for $10-$30 US depending on the quality. They use Bluetooth to connect with your phone so you click the button on the stick and it takes a picture.
When using your selfie stick, keep your arms by your side so as not to have that distorted Popeye arm that we see in so many selfies. Keep the stick out of the photo.
Use your forearm to raise the stick and hold the camera slightly above your head angling it down just a bit for a more flattering view (keep your upper arms by your side).
Get feedback from your friends. Research shows that it’s difficult to be able to know which picture is your best. Ask a few of your closest friends which pictures they like the best and which one they think you should use as your main headshot.
Don’t use OLD, outdated photos. The goal is to meet your future soulmate. Know that if you post an old photo you are basically starting out any relationship with misrepresentation.
Don’t wear sunglasses. As the saying goes, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” This is true! Seeing your eyes gives potential partners a deeper sense of who you are. Also, covering your eyes can make you look like you are hiding something.... dark circles...a black eye? According to a study on photofeeler.com, wearing sunglasses makes you appear much less approachable.
Don’t frown or look pissed off! It always cracks me up to see headshots like this and then to read in their profile that they are looking to meet someone with a good sense of humor. Sometimes this makes me think, “They are going to need a good sense of humor to put up with your crabby ass.”
Don’t use blurry or dark photos. Again, remember that your headshot photo is your FIRST impression. A blurry or dark photo will oftentimes get completely bypassed. You want your photo to stand out in the search results and on the “Online” page.
Don’t stand in front of a mirror or show a bunch of clutter or knickknacks in the background. Keep it simple so the focus is on YOU.
Don’t touch up your photos with Photoshop. You are going to meet potential matches in person, right? You want them to recognize you and not be disappointed that you don’t’ look as perfect as your touched-up headshot. It’s okay to adjust the lighting, but don’t do much else.
Don’t cut out your exes or other people in the photo. Make sure you are the only one in the picture. It just looks tacky to do this and others will assume that it’s an older photo of you with your ex, which is a turn off.
Don’t use photos with friends or your kids--especially if your friends are better looking than you! How would you like to be displayed on someone else’s online dating profile? No thanks! And, please, protect your children’s privacy and safety. Just don’t do it. Your headshot and additional photos should only show you, no other people. *Your pets are fine in your additional photos, but I’d recommend leaving them out of your headshot.
Most of your additional photos should be of YOU. However, once you have several of you, then you can add some of where you live (like a great sunset at the beach or a beautiful mountain view, anything but your house, keep that private), your artwork, your pets, your nature photography… You want to give someone a glimpse into your life without revealing too much.
Make sure to include at least one full-length photo. Get a friend to take it (or even better, a professional photographer). Don’t be worried that your body is not perfect. Love your body as it is and know that chemistry comes in all shapes and sizes. AND, confidence has been proven to be more attractive than actual looks, so relax and have fun with it.
Show yourself doing something you love like painting, playing sports, working out, sailing, diving, meditating, horseback riding, playing an instrument, shooting pool…all good.
Show some variety. I’ve seen some profiles with basically the same headshot on all of the additional images. It makes me wonder if they have any kind of a personality. We all have different looks and moods; capture some of yours. More headshot with different expressions are okay, as long as you have at least one full-length image.
Goofy photos are more than welcome. Fun is sexy and attractive!
Costumes are great! If you have some Halloween photos of just you, they'll give members a glimpse at your creative side, and they are fun to look at!
Cropping out friends is OK. For your additional photos, if it’s a really good shot of you, go ahead and crop out the other person or people, just don’t do that in your main headshot. Make sure to write a note describing what the photo shows. For example, “At a dinner party with friends (friends cropped for their privacy).
In general, keep it light and have some fun. Stress is no fun, so think of this as an adventure and an important step in meeting your potential sweetheart. AND...Please put a great headshot and additional photos on your profile, as they will give you a HUGE advantage!
Jill Crosby is the owner/founder of the Conscious Dating Network, the largest network of exclusively conscious/spiritual/green dating sites on the Internet, featuring her flagship site, www.SpiritualSingles.com launched in 2000 and www.GreenSingles.com inherited in 2014. There are several dating sites that all share the same, large database of members in the spiritual/green niche. All members automatically have access to all members from all sites, by joining one site.
During the first 9-years of growing her online dating site business, Jill worked a “day job” as Director and Sales Trainer for the original photo/video bricks and mortar dating company in the US. During that time she interviewed over 6000 singles in 7 different states.
Jill is an inspirational public speaker and is known for her candor, vulnerability, down to earth honesty and humor as she helps singles thrive in the world of online dating and ultimately meet their life partners. She is also a hypnotherapist, metaphysician and facilitator of Wild Dolphin and Whale Swim Retreats and SCUBA Trips for Singles. Her events site, www.SpiritualEvents.com promotes conscious/spiritual events worldwide.
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