Let’s get down to some real tips and a great guide about how to make amazing pictures for online dating profiles and Tinder pics. 

Because let’s be real: You want to have some quality matches. And I’ll be honest with you; you get what you give. 

So for us, high value people, we need to show our best sides. Both inside but also definitely the outside.

When you look at biology, it matters more as a girl how you look but don’t be fooled by that. You will learn real quick that if you don’t put in any effort into your online dating profiles, you are going to sink faster than the Titanic!

So let’s get the wheels turning and learn all about great online dating pictures.

Busy Pro Tip: If you’re time sensitive, what you can do is send this article over to a photographer and ask him to shoot the examples that are shown.

Now you might wanna know what we are going to discuss because it’s going to be A LOT. Just last the last article I wrote. So I'll give you a quick index.

In this article will look through:

What makes a great online dating photo (or Tinder pic)? 


Taking photos wasn't my strong suit for a long time. I'm not precisely photogenic, but I look decent, so with effort, I can portray myself decently. 

But what happens when I break the rules of a good photo? 

I’m not going to lie, those dating pics can be some fine engineering. Meaning that to get a good one, you need a lot.

It's not only a matter of pose and smile. And yes, it's kinda scary.

But don't worry, we're here to hack the crap out of this. 

Posture and body in photos

Your posture in photos is a very important aspect. 

One thing that is often overlooked is the fact that guys and girls have different poses that work for them.

A guy needs to portray confidence, power... those things. 

A girl needs to be feminine. 

We are going to mostly focus on guys here, because in general, girls are way better at this than us.


Posing the face + Facial tips

What you want to do for this is learn your face a little. Also your hands and legs, but your face is crucial.

So spend some time in front of the mirror and look at your face from different angles. Figure out which ones make you look better and which ones you should avoid no matter what.

Here are some tips for posing your face:

Highlight the Jawline

Your jaw is an important and masculin aspect of a guy's face. Sticking it out a little will highlight it.

Squinching your eyes

I found what works best is if you open your eyes a little bit wider (depending on your eyes structure) and then squinching the lower eyelid.

Tilt your head away

Another amazing trick to use for posing your face is tilting. This will make you look more dominant and cool. 

You can try different angles during shoots to see how much tilt works best for your face. It’s great to see the result afterwards so you understand better the art of tilting.

Chin out

You don’t want to look like you got no jaw line or a double chin.

So we are going to adjust the angle a little bit. What you want is to put your head upwards and then stick your face out a little bit towards the camera. 

Now you might think: This is weird. And you are right my friend, but try it! 

Take a selfie camera, use this technique and you will see the results.

And that’s what it is about. Getting great pictures so you can attract those hotties.

You are not James Bond

Although you are probably way better looking. 

So what is the problem with acting like James bond? Well probably not much.

I just have one sidenote.

Look out for things covering your face. You probably know that a full burqa is not going to score you many points but there is another one which is more normal: sunglasses, my friend.

Let’s make a rule. 

You are allowed to have one picture with sunglasses on. If you take any more I am going to be dissapointed. 

The reason why? 

People trust you less (because maybe you are James Bond).

Open Your Eyes (or pupils)

Of course this is something that you have a lot of influence over (not really)... But a study (source) has shown that bigger pupils lead to more trust. And trust is something very good to have when meeting a new person.

Most of the time this isn’t a big problem since your pupils will be a normal size. But there are exceptions.

When the light is very bright then your pupils can become very small. So if you’ve made some photos on a bright sunny day check your pupils in the photos.

Professional's tip: You only have to make your pupils bigger if they are very small due to a lot of light. The way to make them bigger is with editing software. 

Grooming yourself up

When it’s Christmas you dress up. Not as Santa, but in some nice clothes.

At least that’s what most people do. And how lovely would it be to have someone see you at your best?

Yes, that’s why we groom. Girls put on makeup, so we make those primitive facial hairs stay bay. 

It’s an important aspect for looking clean. When you have hairs growing in places they shouldn't then you come across like someone who doesn't give a damn about himself.

And what's wrong with this? You may ask.

Girls will think that if you can’t even take care of yourselve, how are you able to take care of other person? And they're right. You won't.

To come back at Jordan Peterson. “Clean up your room”. But in this case, we are talking about grooming yourself. 

This also applies for dates.

Cut your nails. Trim your nose forest, and make sure your hair was cut not too long ago. 

Posing your body + Body tips

Position your shoulders for the photo JBP style

Let’s take a page out of the book of the great psychologist Jordan B Peterson.

In one of the chapters of his book “12 rules for life - An antidote to chaos” (highly recommended), he talks about lobsters.

Not in the sense of eating them, but in the sense of their dominance hierarchy. 

When a male lobster beats another, he walks more straight. This is comparable to us humans in the way of walking with your shoulders down and shoulders back. With this posture you show confidence. 

Hovalo’s Pro Tip: Shoulders down and backwards. Be that winning lobster. The alpha male. 

Taking up space

You probably know some shy people. 

Most of them have a bunch of things in common. 

One is very obvious:

They don’t like to take up space when they are somewhere.

Taking up space shows dominance and being comfortable. 

Now you might think. So why is this useful?

Well it’s actually shown in a study (source) that behaviour where you come across dominant is attractive.

Do you want to do this in all pictures? No you don’t. But doing it in one is good.

Hovalo Pro Tip: Be (or become) comfortable taking up space in pictures

Posing the Hands

Your hands are quite important when taking pictures. They can also make you uncomfortable. So here you get some quick tips on how to handle them.

Use your Pockets

Great natural place to put your hands is in your pocket. You don’t have to put both hands in your pocket. You can also put them halfway in your pocket. Your back pockets are also an option. 

Use your Jacket / Coat

Also one seen a lot. With this one you can hold your jacket or pretend to open or close it. You can also hold it in your hands or have a jacket over your shoulder.

Stroking Hands

Pretty cool pose. With this pose you are stroking / rubbing your hands together. This has a bit of a serious vibe to it but still pretty cool. 


Note that you want to move your hands very slow or reposition them to make sure the photos don’t become blurry.

Using a prop

There are many types of props. Rings, scarfs, watches, ties, cufflinks, bracelets... You name it. Pick and use them wisely.

Hands around your face

One thing to note is that you don't want your hands to touch your face. You could do the thinking pose or hold them besides your face but once you’re touching your face it goes wrong pretty quick.

Posing with your legs


When it comes to your legs you can do different things. Try several options to give variety to your photoshoot. Here are some ideas:

Walking Pose

With this pose you are acting like you are walking. Making the photo less artificially taken. 

Legs crossed

You can cross your legs and then put the weight on one of your feet. 

Leaning on one leg

This comes off as more casual and chill as a vibe.

Legs while sitting

When you are sitting. Make sure you are putting your feet towards the camera. Also make sure the shoot is from slightly above or below. Don’t have the camera at a 90 degrees angle. And avoid photos from too close.

Show a smile

This is semi-controversial because OkCupid once published a potentially fake article where they claimed that not smiling was better (The article was from 1938 so we’ll forgive them). Smiles work if they are genuine.

Storytime: During my year in Budapest, I was grinding hard with my buddy Robin (who is an awesome Facebook wizard now, btw).

We would work like crazy and after that hit the club sober. If you work 12 hours a day and keep up with the workouts, couldn't hit 8 hours of sleep, you probably won't be the happiest person in the world... Yeah neither were we. 

So what did we do to get into a happy vibe between all those drunk people? Smile, baby, smile.

But Koen, you weren’t happy right. Yeah, I wasn’t happy at all. 

But guess what happened? It only takes you a short period of time before you are actually smiling for real.

Now you might think this doesn’t work. Here's a video about it in case you don't believe me.


Pulling off the no-smile photo

So you’ve seen dozens of photos where people don’t smile and they can be great. Yet you need to pull it off. When you are not feeling very comfortable this might be difficult for you to do.

To see if this works out or not, get your photo evaluated by girls or use Photofeeler.


Blinking / Winking

You fall through hell. When you take a photo and afterwards you find out that actually.. you had your eyes closed. Trash it. Instantly.

These things ruin your shot so here you can rely on Hovalo.

Hovalo Pro Tip: Before taking the photo, close your eyes. When opening them do this slowly. Then you are ready for your shot!

Clothes and More for Online Dating Photos

Now you know how to make your body move. We are going to cover what’s going to be on it. 

Dressing up

When you are a guy, a photo with a nice suit always works miracles. It’s the same as guys liking pictures where girls wear dresses.

When you see a girl who only wears t-shirts and leggins, you're kinda debating if she’s that high-quality girl that you‘ve been looking for.

So what does dressing up do for you? It shows authority. It shows confidence. It shows style.

Even when you are a flip-flop executive (which i know quite a few). You still respect the suit more.

Imagine meeting a doctor and he is wearing normal clothes. A shirt with a rock band on it and some baggy jeans. Now, how comfortable are you with his knowledge?

You get the deal!

Red lipstick for your pictures

No, don't skip this when you are a guy. Let me explain.

The color red does a lot for us. For both girls and guys. 

Now what guys want to see is red lipstick (take note, ladies). But what do girls want to see? 

Well, they want to see that you paint your hair red so get on with it. (Kidding! Return the dye.)

No, what we can do is wear something red. This does not have to be a red sweater but it can be a red tie, for example.

Even a red background can work miracles. This is because we humans are attracted to this color a lot (study). It's strong, it's powerful, and is the color most associated with passion. What else do you need?

Accessorize your super smart body 

Do you know what would finish that amazing outfit that you have? A nice watch. 


Wearing accessories can really make a certain outfit stand out. Take an statement piece and make it the center of attention.

This is definitely the case when you have a great watch, for example. 

When you are trying to portray that you are successful and an authority, why wouldn’t you want to do this with something subtle as a great watch on your wrist?

Types of pictures to take for your dating profile

You already know how to use our posture and body, and you've learn the importance of a good outfit.

Now it’s time to figure out the type of picture that you’re going to take.


Activity-based photos

When you see a picture, it creates an emotion. This can be good or bad. You can be excited or bored. You probably don’t want that hotty you got an eye out for to be bored right?

Yeah that’s where the activity based pictures come into play. 

It’s simple. You want to capture a picture where you do something.

These are easy to set up.

Method to get your activity based photos:

  • Ask someone who also does the activity to take a photo.
  • Make sure you are ready in case a photo gets made. (Dress accordingly, do a good work...)
  • Make an appointment with someone to do an activity-based photoshoot.

The best ones are from your hobbies, since you want to portray who you are. It’s a bit weird if you would have a dancing picture yet you never dance. This might lead to some heavy disappointments and weird conversations.

Let’s use some dogs and cats

Why trying to act cute when you can just use something naturally cute?

You can put your puppy eyes to convince someone, or put an actual puppy in their face. This will probably lead to animal abuse, but luckily, you don’t need to abuse any animals.

Just borrow them.

Animal pictures have converted very well for the longest time.

The only thing that you need to take into consideration is that you look actually good.

When you have a picture where you look absolutely bad but it involves a dog, it’s not going to help you out.


Expert tips on getting a good animal photo:

  • Kidnap a pet (Kidding again. Don't!).
  • Rent a pet from your friend.
  • Go to a friends place who has a pet.
  • Go to a pet cafe.
  • Get a pet from the shelter for a while.
  • Make sure you’re looking good on the picture.

Group Photo

Let’s talk about this tricky one. The famous group photo.

If I would list all the things that can go wrong in a group picture, I would have a book thicker than your next girl (or guy).

These are easy to mess up and hard to do correctly. I’ll spit some truth: Girls are way better at these. All the way.

So let’s summarize what to look for.

To successfully do well in group pictures make sure that:

  • Your handsome face is visible.
  • It's easy to know who you are (or you have a good reason not to).
  • You’re having fun.
  • You’re the prettiest of the bunch. People perceive you better looking when you are next to someone who is uglier.

Things to avoid: 

  • Large group pictures (Unless they are extremely cool, like you won the Olympics. But you probably you didn’t, so...)
  • Having someone do something ridiculous (Make sure you keep the groups crazy calm).
  • Looking like the punchbag of the group is not going to help you.

Girl / Guy mixed photo

Got an amazing picture with your other sexy sibling? The person swiping on the dating app is not going to know that. So what are they going to think?

EX. EX. EX. And for a good reason. 

There are tons of people who have pictures of their exes on dating profiles… Yes I know, it also hurts me.

So are there any good pictures where a mix would be fine?

Sparingly, I see only one half-good picture.

Are the chances big that you will make this photo? No, they are very very small so don’t try to impress with this.

Stay away from the mixed photo.


Close up Gazing picture / Close up eyes focused


This picture style has a cool vibe to it. you will see this picture now and then. 

The reason why this photo works is because you get a clear image of their face. The essence here is that your grooming (or make up for girls) is done correctly. Since it’s so up close you can see a lot.

Note that with these pictures it's good to edit out some big imperfections and make them less noticeable.

Vacation Pictures

So you are on vacation and are having an amazing time (Otherwise you’re doing something wrong).

This is awesome. A great moment to capture your awesome life. 

There are 2 ways this can go:
1) you will end up with something very tacky, or
2) you’ll make some great piece of content for your online dating profiles.

Good vs Bad examples


Show your body Photo


Let's assume you get a decent body figure.

At least that should be the minimum requirement for this photo. 

When you are overweight or out of shape, it’s better to skip this section altogether. You’re not going to score points showing your flab. Sorry.

So, for your sexy six-pack shot you need to have a reason.

Now let’s repeat that: A reaaasoooon

When you are standing in front of the mirror and you’re making a shirtless picture you will make some woman excited.

You know what else you are going to do?

Get a buuuuuuunch of girls who dislike you. I’ve talked to lots of women who want fit guys but would NOT tolerate a bathroom half naked selfie.

This is the same for girls btw. When you are all showing off your tits with barely any clothes there are going to be some girls who think you’re too trashy. 

These are the facts. And you know what Ben Shapiro always says “Facts don't care about your feelings”.

Celebrity Photos for your dating profile


I was talking to a client the other day and he asked me: "Koen, I got this celebrity coming to my company. Do you think it would be smart to make a picture with him." I replied “Of course”. 

This is the general answer when it comes to people asking me about potential photo opportunities they can have.

So we ended up with a picture of him and a celebrity. 

Was the picture good for his online dating profile? No it wasn’t.

Now what’s the reason for it?

The picture was bad in every way.

So now you get the requirement of a celebrity picture. In general you can get away with a little bit lower quality photo for these.

My advice is to surely edit these photos to get the most out of them. Do you need these photos? No you don’t, but they can be cool.

Mysterious shots


So you want a conversation right? That’s what you do with online dating. 

Now, how about if the girl is the one starting the talk?

Often people start talking to you if they are really interested in you or if they have a question. 

So how do you get a question out of people? You make them curious.

This is where the mysterious shots come into play. 

We aren’t talking about drinking a shot and not knowing what’s inside.

No, we are talking about having a picture that tells something, just not the whole story. 

Let’s say you’re a race car driver. 

A non mysterious shot would be you in front of your race car with a trophy in your hand.

Very cool photo - I admit. 

But let’s try to make this photo a mystery.

Imagine a photo where someone is driving a car with the left hand on the steering wheel and in the right hand a trophy. 

You’ll think, why the heck does this person have a trophy in their hands?

You see the point, they get curious.

To all racers reading this: I’d love to invoice you for this one!

Jokes aside, you can use this on a hobbie picture or something even not that much related. 

Note that artsy / model type people tend to love these kinds of pictures.


Something Different

Have you gotten much experience with going through a bunch of dating profiles?

If you did, you probably noticed one thing. It... can... be… boringgg…

So what would be lovely to see? Exactly. A profile that isn't boring!

And what isn’t boring? Something different from the rest. A picture thought out of the box.

Does she have to be bursting out laughing? Nah that’s not necessary. Is it good? Yeah, would be good. 

Just trying to add something different to your profile can make it stand out from the rest. 

Headshot and Body shot


These are two essentials: Things that you need to show and things you would like to see.

The headshot is mostly your face. you can show part of your torso, but halfway is already too much. The purpose of this photo is to show your face clearly.

Then comes the body shot.

Let’s put it honestly: this photo is to make sure you are not a fatty.

No offense but in reality, when you are looking for a date, both guys and girls don’t like fat people and you probably don’t have this problem. 

When I see a profile of a girl and there are zero body shots, I tend to get a bit suspicious.

And probably I am not the only one. 

So you don't want people to not like your profile purely because they got a feeling you might be fat. 

High quality people have an overload on matches so don't give any (unecessary) reason to not pick you.

Miscellaneous Tips for your Online dating Pics

Now you know about posture and body in photos, you know about clothes and what types of photos are good.

Does that mean we are finished? No it doesn’t.

There are still lots of things to figure out and optimize.

Do you need to get everything perfect? No you don’t, so don’t worry!

I just want to give you all the info. That way, you can use what is helpful for you right now.

Have Fun

This is probably the most important thing. If you are having fun making pictures, then you will probably make pictures more often.

This will result in a bigger chance of getting good photos. 

How to have fun during shooting pictures:

  • Go with friends.
  • Determine what you want, so it’s easier to get it.
  • Make sure you understand the equipment.
  • Go during golden hour.
  • Make silly photos to break tension.
  • Do relaxing and expressive exercises.

The light in your photos

One of the most important things about photos is the light in the photo.

Natural light is always better. And inside of this, the golden hour is the best time to take that perfect photo.

When you are making photos, or even just staring at space during lunch break, look at the shadows that are around.

Shadows and light give you a depth perception. They also spark a photo with life, or make it depressing, and you want the former. Always, always look for pictures that aren't dull.

Story Time

No no... we are not actually doing a story time. We are talking about storytelling. 

A photo always conveys a message. What this message is and how it is perceived is crucial.

So you want to plan the story that you want to tell. 

If you would leave your dating profile empty, you would want the reader to still be able to know who you are.

Do it often

I know people who never take photos. Not a bunch. A whole lot.

I also know people (mostly girls) who take photos often. Every week they have a fresh batch of great looking pictures on their Instagram profiles.

Now, you don’t need new photos every week. That's the good part. But it does help to take photos once a while.

If you just want to do the bare minimum, the best option is to hire a photographer every 3 months.

Let a professional take care of you


Where do you go when you want a haircut?

I hope you go to the hairdresser or barber and not to your mother.

Same goes to your dating pictures.

Going to a pro will get you that extra level that you want and need to attract the high quality matches that you are looking for.

Not all pros are created equally. 

Just as in your field of work, not everyone delivers the same level of expertise and quality. 

Therefore it’s needed that you go to someone who knows what they’re doing. And trying a couple will help finding the best for you.



Of course it’s nice if you have the capacity to shoot some decent photos yourself. And to do so, you need good equipment, so let’s get into the gear side of things.

A DSLR camera is great for dating photos

You are probably aware of this. 

These cameras are those big ones that tons of people walk around with.

Heck, you might even have one in your closet right now, collecting dust. Take it out and squeeze it. You won't regret it.

Flashes have ruined many photos

Quick tip: Turn it off. The chance that you are going to make a good photo using it is very small since many amateurs don't understand it.

When your picture is a bit too dark, you can edit it out. When a photo is overexposed, it's way harder to make it look normal.

Use a tripod

Tripods are amazing because you can improve a lot the images with it, and itwill save you energy.

It’s much less effort to just set up a tripod, figure out the position of the camara, and leave it to shot with a timer.

Another easy thing you can do is get a remote to snap the pictures.

With this you’re fully removing the need for a second person.

Take many photos


People ask me quite often me how many photos do they need to take? And the answer is tons.

Luckily, nowadays you can take photos pretty easily.

There are also features like burst shooting or “best moment” to help you out.

But in general you (or a professional) are probably going to take from 100 to 500 photos for each good one.

Start getting use to the lens.

Background in photos matter

One thing that has been shown to be unattractive is if you have a very busy background.

When you take photos you want to take this into consideration. Make sure it’s not too busy with all kinds of things, so when you focus on the person, the back doesn't take it over.

Directing a picture

One very useful tip when you are taking photos with someone else for your dating profile is that you want the other person to guide you.

Do you need to switch poses? Do you need to turn your face a bit? What would make this photo a better photo?

When you are the model in the picture, you can’t see the picture. 

I know, this is revolutionary.

So you are in the hands of the other person.

If said person is a pro, that’s great, keep going.

If that person is your mother, it’s horrible. Go find someone else.

Your mother will think every picture you make is great. A neutral person will give you an honest opinion and probably, ensure better photos.


Don't make yourself the center of the picture

Another small thing you can play with. Try moving yourself to the side of the picture. Better if it's at one or two thirds. This will focus better the attention.

Make photos in the Golden Hour

This is one of the most important things about making photos. Many of the best photos are made during this hour.

The Golden Hour is only an hour before the sun is set and right after it comes out. Meaning you must plan ahead the poses because time runs out fast.

And what time is it exactly?

That's tricky. Depends on where you live and the season. But you can check local times of dusk and dawn to get an idea.

Why it's more okay for guys to catfish but girls do it more often?

I’m going to be a bit controversial here but bear with me.

I know many couples that wouldn't match online since the girl would focus too much on the looks.

We guys are primitive. Our focus is still mostly on the looks of the girl. 

It is only the appearance? Not for a high quality guy like myself. My girl needs to look good and be smart...

But the baseline is there. She needs to have some looks.

What makes guys attractive is only 30% looks. The things that matter are:

  • Confidence
  • Character
  • Career / Job / Business
  • Health
  • Habits / Vision
  • Education
  • Humor
  • Personality

What makes girls attractive is 70% looks. The things that matter are:

  • Her body
  • Her face
  • Her clothing style
  • Her manners
  • Her way of carrying herself

Is this fair / good / bad?

There's not right or wrong answer. But the fact is that guys should pretend to be better looking, since it only matters 30% anyway. Many guys I work with are super smart, successful, great guys. They would be great husbands and boyfriends. 

You know who they lose against in only dating?

95% perfect guys are only good looks and no brains who will dump the girls ASAP.

So you’re doing yourself a favor by portraying yourself better looking than what you are, since in the end, your personality matters the most.

Verdict about taking pictures for online dating / Tinder pics

So what did we get out of this?

Now you know that as a high value individual who wants a quality girl (or guy) you need to put your best feet forward with your online dating photos.

With the knowledge of this article you got a great first step to take some great pictures for your Tinder, Match, OkCupid Bumble or any other profile.

We aren’t finished yet because we still need to look at editing photos. But with the topics covered, you have a great head start into getting those matches.

If you're interested in receiving professional guidance to take better pictures or knowing more about this, don't hesitate to plan a discovery session here

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