Problems taking good pictures for Tinder and online dating? This guide will solve it.
Let’s be real: You want to have some quality matches, and you get what you give.
You will learn real quick that if you don’t put any effort into your online dating profiles, you will sink faster than the Titanic!
So let’s get the wheels turning and learn all about great online dating pictures that will bring those likes your way.
In this article will look through:
What makes a great online dating photo (or Tinder pic)?
If you thought that being good-looking did the trick, you're not wrong.
But you're also not right.
Great pictures include how you look, yes, but also how you pose, how you stand, where you take the photo, the light, the surroundings, what you were, and even if you were groomed that day.
Let's see them one by one.
Posing the face + Facial tips
First, you need to learn how your body looks, behaves, and what looks best, especially for your face.
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:
Your jaw is an important and masculine aspect of a guy's face.
To highlight the jawline, stick out your face a bit and see how it makes a difference.
What works best is if you open your eyes wider (depending on your eyes structure) and then squint the lower eyelid.
If it looks like you lost your granny glasses, you're doing it wrong.
Another fantastic 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 afterward to understand the art of tilting better.
You don’t want to look like you got no jawline or a double chin. To fix this, put your head upwards and then stick your face out a little bit towards the camera to avoid this.
Now you might think: This is weird. And you are right, but try it!
Use this technique, take a selfie, and see the results.
And that’s what it is about; get great pictures to attract those hotties.
Look out for things covering your face.
You probably know that a full burka will not score you many points, but there is another one that is more normal: sunglasses.
Let's make a rule: You can have one picture with sunglasses on, as long as it's in exteriors and the weather allows for it.
A study showed that bigger pupils lead to more trust. And trust is something you need when meeting a new person.
This isn’t a big problem most of the time since your pupils will be an average size. But there are exceptions.
When the light is very bright, your pupils can become very small. So if you’ve taken some photos on a bright sunny day, check your pupils in the pictures.
Girls put on makeup so men make those primitive facial hairs stay at bay.
It's an essential aspect of looking clean. Having hairs growing where they shouldn't make you come across like someone who doesn't give a damn about himself.
Girls will think that if you can't even take care of yourself, how can you take care of other people? You won't. And they're right.
To come back at Jordan Peterson. "Clean up your room". But in this case, we are talking about grooming yourself.
This also applies to dates.
Cut your nails. Trim your nose forest, and make sure you got a haircut recently.
Posing your body + Body tips
Straight Back and Shoulders
Straight Back and Shoulders
The framing of your shoulders says a lot about you.
They will show tension, ease, awkwardness, or dominance.
You have to look confident and relaxed in your photos, so put those shoulders down and backward.
Hunching or putting your shoulders up will make you look strange, shy, or stressed, which won't help your profile.
Hovalo Tip: Shoulders down and backwards. Like an alpha male.
Taking up space shows dominance and being comfortable.
A study showed that behaving in a way that you come across as dominant is attractive.
Do you want to do this in all pictures? No, you don't. But doing it in one is good to show that you aren't.
Posing the Hands
Your hands are pretty important when taking pictures. They can also make you uncomfortable. So here you get some quick tips on how to handle them.
A 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.
Possibilities are endless here.
Hold the sides of your coat, jacket, or suit, stuff your hands in the pockets, make it look like you are pulling something from an inner pocket, put it over your shoulder, carry it with your hand... you name it.
Don't be afraid to get creative and see what works best.
Rubbing or stroking your hands gives the image a serious tone while showing confidence.
The only thing you need to consider while doing this is to move your hands slowly when taking the picture, so they appear focused.
There are many types of props. Rings, scarfs, watches, ties, cuff-links, bracelets... You name it.
Pick the ones that match best your personality, and don't over do them. Two at most for each image is more than enough.
Avoid touching your face for the picture. It's easy to ruin the poses and start looking awkward.
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:
Make the pose as natural as possible.
If you're just tarting out possing, try this when you have more experience so you also control what happens with your hands and face.
You can cross your legs and then put the weight on one of your feet.
If it's hard to keep the balance, you can lean on a wall, or lamppost or another prop that goes well with the aesthetic of your photo.
This comes off as more casual and takes out possible stiffness that you may have while posing.
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.
If you are not the smiling type, you can approach this in two different ways:
- You don't smile at all.
- You start pretending until the gesture becomes natural, at least for the photos.
Hovalo tip: We don't notice it consciously, but the brain knows that a smile is genuine by the wrinkles around the eyes and the instant change in looks. That's why it's said that "a smile is the best makeup".
Here's a video about it in case you don't believe me:
Pulling off the no-smile photo
You might've seen dozens of pictures where people don't smile that are great.
The trick? You need to pull it off.
Some people are naturally inclined to smile, while others don't. It's just a matter of practicing which pose is better for your features and personality.
To see if this works out, get your photo evaluated by girls or use Photofeeler.
Blinking / Winking
Avoid at all costs to end with pictures where you closed your eyes.
If you are sensitive to lights, weather, or are very tired, try to get your pictures under different conditions that help keep your eyes open.
Winking isn't recommended, but you can still make a good shot with practice in front of the mirror to make sure it looks well.
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.
Red Lipstick for Your Outfit
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 leggings, you're debating if she's that high-quality girl you expected to find.
So what does dressing do for you? It shows authority, style, and confidence.
Imagine meeting a doctor, and he is wearing a shirt with a rock band on it and some baggy jeans. Would you trust him the same as if he wore a white robe and casual clothes?
You get the deal!
Red Lipstick for Your Outfit
No, don't skip this when you are a guy. Let me explain.
The color red does a lot for us.
Guys want to see red lipstick; that's easy. But what do girls want to see?
They want to see someone attractive, and you emphasize this with red.
No, don't dye your hair. Wearing it is more than enough, and it's not even required to have a lot of it; a tiny detail can be enough.
For example, a watch, a tie, socks, a scarf, a sweater, and even the background can work miracles.
This is because humans are attracted a lot to this color.
It's strong, powerful, and is the color most associated with passion. What else do you need?
Do you know what would finish that fantastic outfit that you have? A nice watch.
Wearing accessories can make a particular outfit stand out. Take a statement piece and make it the center of attention, like a watch or a tie.
The type of accessory that you pick will also reflect who you are, so think well before bringing in something into your take.
Types of pictures to take for your dating profile
You already know how to use our pose and you've learn the importance of a good outfit.
Time to figure out the type of picture that you’re going to take.
A great picture should evoke emotion. You can be excited or bored. You probably don’t want that hotty you got an eye out for to be bored, right?
That’s where the activity-based pictures come into play.
It’s simple. You want to capture a photo where you do something.
These are easy to set up.
How to get 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 job...)
- 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 if you never dance. This might lead to some heavy disappointments and weird conversations.
Why try to act cute when you can just use something naturally cute?
You can put your puppy eyes to convince the other person to like you or use an actual puppy to create a rain of likes.
Animal pictures have converted very well for the longest time.
The only thing that you need to consider is that you look actually good.
If you look bad in the photo, no amount of pets will be able to save you. Animals are marvelous but not miracle workers.
Expert tips on getting a good animal photo:
- 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.
- Avoid this if you are allergic or uncomfortable around animals.
The tricky famous group photo.
These are easy to mess up and hard to do correctly. Girls are way better at these. All the way.
So let’s summarize what to look for.
Make sure that:
- Your handsome face is visible.
- It's easy to know who you are (for the good reasons).
- 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 (Even more if it's you).
- Doing an activity that may be offensive to someone (no strip clubs, no bullying, no abuse of any kind).
Got a fantastic 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. No, it's not a joke; it happens.
So are there any good pictures where a mix would be fine?
Stay away from the mixed photo.
This picture style has a cool vibe to it.
The reason why this photo works is because you get a clear image of the 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, while enhancing the best features.
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 cool life.
This can go two ways:
- You will end up with something very tacky, or
- You’ll make some great piece of content for your online dating profiles.
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, you need to have a reason for your sexy six-pack shot (when you have it, don't make a fool of yourself).
Having a reason isn't the same as having abs; therefore, avoid a half-naked selfie because it won't attract many women as it will make you appear vain and superficial.
Merge the body pic with some activity that justifies using fewer clothes, or take a very stylized shot that shows the absolute best of you.
Whenever you have the chance to take a picture with a celebrity, take it.
The thing is that posing with a celebrity won't make you attractive. It might only awaken interest.
A shot like this will work better showing you as an equal rather than a fan. And the other rules about posing and clothing also apply.
These rules are more flexible when it comes to a celebrity photo because it will be more spontaneous, but after taking it, think objectively if it will help you or if it's best to keep it only for your close friends to see.
How about if the girl is the one starting the talk?
If you give them a reason, make sure they won't be shy about it or wait for you to take the first step.
This is where the mysterious shots come into play.
Let's say you're a race car racer.
A non-mysterious shot would be you in front of your race car with a trophy in your hand.
Very cool photo, but it says everything. Let's try to make it mysterious.
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 his hand?
You see the point? Curiosity is sparked.
To all racers reading this: I'd love to invoice you for this one!
Jokes aside, you can use this on a hobby picture or an activity that you like.
Note that artistic and model types of people tend to love these kinds of pictures.
Have you gotten much experience with going through a bunch of dating profiles?
If you did, you probably noticed one thing. It can be boring because every one is the same.
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 out of the box.
Think of anything that sets you apart from the rest and a creative way to put it into a photo that's attractive and you got yourself a winning image.
These are two essentials: Things that you need to show and things you would like to see.
The head shot 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 (unnecessary) 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.
Tell a Story
Do it Often
Hire a Professional
Take Many Photos
Directing Photo Shoots
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.
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.
Tell a Story
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.
Hire a Professional
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.
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 it will save you energy.
It’s much less effort to just set up a tripod, figure out the position of the camera, 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.
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 Photo Shoots
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.
Avoid being at the center all the time.
Try moving yourself to the side of the picture. This will focus better the attention.
To know interesting ways of making portraits better, you can research The Rule of Thirds or the Golden Ratio among other framing tips.
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:
- Career / Job / Business
- Habits / Vision
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.
Get to the Next Level
We created a course that helps with all aspects of Online Dating from A to Z. This also includes a personal profile review and 3 professional photo edits. If you are interested in this >> Check it out here<<
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