Monday, February 27, 2012

Spice Up Your Dating Profile aka Stop with the Duck Lips

Are you Single?
Have you tried online dating? 
Are you an awesome, well-adjusted person with a good smile and a solid head on your shoulders? 
Have you not been getting the responses and the messages you so justly deserve? 

It's probably your pictures. 

It would be a lie to say that the first thing that people look at when they see your profile is your "about me" section. The truth is most people immediately hop over to your pictures and give them a once/twice/thrice over. 

I've done the online dating thing now for about 2 years. I come and go in spurts depending on how I'm feeling or varying stages of relationships, but one thing doesn't change. When I'm actively looking for people on dating sites, on the sites with counters that tell me how many people are viewing my profile, I have about 150 views per week, with a 60% message-to rate, and a 80% response rate for the messages sent by me to potentials. 

I'm not the most attractive person on the planet by any means, but I can tell you that I have what I believe are a variety of photographs, which highlight my best qualities, and which can 100% work for you, too! 

So here's my list of photos you should and should not include in your profile. 

You might think, "why should I listen to you?" You don't have to, these are merely suggestions that have worked for me and for my friends. When you combine these five suggested photos (more if you want to) the success rate of receiving messages and having people respond to your profile is high. If you leave one or two out, you'll still have a pretty decent return, but after studying the numbers after removing or adding selected pictures and asking friends for feedback on different people's profiles, I can tell you that these suggestions will boost your online dating numbers. 

Your Main Photo

It should be of you (not your dog), and you alone - crop if it's necessary, but if there's more than one person in your profile photo, I either have one of three reactions (1) WOW his friend is SOOOO much cuter than he is (2) Oh his friend is unattractive... are all his friends unattractive? If we get together and all he has is unattractive friends who am I supposed to set all my single friends up with? <--- sad but an actual thought OR (3) If it's a member of the opposite sex, who the hell is that?!!?! Is it an ex? Is it a best friend with whom they've hooked up and there's weird chemistry there, etc... SO to just prevent these unnecessary thoughts, just keep it to you in your main photo. 

It should feature you from the chest up or closer. But not too close to where it's just your eye, because then potentials start to feel creeped out. You should be genuinely smiling and looking damn cute, just like this guy.  

They should NOT feature you standing in a bathroom mirror and they should not feature your "sexy face," because most of the time - out of context, your sexy face just makes you look indifferent and unapproachable. No one wants to date someone who is indifferent, because it makes us wonder why they're indifferent and what else they could care less about, such as, would that translate over to indifference in your relationship. Subliminal messages are powerful in online dating. You really need to take the time to think about what your pictures are saying. 

They should NOT feature you standing a mile away, because seriously... I can't see what you look like, and it bothers me. And if it bothers a relatively laid-back single's blogger it probably bothers other people as well. It's better to just give us what we want... which is a medium shot of you looking happy. 

Your Other Photos

(1) Action Shots - Most people have a wide variety of interests and most of the time someone is standing by with a camera and takes a picture of you doing something that you like doing. You know the photos I'm talking about. You throwing a dodgeball or playing an instrument or swimming with stingrays. These are called your Action Shots. These are important because it shows people that you like doing things, and that you're passionate about them. You should typically have two of these showing different activities - and those activities should NOT include drinking and looking like a drunk hot mess. If you had alcohol prior to that picture being taken. Don't use it. You might think it looks like you're a fun person, but to the majority of people it makes you look like a hot mess. 

Use shots such as this girl lovingly hugging a horse, in a riding hat. She's enjoying what she's doing, and it's pretty obvious. This picture tells me that this girl really loves riding horses and that it's a big part of her life. That's a genuine smile on her face and aside from her awkward pose, she looks pretty damn comfortable up on that horse, which tells me she rides a lot. 

This however is a not so much. "But LoRo, he's lovingly holding up his phone in a winter hat!" Nope. It doesn't work that way. Photos in which you're lovingly holding up a cellphone imply a connection to technology that will interrupt your shared time together. A photo like this to me says that on the first date he's going to pull out his cell phone and put it on the table and check it periodically through the night sending out text messages every so often. 
I also, don't necessarily have to see your face in your action shots, side profiles or pictures where your face is partially covered are completely ok, as long as they show you doing something you love doing. 

(2) Group Shot - But LoRo, you just told me to not have anyone else in my picture. I know. I know. But that's your MAIN photo, ie, the photo that acts as your first impression. The photo that connects you to your potential online daters. A Group Shot serves as kind of a built in recommendation. It tells me that (1) people like to hang out with you so (2) you can't be absolutely insane... in theory. It shows that you have friends so that you wont base your entire life around potentials and that you have a healthy social life and can interact with other people. You don't need to have a photo with a bundle of people in it, like this. 

In fact that's the wrong kind of group shot, you want something that implies that the people in the photo know you and are your friends, and that you have an intimate connection with them and can forge lasting bonds of friendship - even if it's just you and one other person (very important - no two shots of you and the gender of people you're trying to date). Your potentials need to know that you have people who would "vouch" for you. 

Something like this that implies friendship 
Not This, because this implies a little something more than friendship, which is made doubly obvious by the fact that he took the time to block off part of her face. 

(3) Body Shot - This shot serves to give people the over all look of you. I'm going to be real with you, most people have a specific body type to which they are attracted. For example I'm attracted to men with broad shoulders and a little extra around the middle, aka the "linebacker" look. It's what I'm into. So when I see someone who has the rail thin look or the body builder look, most of the time I just hit next. This goes for the majority of people. It's nothing against you or who you are. It just means that for that one person, you are not what they're looking for. It happens. And it's better it happens in the early stages rather than after you've exchanged 50 emails and meet in person only to discover that they're just not going to do it for you. 

Photos like this that show your whole body are great! 
But if you don't have any, photos which show your upper body work just as well (we're ignoring the fact he's got jello shots for the purpose of this topic).

However, photos like this imply you're looking for sex and sex only. Funny thing about this girl's profile is that it stated repeatedly that she was looking for a relationship where the guy would treat her like a human being and not a piece of meat. Actions speak louder than words and this action says, take my clothes off, you'll like what you see. Now if you're looking for sex, these are fine, but if not, be careful about what message your sending.  
And another kind of body shot which works great is something that doubles as an action photo, just like this one. Not only can you see his overall build, but you also know that he likes fishing. If you're uncertain about how many photos you want on your profile, photos like this are great for their duality.
(4) Personality Shot - Last but definitely not least is the shot that gives me a little knowledge into what your personality is. 

If you're goofy we want to see shots that show you acting a little bit goofy. 

Shots that show you as introspective or deep... orrrr a hipster.

Shots that show that you care about your beautiful child. 

If you're a little bit more serious, show something serious or toned down. 

If you love your dog, I wanna see you with a picture of your dog... however this shot also shows a don't. DON'T show a picture of you obviously in a car, which is obviously moving, while you're obviously distracted - I don't care how cute your puppy is... Don't. 

Unless your personality is that of a teenage girl, aka too young to actually be on a dating site. Those stupid Myspace photos need to be left in the past on your Myspace page. You know the ones I'm talking about. The obviously self-taken, at arms length, raised above your head to de-emphasize your double chin and to give all the boys a good look down your shirt. These, need to stop. They weren't cute when you were 14 and they're not cute now, because you're not fooling anybody. When a potential meets you in person, they're going to find out you have a double chin. You can't hide that in real life; you just cant. 
And to re-emphasize this point, because most of the time your bathroom is disgusting (not this girl's, but most of the time) Stop with the bathroom pictures. You can be cute as a button, but when you take a photo in the bathroom, all I can think about is you using the bathroom and then I think of poop, because everybody poops, and then I'm turned off and clicking next. 

Also, kissing inanimate objects is only cute when it's a statue or something funny. If there's a picture of you kissing a shoe... you might want to rethink your life decisions. 

And for the love of god and all things good in the world, stop with the frickin' duck face. 


  1. Anonymous2/27/2012

    For some odd reason, I keep thinking the horse is purposely averting his gaze. Almost like he's embarrassed to be there or would rather be back home at the barn doing his own equine related activities... O_0

  2. Oh I liked this post! I've been thinking about getting back on Match but I didn't like the pictures I posted last time. Could have been part of the problem! I'm actually considering having a friend of mine (professional photographer) take some snapshots.

    1. That's a great idea! Just make sure you're not wearing the same top in every picture, because that can make it look too much like a photo shoot and less fun and genuine.

  3. What a great tutorial! I've got to go double check my eharmony now.

  4. Great work. I have learned a lot about how to flirt at such a websites as your.

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