Online dating, quite honestly, can take so much of the work out of finding people you connect with in your city. Online dating is a great way to have good conversations, meet different kinds of people, and just have a lot of fun in general – but that all comes down to the kind of matches you make. And your matches are, for obvious reasons, dependent on the kind of profile you have up. Which is why it makes sense to put some time and attention into developing your profile – and that all starts from the most important thing: your photos!
You obviously don’t need to hire a professional photographer, nor do you need to be an expert selfie-taker, but you do need to put some thought into your pictures. As someone who has scrolled through many photos on dating apps (it’s, uh, purely research), I’ve noticed several things that work – and so many that don’t. If you’re not getting the kind of matches you want, then there’s a possibility that you’re not showing off your best self in your photographs. Take a look at some of the common display picture mistakes before and see if you’re making them:
You would think that this would be an obvious one, but I’ve lost count of the number of profiles I’ve skipped through just because they didn’t have a profile picture. I mean, what’s the point, really? You may be the funniest, smartest, wittiest person on the planet – but no one‘s going to get a chance to discover that because no one’s likely to ‘like’ a profile without a photo.
MissMalini’s tip: Put on your best smile and get clicking – you’re just doing yourself a disservice if you don’t.
Yes, you may be a huge Varun Dhawan fan. Or you probably think you look like Deepika Padukone if the lighting is just right. But the point is, no one’s going to fall for it. So you’re wasting your time.
MissMalini’s tip: Put up your own picture! This also applies if your photos are scenery shots and solo photos of your cat – get rid of ’em!
I’m not saying don’t include group photos in your line-up of pictures – using them sparingly (provided you have adequate solo shots) can actually show a fun, cute side of you. But if your main photo is one of you in a group of people, then it doesn’t make the greatest first impression. You’re leaving it up to the other person to figure out which one is you, and frankly, many people aren’t going to spend the time doing that.
MissMalini’s tip: Make sure you’re showing yourself off first – and then throw in a group shot or two to show another side of you.
Yes, sunglasses are fine. They can make you look good. But please remember that the point here is to show off yourself – and that includes your eyes. It’s really irritating to scroll through a bunch of photos of someone wearing sunglasses in each one, because, by the end of it, you feel like you still don’t really know what they look like.
MissMalini’s tip: Include maybe one photo with sunglasses on, but ditch them for the rest of the pictures. And if you are wearing sunglasses for a shot, make sure they suit your face!
To put it bluntly, your photos are going to be very boring if they’re just a bunch of selfies taken in different angles. Instead, try to include some ‘action’ shots – you on holiday, you jet-skiing, you cuddling with your pets, you playing with kids, you hanging out with some friends.
MissMalini’s tip: Your ‘action’ shots don’t have to be anything major, but they should showcase more layers to your personality – it will be great for striking up conversation later.
This one’s especially for the guys. Look, a good body is hot, no one’s going to deny it. But you know those numerous gym mirror selfies that also slyly showcase your abs? They kinda come off like you’re trying too hard.
MissMalini’s tip: If you’ve got a good body (which is a nice plus), it’s going to show in your regular pictures, so there’s no need to make it super blatant.
Remember what I said earlier about not overdoing the sunglasses because then you’re not showing off yourself? Well, the same thing applies when you overdo it with the editing apps. You’ve got filters, overlays, adjustments, and then text thrown on top of it… yeah, it’s all too much, and it just feels majorly fake.
MissMalini’s tip: Filters are your friends! But only if tastefully done. Try VSCO Cam for a subtle filter, or even use Snapchat’s in-built ones to get a good look. If you’re doing Instagram filters, then Rise is a good one to enhance make-up, while Amaro and Sierra give a soft look to your pictures and are great for hiding imperfections. Avoid overlays and text.
Now that you know what you’re doing wrong, you can help build a better profile for yourself. The entire point, though, is to have fun with it – so feel free to keep changing up your display picture (and other photos) to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
Stay tuned: In our next instalment of the DP Tool Kit, we’ll be showing you how to get the perfect selfie soon, so get ready to make your display picture even better!