You know what they say, a picture tells 1000 words. So when you have seconds (if even) to impress, a good photo can get you a swipe in the right direction. I’m part of the selfie generation but hate taking them. If you do too, there’s someone who can help with that! Her name is Saskia and she’s from Saturdaynightsalright. She specialises in nailing a good online profile shot. Last week she shared some great tips on building an online dating profile.
1. What Makes a Good Online Profile Photo?
There are some typical qualities that make up my favourite profile photos. I love ones, which channel a carefree, natural, relaxed and happy vibe. I love the photos, which look like someone’s been caught mid-laugh for example, as it really draws you to them. You look at the photo and find yourself wishing you could find out what they’re laughing about. Laughing is infectious and creates an image of a fun lifestyle that people want to be part of.
A profile photo that conjures up a happy life, a happy attractive person is the best kind. I love photos that channel you, but you on a really good day. Genuine smiles, showing teeth are the best kind.
2. Are There Any 3 Elements One Should Keep in Mind? Like, do we need to have a day pic, night pic, one with friends…
I would recommend a happy, close up headshot for the main profile photo and then you might include a lovely laughing candid shot – candid means that it looks like the person didn’t know the photo was being taken. I’m not a huge fan of other people in the shot for a few reasons – firstly, it makes people have to work harder to find you in the shot and people like things to be easy (especially if they’re going through lots and lots of profiles) secondly, you could distract them if people end up checking out one of your friends and thinking they like them more, thirdly, there may be something about one of your friends that puts them off.
I also like to see some colour in the photos, as you can see from our portfolio as they make photos stand out from a sea of dating profile photos.
3. Where Can People Improve on Their Existing Profile Pics?
I think it’s important to realise that your profile photos don’t need to just show what you look like, but the best ones are the ones which showcase your lifestyle too. So don’t use photos where your environment/surroundings don’t reflect the lifestyle you’re keen to show off. For example, if you’re using a photo of you in a messy bedroom with clothes all over the floor and things piled up on dressing tables, then you’re going to be consciously and unconsciously putting people off.
Look at your photos, look at what’s in the background and make sure that everything about the photo is aligned with the message you want to give about your life and lifestyle. That way, you’ll start attracting the right kind of people more easily. Your photos will be working harder for you.
Some easy tricks to improve your photos include:
– Head outdoors, the light is better and so the quality of your photos will improve greatly (remember your photos are giving people clues about you, so if you’re using poor quality photos ie. pixelated, blurry, fuzzy etc, it’s going to be hard to attract high quality people)
– Include some colour to make your photo jump off the page. Either wear something bright (red is the colour of passion, love etc and men love it apparently lol) or stand in front of something eye catchingly bright
– Make sure you’re the main thing in the photo – eliminate any mess/clutter behind you. The photo should be all about you to maximise its impact on the viewer
Women should angle their body to the camera rather than face it square on as this is more flattering
Be genuinely having a laugh in your photos, a fake smile is as bad as no smile.
4. Tell Us How You Carved Out This Niche
Well I’m a veteran online dater! I did online dating on and off over a period of 7 years until I met my boyfriend six years ago. At the time I was very aware that people were using awful photos of themselves for something that was one of the most important things ever – looking for love. So when I decided to set myself up as a photographer and everyone kept asking me if I was going to be a wedding photographer, that’s when I knew I was going to help those who were looking for love, not those who’d already found it. Finally all my years’ experience of online dating could help others! That was over 2 years ago and now I’ve worked with over 500 single people helping them find love. It’s literally the best job ever! I have two other photographers working for me and plan to keep expanding in the coming years to help as many online daters as possible. Plus it’s a real niche market and I’ve always embraced being different and standing out from the crowd.
5. Best Date Ever?
I have lots of great dates with my boyfriend but a particular favourite was earlier this year on our last night in San Francisco. We love great Italian food (but it’s got to be awesome as I lived in Naples, Italy for a year) and he booked a table at the restaurant, Sotto Mare, in North Beach where we shared their amazing Cioppino and reminisced about what an amazing holiday we had. A stand-out night from a stand out holiday.
6. Tips to a Better Dating Profile?
Good quality, awesome profile photos of course.
But also in your written profile, be specific avoiding all the usual, meaningless clichés – they will get you nowhere.
Be brief and aim to intrigue and delight rather than bore, not only will attract people to read your profile and enjoy it but it’ll make it easy for them to make the first move. If there’s something in your profile that intrigues them, how easy is it to just send over a quick, funny question in a message to you. Where possible, ‘show, don’t tell’, i.e. don’t say ‘I’m really funny & quirky’, instead tell a story that is actually funny and quirky. Show don’t tell should be your mantra!
Don’t forget a good dating profile starts with the name and tag line too. Don’t just call yourself Bob0456! How hard are you making it for people to find you? BobLovesBacon for example is a little bit silly, but most importantly memorable so it’s easy for people to find you again. Plus you’re going to appeal to bacon lovers right there so you’ll get messages from them straightaway. Small changes like this make your profile work for you rather than against you.
6. What Dating Profiles are the Most Popular?
As per above, dating profiles that are brief, specific and that delight and intrigue tend to be the most popular. They tend to be quite brief, show don’t tell, include popular key words (Yoga, surfing, the ocean, skiing, fitness, fashion are all good ones apparently) I love this inforgraphic from Wired magazine for a snapshot of what’s popular on dating profiles.
7. What’s Your Best Success Story?
One of my clients from two years ago, moved in with her boyfriend last year and I found out two weeks ago that they’re expecting twins at Christmas. Very exciting!
Inspired yet? If DIY is not an option and you live in the UK, get in touch with Saskia
Want to know what men really think of your online dating profile? Download the free online dating ebook.
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Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.