How to Master Taking the Perfect Picture for Your Dating Profile

Written by dating expert Jennifer Carter.
Last updated: February 19, 2021

Remember that having the right profile pictures to complement your compelling text is an absolute must. While picking good profile pictures may not appear like rocket science, making sure you choose the best photos to achieve your goals may be trickier than you think. The odds of getting high-quality dates sharply diminishes without understanding the fundamentals of how to take good profile pictures. If you’re remotely serious about dating online, trying your luck on dating apps without photos is not an option.

Some basic dating profile picture tips are universal, like how many photos to use. Try to choose at least three but no more than six photos. You want to give your potential date enough information and variety to see who you are, but you don’t want to go overboard or post just one photo. Too few photos may not seal the deal, and too many can be a turn-off.

Ensure the lighting is adequate and that you’re not wearing sunglasses or too far away from the camera. This can make you appear as if you’re hiding or not taking online dating seriously. You want to appear inviting and available to a potential date. Some good dating profile picture ideas are to choose a location to take a photo that is pleasing to the eye, such as in nature.

Charming girl taking picture of herself  

If you love amusement parks, go there! Take pictures anywhere that makes you feel like you’re putting your best foot forward. This is what makes a good dating profile picture. Remember that good dating profile picture ideas come from sharing your true self. Looking relaxed and happy is very attractive. Another universal truth about online dating profile pictures is to steer clear of distractions. These include group photos, filters, and revealing clothing. All this does is make it more difficult for someone to get to know the real you.

It’s not easy to put yourself out there and start dating. But at the end of the day, you’re more likely to attract the type of person who is right for you if you stick to honesty.

Group shots hide you, and they can also increase the chances that someone will like your friend in the profile picture more than you. Filters are for the birds. Don’t be afraid to show yourself in natural light, just the way you are. Trust that the right person will appreciate this, just as you use photos that are no more than a year old. If you do this, you may hit a brick wall. Your date may be disappointed when you meet in real life, which can be embarrassing and a real shot to your self-esteem. It’s also one of the reasons you should have at least one full body shot so your potential date can see what you look like from head-to-toe.

Remember that your profile pictures should match your profile. If you mention how much you love the beach, but all your photos are of you skiing and playing in the snow, you’re not congruent in your story. This breeds confusion and doubt and makes someone wonder if you know who you are or if you’re telling the truth. Always be transparent and address what’s pertinent in your life. This is how you foster connections that could lead to love.

Dating Profile Pictures for Guys

Both men and women are attracted to faces that smile in photos. But would you believe that showing off those pearly whites in a male dating profile picture can be a faux pas? Research has shown it to be true! 43 percent of guys will be “liked” or swiped right on dating apps when they are sporting smiles that don’t show teeth. This means that when it comes to dating profile pictures for guys, relaxed vibes seem to be most effective. Just remember that what makes a good profile picture for anyone is an authentic smile. Above all, you don’t want to appear uncomfortable or like you’re posing.

If you do have first-rate choppers, it’s recommended in dating site picture tips that you show them off in one of your photos. It shouldn’t be your main profile picture, but if it’s one of your best face shots, you should include it. You want to include all your best assets in your photos. But don’t include showing off your pecs and abs. Save the selfies with skin unless you want your relationship to last one night. If you want the girl of your dreams to feel a connection, avoid objectifying yourself. Looking like an attention fiend is not one of the best dating profile picture ideas.

Appearing confident is important in profile pictures, particularly in a dating profile pic for a man. Don’t be afraid to look at other guys’ dating profile picture examples to get a perspective. But a sure-fire way to take a good dating profile picture that looks confident is to try this: look straight ahead in the camera while having a confident inner monologue. Maybe you’re thinking of smooth pickup lines. Maybe you’re telling yourself how good you feel today. Whatever it is, it’s important to be active in your thoughts, so you’re not vacantly staring down a camera lens. You’re doing something active and telling a story—which may even lead you to come up with good dating profile headlines!

A good photographer can coach you and help you navigate how to take a dating profile picture by adjusting camera angles and finding the best headshot and body shots. You don’t have to go to a professional, but it’s recommended and worth the effort to have a few high-quality photos. This way, you’ll have top-notch photos ready to match your perfect words once you figure out how to write a good dating profile that matches and complements your profile pictures. It’s recommended that a male have at least one photo that makes eye contact with the camera, looking straight ahead.

While standing alone in a picture is a universal profile tip, it’s particularly useful for a men’s dating profile picture. Being with multiple people in profile pictures is confusing and an intimidating turn off for women. Online dating is hard enough without feeling like you need to sort through a bunch of people at once, just to figure out who the person is you’re trying to connect with. Not only is it easier to decipher one person in a photo, but it feels safer for women. It feels more intimate and open.

Handsome bearded hipster man

Dating Profile Photos for Women

Unlike their male counterparts, women’s dating profile pictures have a 76 percent chance of being “liked” on dating sites when showing their teeth. Appearing approachable and more feminine accounts for what makes a good profile picture for women, and it’s optimal to appear open and available. In any case, it seems like a good idea for women to show off those teeth in profile photos as it’s appealing and effective.

Of course, looking happy and relaxed is always included in dating profile picture tips, and make sure you have some variety in your photo collection. Whether you’re showing off your adorable puppy or showing off your rock-climbing skills, make sure to showcase what you love and who you are in your profile photos.

Another tip—one that happens to be the opposite of what works for men— is that women get more action when looking away from the camera. While males are most effective at getting attention when looking at the camera lens, 74 percent of women are more likely to receive messages when they don’t give direct eye contact. Go ahead and perfect that wistful, far-away look, ladies. It gets results.

Wearing your hair up and away from your face is also recommended for women in profile pictures. There is a 27 percent higher chance of getting responses from guys than women with hair down will receive. Again, it may be the factor of appearing more open that is a winning strategy here. It’s recommended that your main profile picture is with your hair up, but have a few photos with your hair down, along with different looks. If you look great in that picture where you’re wearing that little black dress with your hair down, show it off. Variety can be as important as the quality of your look.

Remember to have fun and be yourself while dating online. It may seem trite, but it really is the most important part of the process.