online profile photo

All we can be and all we need to be in life is ourselves. This is a beautiful thing when it comes to self acceptance, confidence and self love. It’s not often said when we talk about online dating but it’s something that should be taken into consideration, especially when it comes to tackling the minefield that is your profile and those dreaded online profile photo choices!

Take a break from photo paranoia and read our triumphant tips below on what pics to choose to get you on the path to empowerment.

1. Upload a recent photo

A friend of mine asked me whether she should put a recent headshot of herself on her profile, or that 3 year old picture perfect posed image where she looked like she was auditioning for Britain’s Next Top Model. I boomeranged the question. ‘What would you want a guy to do?’ I asked. And with that, she uploaded the recent photo. Bingo! Recent is real. Recent is right now. Are you you selling yourself as you 3 years ago or you today? If you’re living in the past it’s hard to move on, let alone look to the future. It’s hard to break those old habits of rehashing those favourite all time pics but really, all they do is serve as a reminder of who you were and you are so much more badass now!

2. Make peace with that body shot

It’s an approach that is often avoided by many an online dater but it’s time to face up to that dreaded body shot! We’re not talking about that one where you’re hiding behind your friend or entirely dressed as a football mascot. We’re talking about that recently holiday pic where you are displayed in full length glory! You may not love what you see, but you are more than just a floating head, right? It’s been more than once a guy friend of mine has asked if they were a bad person for being suspicious that a girl’s profile displayed 6 photos. 6 headshots. We’re more than just floating heads aren’t we, and our photos should represent that. I told him he wasn’t a bad person, he was just making a reasonable observation and query. What is wrong with anting to see all of someone, we check people out in the street by looking up and down and we do it all the time with celebrities so what’s the difference here? By seeing someone in all of their form it is just one step closer to picturing them as a real person, a person they may want to date as a result.

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3. Display your cool or strange hobbies

Embrace those strange and wonderful hobbies! Be honest and upfront about those occupational imperfections…those idiosyncratic interests you simply adore doing! My friend uploaded a photo of her and her collection of Star Wars memorabilia and needless to say she was very trumped to turn out to be an intergalactic internet dating hit. If you portray a truly rounded picture of yourself you’re much more likely to end up with a date who already knows and accepts truth bombs about you that would be hard for you to broach later on down the line. So put up that photo of you dressed as that Anime character, upload that pic of you with your Barbie collection because if someone doesn’t want to know you because of these things, they are just making way for someone who does!

4. Flash your best smile

It sounds plainly obvious but actually, it needs to be addressed that this tip involves smiling! Providing you are someone who actually does smile, this should be represented in your pictures right? Perhaps you aren’t keen on your smile, your teeth, your top life or your dimples but considering your date might be as funny as Andy Samberg they’ve got to get used to seeing those gorgeous gnashers all date long so show a little love to that smile and remember that when you see someone smile, it makes you feel good. They feel approachable, they feel like a nicer person. They feel real and genuine. Allow yourself that smiley freedom and beam for the internet world to see!

5. Use that unposed pic

For this photo choice it’s the rather lovely and humbling approach of modesty. Do you have a shot of you taking part in something, doing something, looking at something and you weren’t even aware of it? We’re talking about that half marathon stagger photo. That pre bungee jump fear face. How rare is it to see a photo of someone where they haven’t realised there is a camera pointing at them (and aren’t pretending not to know?). It’s empowering to know that you didn’t need to take a photo specifically for that upload. It was you, being unassuming and unknowing and getting on with life rather than worrying about being seen doing it!

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At the end of the day, dating profiles and their photos are ostensibly a bit of fun. It’s a gamble of which you can’t guarantee a win and a gamble that has immeasurable amounts of variables and also outcomes. There is no real way to increase your chances of success but by choosing photos which you think represent you, which you love and which you are honest about yourself in, it’s going to be the ultimate compliment to you when someone does contact you for those reasons! Confidence is sexy, confidence is admired and confidence is addictive. Imagine if you attract someone who has good conversation, is fun, ticks a lot of your boxes and doesn’t seem like a serial killer all for your approach of saying: this is me, and I rock!

Image: flickr

Clare lives in Brighton, the UK with her husband and Plato the cat. She divides her time between writing TV scripts, blogging about procrastination and writing some articles. Dirty Dancing is not her favorite film.

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