Monday, July 29, 2013

There are no bad pictures. That's just how your face looks sometimes.

Last week I was a bit negative with all of the intentional messing with guys of less than reputable character. It just really gets under my skin when guys are cruel to intelligent, sexy women who they would be lucky to know. I like to think I'm providing some sort of social justice - some guy will realize he shouldn't be an ass and maybe he'll get a girl to be nice back to him or some girl will realize it's not her fault and she shouldn't give up because some guys are just cruel. Probably more of the latter than the former, but I digress.

This week, all posts will be more positive. Or at least neutral and objective. First up, what kind of photos should a guy use or not use to get a girl's attention. [This is all my personal opinion.]

Number of photos

5-10. You generally need 5 photos to show what you really look like. More than 10 is overkill. It makes it seem like you've been on the dating site for way too long or spent way too much time setting up your profile. 10 is plenty.

The thumbnail photo

This photo, the photo that shows up next to every message you write and in all the searches, is critical. This should be a relatively close up shot of your face. An alternative is a very cool, artsy action shot, but that's risky. The action should be very obvious - you're skiing or doing a handstand or kite surfing or something like that. However, when you're messaging with a girl, that's the shot she's going to start associating with you. Better that it's something that truly looks like you. The face shot that's an accurate representation of what you look like today is your best bet. No sunglasses or hats. No side angles. Straight on shot of your face.

Full body shot

Have at least one photo where it's obvious what your body type is. It doesn't have to be head to toe if head to thigh or torso shows an accurate representation. I've been lucky that since I mention (err... maybe go on and on about) how active I am, guys who aren't active don't message me. But there should be one shot that accurately shows your CURRENT body type. And keep your clothes on.

Hair shot

Alright guys. You're all getting older. You likely have a few more greys and a lot less in general than you did in college. It's not a big deal! We won't hold your hair against you if you don't hold gravity's effect on our boobs against us. We were all finer human specimens 10 years ago. That's just how it is. The likelihood that I won't message you back if you're a little more grey is small. The likelihood that I'll wonder what else you're lying about if you're a lot more grey when I see you in person is high. Just put it out there. Whether you've got it or you don't. Just be up front about it.

No photos like this. Can't see your hair or your eyes.

Height shot

This only applies to guys who are (in actuality, not based on your profile) less than 6' tall. If you're under 6', you're likely exaggerating like all your fellow males by at least one if not two, please not more, inches. Include one shot of you and your friends that shows what your true height is. If she sees how tall you really are and you look proportional, she will likely still respond. (I am not a tall woman so this probably does not apply to women who are taller than you are.) Other than this photo, don't put up lots of shots of you and your buddies.

Personality shot

I know, you've been dying for this one. You're so funny, silly, sarcastic, smart, well-traveled, yadda yadda yadda. Post one or two photos that show off your personality. This is the time for your travel photo, pic from Halloween, photo of you crossing a finish line or your ComicCon photo dressed up like a Klingon. OK maybe not that last one. I've never been to ComicCon and I'm not into Star Wars so I'm the wrong person to ask. But you get the idea. Keep these under control! I know you think you're awesome, but save some stuff to talk about for your date.

Photos to avoid

  • No selfies in the mirror. Of any sort. Just don't.
  • Half-naked photos are generally a no no. If you have one, you should be surfing, rock climbing, cliff diving or something similarly awesome. Don't have more than one.
  • Sunglasses shouldn't make an appearance in more than one photo (acceptable for the height, hair or personality photo). She wants to see what you really look like.
  • No more than one dog photo and only if it's your dog.
  • Kid photos. If you have one, it needs a caption. But you might want to think twice about have a child's photo (yours or someone else's) on an online dating site. There are creeps out there.
  • Photos where you're hugging a girl must have a caption. She might be your sister, but she might be your ex. Don't make her guess.
  • Photos that have a person awkwardly cropped out. We'll assume she's your ex, and even if she's not, it looks tacky.
  • Photos with circles or other goofy icons on top of the people's faces. If you can't crop the photo so it just shows you, get a new photo.
  • Headshots are acceptable-ish in LA, not elsewhere.
  • Raging party shots should be avoided. No photos with a shot being poured down your throat or where you're doing a beer bong. Unless you're looking for a girl to get black out drunk with you. If that's the case, keep the party pics.
  • Photos where you're doing something dumb or childish with your friends. A friend of mine stumbled onto Compliment Guy's profile and rightly mocked the photo he has where he and his friend have nerf guns (yeah, I should have seen the ninja laser tag coming). Women who are serious about wanting a long-term relationship want a man, not a boy. Don't post photos where you're acting like a boy.

Don't do this. Take a new photo.

Helpful tips

  • Have a friend look at your profile and tell you if your photos are accurate. Yes, it's embarrassing, but much less so than the look on a girl's face when you clearly don't look like what she thought you did.
  • Repost your photos. On most sites you can see when the photos were posted. It's ok to use photos that are more than a year old if that's still what you look like, but at least once a year take down your photos and repost them even if you use all the same photos. If all of your photos were posted in 2011, the girl will likely wonder why.
  • Reverse image search yourself. Most of us only have so many profile photos that we like, and we use them over and over. That's fine, but it does make it likely that your identity can be discovered easily. If you don't know how to do this, try it out. Go to Google and click on Images. Drag the file of your photo into the search bar and Google will look for that photo on all public sites. It's amazing what you can find sometimes.
  • Put out what you want to get back. Think about what kind of partner you want. Your photos should represent that as much as the "you should message me if" section of your profile does.

1 comment:

  1. For the record, none of the photos I included are from guys who messaged me. They're all stock photos from similar articles that the online dating sites have posted.