There are far better ways to take an awesome, super-hot profile photo. Follow my advice, and you’ll be fighting off guys with a virtual stick.
Make it recent (or recent-ish)
You know the cliche about showing up for an online date and finding out that the person is a lot older than they look in their profile photo? It’s a cliche for a reason: it happens. And it’s super awkward. So don’t go digging out those college photos if you’re coming up on your ten-year reunion.
Do something interesting
I agree with Loveawake on this one: doing something, anything, interesting in your photo is preferable to just smiling seductively for the camera in your living room. Showing your interests in your photos is an instant conversation starter. Playing Guitar Hero, skiing, or posing next to the Eiffel Tower in your photos both shows off your interests and invites conversation. Chose photos that tell a story; images that will inspire someone to write and ask you about your trip to New Zealand or your Rainbow Brite costume from Halloween ’18. Give a guy more to write about than just “U R the hot” and you’ll definitely open up your dating prospects.
Limit webcam or cell phone photos
I know you love your camera phone, but give it a rest for a while. Putting some effort into the photos will make you stand out amidst a sea of blurry, badly-lit camera phone shots. No one expects you to be Annie Leibovitz. Just take a decent photo with an actual camera, and not the thing that you also play Sudoku on, and you’re golden.
With cleavage, less is more
For some people, cleavage is like that famous line from Field of Dreams: “If you show it, they will come.” (No pun intended.) And, sure, if your profile is littered with cleavage-y goodness, you will get messages. But you might not attract the classiest guys, and also run the risk of giving off the impression that you’re only looking for one-night stands. As big a fan as I am of cleavage, I have to admit that a hint is often more alluring than a full visit to Twin Peaks. Save something for the imagination–and for the second or third date.
Include a few shots with friends
Including a few photos with friends on your profile says two things: I’m not a creepy loner and/or a total narcissist who loves taking pictures of myself. It shows that you have friends, are social, and have an exciting, rich life that a guy would be a fool to not want to be a part of. But go easy: if you’re with the gang in every shot, he’s going to wonder if they’ll be coming along on the first date.
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Showcase the best version of you
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it should be your number one priority. Whether we want to admit it or not, there is an aspect of selling yourself–just as you would in, say, a job interview–to online dating. You want him to pick your profile out of the thousands on the site. Therefore, you have to project the best version of you. Represent yourself well: if you aren’t the outdoors-y type, don’t post a photo from that one time you went hiking just because you like the way your hair looks in it. Showcase you at your best, looking hot and doing the things you love. Your pictures are the first impression your possible future soulmate gets, so make them shine.