The Fab Four Of Online Dating Pics: Know Them. Love Them. Use Them.
In all my years of dating and coaching, I’ve developed many rules that have helped clients (and myself) sail the tumultuous waters of the online dating world. There’s one rule, however, that I believe so wholeheartedly and never deviate from (and has always found the highest success when in use). The rule? That you only need FOUR photos on any online dating platform or app. Just four. No More, no less. This holy quad showcases exactly who you are and shows the most important facets of you. Like many parts of dating, too much or too little can often hurt your case. But four pics? Four pics are just enough! So what are they? I lovingly call them: the Showstopper, The Wedding Party, The Politician and Dr. Interesting.
This is the photo of you looking amazing, closely cropped (but not too close- mid-section to face preferred, nobody needs to see any pores) to showcase that beautiful mug of yours. This photo should be CURRENT, have you looking like yourself, in good lighting and if not smiling, at least seeming playful, mysterious or sexy. And if we’re being honest (as I hope we are!) this photo really does do most of the heavy lifting, and should be the photo of you that people see first. This can definitely be a selfie so you have control…but try to make it a subtle selfie. Nothing filtered, softened, duckface-y, blurry, or obviously taken from your friend’s futon. Actors, beware: while you’re made up and looking good in a headshot, NONE OF YOUR DATING APP PHOTOS SHOULD BE HEADSHOTS. Mmmkay? Thanks byeeee.
The Wedding Party
Another incredible asset that not many people use is the wedding photo! In these photos, you’re often looking great, all dressed up, having fun and being your badass self. And the best part? They are usually taken by someone who knows what they’re doing (aka a professional photographer!). That means that the angles are good, the lighting is on point and the photographer is super aware of what the subject is doing/how they’re looking. Often, this is the photo I say to use to showcase your body (a body shot- crucial!) but it isn’t necessary. Just don’t use a wedding photo that remotely suggest that YOU are getting married…as one might guess, that will backfire. Don’t have a wedding photo? A picture at a party with friends works, too!
This is the photo that says, “hey, I have pals and people like me! See?” It can and often is your “body shot” to show people what your whole bod looks like. The Politician is the photo with a couple close pals, having brunch, hanging with your niece, etc.” Men generally have these photos but fall into a common mistake- having ALL politicians, Politician photo as Showstopper or having The Politician photo with too many people in it. While we want to know you’re social and fun, we also don’t want to have to pick you out of a lineup of 30. Keep it to 15 people or less, please; preferably just a few people who are the same attractiveness level, so as not to take attention away from you. Animal photos will also work for the Politician slot (an animal-friendly person is in my mind, just as good as a people-friendly one).
So you’ve got a great close up, a fun flattering wedding photo and a photo with pals. Now, you need that niche photo: that photo showcasing something you love to do, a place you love to be, preferably performing an activity that is distinctly you! For example, if you like rock climbing, it could be you at a climbing gym or on a summit (also a very flattering body shot). Or, if you love to cook, how about a picture of you doing your thing in the kitchen, smiling ear-to-ear? Ideally, it’ll be easy to get these photos because you’ll actually be doing these things on the reg. Just don’t mislead with your Dr. Interesting: don’t put a hiking pic in if you hate to hike (and no matter how good your hair looks). As a note: Dr. Interesting can often be combined with others or be a form of the other photos. For example: if you are a nurse and you have a photo of yourself and two nurse friends, it does double duty!
Now get to snapping- and dating, people!