How to Take an Awesome Profile Pic for Your Online Dating Adventure

Posted by James, 29 Aug

You're really going through with this, aren't you? This online dating thing. Yes! Of course you are - and it's going to be fantastic. One in five people ages 25 to 34 years old have used an online dating site, Pew Research reports, and it's popular among older singles, too. So come up with a clever user name (don't get too dorky), start thinking of your turn-ons and turn-offs and line up your best selfie.

What's that? You take terrible pictures? Don't sweat it. We'll help you take a great profile pic. Follow our tips and they'll be banging down your digital door.

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The Camera

To take a good picture, you have to start with a good camera. It doesn't need to be Ansel Adams-worthy, but your profile picture shouldn't look like it was taken on your granddad's flip phone, either. Your smartphone's camera should suffice, but if you can swing it, don't put it in selfie mode to take the shot. We know it would be more convenient, but your smartphone's main camera takes a better-quality photo. Take, for instance, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - the selfie camera is 3.7 megapixels, but the main camera shoots at 16 megapixels. So, see if a friend will take the pic for you. If not, you can make do in Selfie City. We've all been there.

The Location

Please, we beg of you: No. Bathroom. Selfies. You are not 15. Instead, head outdoors; everybody looks better in natural light. You may wish to avoid the midday sun, however, as its harsh rays tend to highlight imperfections. Try shooting around dawn or dusk when everything has a bit of a glow to it. If you're shooting indoors, turn off the overhead light and turn on a couple lamps, or shoot by a window.

Also, look around you - clean up the area, for heaven's sake. We've all seen those unfortunate selfies in which, unbeknownst to the subject, there was something mega-embarrassing in the background. So, clean up your clutter before you start snapping pictures.

The Look

Do we need to remind you to be well-groomed? Let's hope not. But we would like to remind you to dress flirty and fun without going over the top. Save the full-body stocking or the Speedo for another time.

Pay attention to the colors you wear. Check out this guide to color psychology from InfoPlease to see the signals you may be sending when you wear certain colors.

The Pose

Really, this part is a lot of fun. Try any of these ideas, and don't be afraid to experiment with your own, too. Ideas we like:

  • Pose in a doorway
  • Shoot from the shoulder, and then crop your arm out of the picture
  • Don't shoot square-on; tilt your head and shoot at a variety of angles (in editing, you can always crop off-center as well)
  • Use a prop - try a pair of glasses, a book, a glass of wine or a hat
  • Gaze away from the camera (don't look forlorn, though; make sure to still smile)
  • Try a two-handed selfie - your arms will frame the shot

Finally, the Mouth

No duck faces. That's it. Thank you.

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