It’s January and the best time to find love via online dating. This week we’re doing a series of posts to help you find a relationship in 2017.
In this post, we’ll show you how to improve your profile photos to get more effective results.
Best photo tactics to get (good) attention from your online dating profile:
OKCupid analyzed different approaches to the camera by gender and found some interesting results.
Women who look directly into the camera with a flirty-kind of look get the most messages, as opposed to strictly smiling. However, “flirting away from the camera is the single worst attitude a woman can take.”
If you’re going to make a flirty expression, make sure your eyes are directed at the camera so it’s like you’re making eye contact with the person seeing your profile.
In contrast, the dating site found that men who look away from the camera and don’t smile get more messages.
Take up a lot of space
A “power pose” can make you look more attractive.
Research suggests that we find people in expansive postures to be more attractive. We might not even realize it either.
In a 2016 study, researchers created two separate profiles for three different men and women. In one set of profiles, the candidates posed for photos in contractive positions; like crossing their arms. And in the other set of profiles, the same candidates posed in expansive positions; like raising their arms up in a “V.”
The photos in which the men and women were in expansive positions were selected more often than the contractive position photos. Also, men especially were found to be more attractive when they displayed open body language.
For a profile photo that gets you a match, display open body language and take up a lot of space in the frame.
Don’t cover your face
Tinder’s in-house sociologist, Jess Carbino said one of the biggest mistakes you could make in your profile photo is covering your face. If you want to get noticed, you should ditch the hat, glasses, mask or move anything else that would be blocking your face.
We make judgements about someone’s personality by looking at their face. Psychologists call this “thin slicking;” which, according to Carbino is about taking “thin slices of information and in a very quick period of time make very accurate judgments about somebody.”
We do this instinctively and unconsciously. This phycological function helps us determine who might be dangerous when walking down the street. The same applies to dating; you’d like to know who would be a compatible match.
So, if someone can’t see your face well, you not only look like you’re hiding something, but they won’t even be able to judge if you seem kind or trustworthy and will likely pass over you.
Be aware of what you wear
The clothing you wear in your profile photos creates a portrait of your personality.
A Tinder study which analyzed 12,000 profile photos found that most users are wearing clothing choices that do not make them stand out. Black is the most popular color to weak r for men and women – followed by white, blue and grey. Basics and neutral colors are the go-to choices for 72% of men and 56.2% of women on Tinder.
The study also found that most users display traditionally gender-specific clothing – such as women wearing dresses and men wearing long-sleeve button down shirts or suits in their profile photos.
To stand out in the new year, Tinder suggests: “Given that the vast majority of users are wearing neutral colors, individuals who want to make a splash should wear a vibrant color.”
Surprising tactics that work
The MySpace angle: For women, holding the camera slightly above you and looking up like you’re being coy was surprisingly effective in receiving more messages, according to OKCupid.
The Ab Shot: Results by the OKCupid analysis revealed that – despite the common belief doing this is lame – for guys with a good body “it’s actually better to take off your shirt than to leave it on.” However, the effectiveness of the ad shot also decreases with age.
Do something interesting
You want to get people to respond to you based on your profile, but you also don’t want it to lead to nowhere. If a guy responds to a girl because she’s showing her cleavage, well, that’s not exactly the best beginning for a lasting relationship.
Think about wanting to start a conversation with someone. A great way to do this is to show yourself doing something interesting in your photos. Like playing guitar or volunteering.
To get worthy messages in your inbox, OKCupid suggests being conversation-worthy by doing something interesting. “The value of being conversation-worthy, as opposed to merely sexy, cannot be overstated,” the company said.
Next in our series we’ll talk about the best practices for messaging.