The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Online Dating Photos - Business Media Group
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The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Online Dating Photos

Dating online seems such a spontaneous, easy process where nothing is planned. I mean, how long could it take to subscribe to a random app – let’s say Tinder because everyone talks about it! – upload a couple of mirror and bathroom selfies with and without Snapchat filters; write something super mainstream like ‘Single, bored and looking to meet someone’ or ‘Swipe right and see why I’m different from other guys’ and finally swipe right to death until you finally get a match?

Let me tell you something: this process is longer than you think. As a matter of fact, there’s a whole science behind why we should choose specific types of photos and why you should let a stranger choose them for you. Everything you know about online dating and dating apps is a lie. Companies like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge have tailored their apps to attract a specific audience with different dating purposes. Dozens of psychologists and scientists have conducted studies and surveys to show why some photos are more successful than others. Do you want to read more about it? Here is our ultimate guide to selecting the right online dating photos. Follow our advice to finally get those super likes and matches you deserve!

Selfies & Close-Ups

We have always had mixed feelings about selfies – they are loved as much as they are hated. Kim Kardashian,THE queen of selfies, made it look like an art and not just a mere reflection of ourselves. The Saatchi Gallery dedicated an entire exhibition to selfies, called “From Selfies to Self-Expression”. I can assure you though that not all selfies are artistic and above all they are not appreciated as much as we think they are on dating apps. Selfies don’t show the real you. It’s like having bad ads for a good product. Selfies distort your facial features because of the position you force yourself into and are usually bad quality pictures since the front camera is usually worse than the rear one.

Close-up pictures are a big deterrent because you don’t really have the right perception of what you’re looking at. There should be something around you in the picture that isn’t just your face, otherwise it’s just not comforting to the viewer. Bathroom selfies are the most unappealing type of photos you could post online. Toilet paper rolls, dirty towels and toothbrushes in plain sight on the sink won’t get you likes but the opposite!

In conclusion, if you’re thinking of taking a bunch of selfies…desist! Ask a friend, a family member or even a stranger to take the picture for you. Think twice before posting any photos online. If you really want to know what people think of them, sign up to DATEnhance to have constructive feedback and expert advice on your photos.

Graph from DATEnhance, ‘’Do selfies work on dating apps?’



“A smile is the prettiest accessory you can wear”. When we smile we look happy, laidback and relaxed. Smiles send positive vibes and make us look more attractive. Often I see photos of people with serious faces and squinty expressions, vain attempts to look sexy and mysterious (take note women, duck faces are not sexy!). Just so you know, we are naturally drawn to like happy people more – unless you’re a 13 year old in your emo phase. Happier photos make us imagine how going on a date with you or even being in an actual relationship would be like. You have one opportunity to make the first impression right and encourage potential partners to swipe right on you, don’t waste it! Wear your best smile and get ready to conquer the world of dating.


Graph from DATEnhance, ‘Should I really smile in my dating photos?’

Wearing Sunglasses

Sunglasses are such a controversial accessory. Without any doubts they are fashionable, they make you look cool and popular but they partially hide your face. Therefore, it’s difficult to understand how attractive you are. It’s true that eyes are a window to the soul because they can always tell what you think and feel whatever the expression on your face. For example, you can pretend to be happy but your eyes might communicate something completely different. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting to avoid photos where you’re wearing sunglasses at all times. Just make sure you don’t use too many of them and choose a photo where people can see you clearly as the main profile one. On dating apps, you have up to 5 photos to show the best version of you. Make sure you choose photos where people can see you clearly.


Filters are one of the things people hate the most on dating apps. Dear women, forget about Snapchat. Uninstall it from your phone or send the pictures to your bestfriends if you really feel the need to. Do not post them online. Snapchat filters don’t show the real you. They make you look different because they actually change your facial features – bigger eyes, bigger mouth, slimmer face. They can give you a fake tan, a different colour of hair and eyes and even a tattoo. Remember that the more natural you look the more attractive you are. Keep also in mind that men hate those dog and cat filters. They’re on dating apps to find love, not a pet.

Whereas women are obsessed with Snapchat, men love to abuse brightness. You are going to see photos so bright that the sunlight turns white and facial traits just disappear. I agree that sometimes you need to edit your photos because they are too dark but you’d better do it in a subtle way so that they don’t look fake.


The word ‘photography’ is made of two Greek words φωτός (phōto’s) and γραφή (graphé) that literally mean ‘light’ and ‘drawing’. As you might think, good lighting is of paramount importance when taking photos. The best pictures are usually taken during the ‘golden hour’ or when the sun is rising or setting. Natural light is preferred at all times because it doesn’t alter colours and shapes. Depending on what your purpose is and the type of photo you want to take, you can choose a more diffused light or you might need to edit brightness and contrast. Keep in mind that blue tones, or dramatic shadows can feel overly serious; shadows can make it impossible to see your face and a very bright light can hurt the eyes. Get the most out of the natural light and avoid drastic editing!

Photos at the Gym

The reason why you are at the gym is to workout and not take photos. Sure it’s nice to know that you like keeping fit but do you really need to take a mirror selfie while you’re sweaty and shirtless? Sweaty is not the new sexy. Also, several studies confirm that women are more likely to swipe left on this type of picture because they find it childish and immature. If someone is vain and posts themselves shirtless in the mirror and does not have anything related to shirtless-requiring activities, then it’s a major no-no. Dear gym fanatics, it’s time to put a T-shirt on and show us something more interesting than your abs. If you really feel the need, ask someone to take a timelapse of you doing a cool workout. It might not attract too many likes but it can be of inspiration for many others to start keeping fit or try something new.


It might be silly but a good background can really make the difference. I would rather see a beautiful sunset behind you and not a grey building. I’d swipe right on a snowy mountain, a park full of flowers or even a very colourful road instead of a wardrobe full of clothes or your shower. Of course we won’t always have the chance to post a photo with a breathtaking background. In that case, be creative! Being original always pays off.

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