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online-datingOnline dating is no longer one of those scary and foreign things that people avoid like the plague. These days, 33 percent of couples have met online and that number is steadily increasing. Sometimes it can be as easy as physical attraction, then the attraction grows over time from communicating online and boom, you’re meeting, ready to get married and start a family.

Must Read: MTV’s ‘Catfish’ Reveals The Big Fat Problem With Internet Dating

However, it’s not always that easy. Some people can’t even get any prospects. Why? Mostly because their profile photos suck! You never get a second chance to make a first impression and if you’re online, that impression lives on forever. In case you’re in need of some assistance in regards to taking the perfect profile photo, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the most top most disastrous mistakes people make when selecting their profile shot:

  1. Distractions: Does your photo look photoshopped? If it’s clear that your photo has been doctored or a companion cropped out, it’s an immediate turnoff.  Online dating demands some semblance of technological capability, so having a badly-edited photo means that you’re either digitally incompetent or that you’re just lazy. Either way, there is a low no one is clicking through to that profile. Same goes for the tiny photo of you next to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You probably think that it makes you seem worldly and well-traveled, but it doesn’t matter because nobody can see you.

INSTEAD: Try a free photo editing/sharing app like Instagram or Photostream to enhance photos on your mobile devices before you upload them to your profile. If you like scenery in your photos, take a more candid selfie-style photo (See: Selfie Screw-ups below for safety tips) and make sure your head is the primary object of focus, with the scenery in the background. Don’t use the world’s beauty to overwhelm your image; use it to enhance/complement it.

  1. Selfie Screw-ups: I always wonder why people are so set on the selfie. To me, it is a very high-risk/low-reward photo option. The benefit – getting a decent photo of yourself at your own convenience – is understandable, but when it comes to profile photos, there are few things worse than a bad selfie.  Our survey data suggest some of the worst selfie mistakes include:
  • Shirtless Guy: This macho strategy backfires more often than you think. This photo style implies that your best quality is your body or that you are full of yourself, and if that’s true, why should anyone read any further? The shirtless photo basically says “this is it.” (Even worse if you are shirtless and wearing a hat)
  • Bathroom scene: Selfies in the bathroom is overdone. It communicates a narcissistic superficial.  (Even worse if your phone is in the picture because you took the shot in the mirror, or if you left the toilet in the background – not classy.)
  • Sunglasses: Take them off for your profile picture. You may look great in shades, but it’s deceptive and feels as though you’re hiding something. Seeing someone’s eyes gives them a greater feeling of trustworthiness.
  1. Details Count: As always, be sure to choose a photo that emphasizes your positive qualities, and downplays anything you’re not thrilled about. Just be yourself, smile, and treat your skin well, without caking on the makeup.
  1. Photos with Others: Your profile picture should really just be you, but if you have to include someone else, be careful that you’re not arm-in-arm with someone else. No one should have to wonder whether you’re truly single before they even meet you – this type of photo reduces the number of potential suitors and increases skepticism.  And group photos run the risk of capturing someone’s attention in the hopes of meeting a particularly attractive friend of yours rather than you.

A very special thanks to Eric Schiffer of for the tips!

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Picture Perfect: 4 Crucial Mistakes Online Daters Are Making With Their Profile Photos  was originally published on