7 Deadly Sins of Online Profile Pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words. If you want to attract people to your profile, or at least the right people, avoid these common profile photo pitfalls:

1. Yes, You MUST Post A Photo: Sure, looks aren’t everything, but the lack of a photo makes people only imagine the worst. Most online daters won’t even look twice at a profile if there is no picture. Suck it up, choose a good one and make your profile more visible, and it shows you put some effort into it.

2. No Old Photos: Sure, you may have had more hair, a smaller gut, and fewer wrinkles in the past, but you are chatting to people in the present. How many times have you heard that old, “She didn’t look like she did on the Internet?” A picture that represents you will get you a lot further than one ends up being an in-person letdown.

3. Post Photos that Showcase You: You love your dog. You love your kids. You love skiing. We get it. However, it doesn’t do much good for people looking at your profile to see your pooch, your pudgy kid, or for that matter you bundled up in head-to-toe puffy winter gear. A profile picture should be of you, not just about you.

4. Avoid Sloppy Photo Skills: There is no reason the photo you use should be washed out, out of focus, or have red eye. You don’t have to be a master photographer. Tips and tricks are readily available on the Internet. If you don’t have the cash for Photoshop try a free program like GIMP.

5. Don’t Over Do the Sexy: Okay, this can be a double-edged sword. A really hot photo will attract a lot of attention, but posting a shot of yourself in a wet bikini may not be the best way of scoring someone you want to bring home to the folks.

6. Hell No to Costumes: We want to see you. Even if you’re really into role playing, for the love of god avoid dressing up as clown in your photo. While pretending you’re Bozo in the bedroom might be kinky in a creepy Barnum & Bailey way to some, to most normal people — it’s just plain freaky!

7. Crop Out Others: Is that your boyfriend’s arm around your shoulder? Do you not have any photos of yourself other than the last time your friends snapped photos of you in a bar after a few too many? Take the time to pick a good photo for your profile instead of picking one you just happen to have on hand.

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