The Perfect Profile Picture
Pouty selfies. Snapchat cartoon filters. Giant sunglasses. These photos won’t actually win you matches when trying to find a partner online. People are looking for an authentic individual with a well-rounded life so it is important to show people who you really are.
When trying to find love online you have a much shorter time frame to make a good impression, mere seconds to capture someone’s attention. Therefore, it is important to take the time to choose the best profile pictures. It is something that deserves real thought!
And because we here at Smart Matrimony want you to find your perfect partner, we have compiled various expert tips to help you in taking and selecting memorable profile pictures.
1. Show your natural smile.
Khalid S. Khan and Sameer Chaudhry, researchers from the University of North Texas and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, found that a photo with a real, genuine smile attracts people more. Even if the picture shows you squinting your eyes or highlighting crow’s-feet, it is seen as an attractive facial expression because it displays true happiness.
2. With or without teeth?
Research has shown that women receive more likes when their profile pictures show them smiling with their pearly whites visible, whereas for men their success increases when smiling without showing their teeth.
3. Look ahead or look away?
Research has shown that women receive more likes when their profile pictures show them looking away whereas for men their success increases when looking ahead into the camera. Get practicing that staring-into-the-distance pose girls!
4. Wait for the optimal time.
Late-afternoon photos are ideally lit when the light is soft, heading into the sunset golden hour. This provides the ideal setting and light for you to look your best.
5. Turn the flash off.
A camera’s flash can make you appear much older in photos. Research shows it can add as much as 7 years! So, make sure the flash is off before you start snapping. Natural, soft light from the sun hides blemishes and aging effects like wrinkles, and you avoid flash glare like red eyes.
6. Add a full-body shot.
A shot taken of your full body where others can get a good view of your body type can get you up to 203% more incoming messages. Additionally, members with a full-body photo also get more replies to their messages—33% more than the average.
7. Avoid group shots.
People who use group shots on their profiles receive 42% fewer messages than those who post pictures of just themselves. It’s your profile photo after all!
8. Go classic.
People rarely post black-and-white photos. But black-and-white photos can receive over 100% more likes than their original colour counterparts.
9. Add more photos.
The more photos you add, the more incoming messages you are likely to receive. But the magic number is four. Those who have four or more photos on their profiles receive the most incoming messages. And, as an added bonus, they also have longer conversations.
10. Make sure make up is subtle.
Some advice for the girls – make sure make-up is subtle, or as you would normally wear it. It’s only fair on the boys!
11. Quality over quantity.
It's important to let people know what you really look like but fewer higher quality pictures will be appreciated more than lots of low quality ones.
12. Don’t hide.
Don’t hide away under a huge hat, huge sunglasses or a scarf which covers your face. What’s the point of that?!
13. Pick a recent picture.
There’s no point using photos from 10 years (or 10 kilos) ago. There are so many people looking for love online now that you don’t have to exaggerate – be yourself and someone will fall for you just the way you are.
14. It’s all about authenticity.
You can of course pose for hours on end for the perfect picture, or Photoshop your favourite photo, but that’s not who you really are. Keep it authentic. At least this way you won’t have to explain why you don’t look like your profile picture when you first meet.
15. Avoid beach photos.
Research indicates that women are up to 47% less likely to receive a like on a beach photo. Men are a whopping 80% less likely to receive a like on a beach photo.
16. Please make this a selfie free-zone.
We want your help to make Smart Matrimony a selfie free zone! Studies show that selfies are 40% less likely to receive a like. Bathroom selfies (who even does that?!) are 90% less likely to receive a like.
17. Let’s also make this a Snapchat free zone.
The biggest no-gos are photos with a Snapchat filter, which were shown to decrease likes by a whopping 90%! Put the dog ears away everyone …
18. Candid shots are the best
Approximately 80% of photos are posed whereas candid shots are 15% more likely to receive a like.
19. Finally, ask for an outside opinion.
Once you’ve narrowed down the photos you want to post, ask a friend to help you select your top choices. Some research has found that people rarely pick the most flattering pictures of themselves; strangers or friends actually do a much better job.
And of course, on Smart Matrimony you are always in control of who can see your profile pictures. You can make any, or all, of your profile pictures private and share them only with those you would like to.
Cognitive Research Journal