How to let the real you shine through in your dating profile pictures

A set of standout dating photos don’t just show people what you look like, it gives them a clear insight into who you are, what you’re into and what you’re all about.

We live in a highly visual world. The majority of people are curating and sharing good quality photos of themselves and their lives on social media as part of their weekly routine. So, when it comes to our dating lives, people now have higher expectations about the profile photos they are viewing, much more than they would have done even a couple of years ago. The challenging aspect of this is that we need to make a much bigger effort with our dating profile pictures in order to have a strong impact and to stand out from the crowd.

I’ve shared my top tips for achieving a set of dating photos which will really show who you are and what you’re all about.

Only use good quality photos

We all have higher expectations now when it comes to looking at other people’s profile photos, but we need to make sure our own profile pictures measure up to those same expectations.

It’s well known that using low quality images gives people the impression that you don’t value the dating experience and more crucially, that you don’t value yourself or have something to hide. If you’re here reading this blog, chances are you’re the kind of person who is serious about finding a life partner and that you’re the kind of person who values themselves highly. With this in mind, make sure all your photos are clear and good quality. Good quality pictures attract good quality dates, while low quality photos will attract hook-ups.

The four photos every profile needs

The happy headshot

Your primary headshot has the most work to do out of all your photos as it will be the first one they see. Its main role is to make you look super attractive, warm, approachable and to also ensure you come across as someone people enjoy spending time with. It also needs to be visually eye-catching so that it makes you stand out in the busy online space. The easiest way to be visually interesting in the primary headshot is to wear an eye-catching colour, like red, orange or yellow. You could also include a bold colour in the background, if you prefer not to wear these sorts of colours.

The fierce full body shot

People want to see the ‘full package’ before deciding whether to go on a date with someone, so it’s essential to include one, up-to-date, full-body shot. People sadly are wary of to being deceived on dating apps, so this is the kind of shot they will look for to check you are who you say you are. You only need one, as the rest of the photos need to focus more on showing off your face and elements of your personality well.

The playful personality shot

Including a personality photo is a secret superpower. If you can showcase elements of your lifestyle and your personality, it’s such a powerful way to help you connect with like-minded people.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as being pictured reading your favourite book. Perhaps they LOVE that book. Or maybe you’re pictured hugging your dog. Perhaps you enjoy painting with watercolours or you play the guitar. If you’re into any kind of sport or movement activity, include a photo of yourself engaged in that. Recent research suggests that a sporty or activity-based photos attracts 75% more attention on dating apps than any other photo. People are attracted to healthy people who look after themselves, so this makes sense. If you’re into yoga, carry your yoga mat or, even better, get photographed as you go through some yoga poses. When you’re captured in ‘flow’, meaning doing something you love in your photos, it shines through and creates very attractive pictures.

Anything that emphasises the unique, interesting you – be sure to include that!

The intriguing talking point photo

Create a photo which aims to intrigue, surprise or delight people. You’ll capture their interest and make it easy for them to message you with a question or comment. If you’re stuck, perhaps remind yourself what your party trick is. Can you stand on your head? Or do you have an unusual interest? At Hey Saturday we’ve had clients playing the banjo, skateboarding, doing martial arts with a wooden stick, dancing in the street and many other fun and eye-catching ideas.

Or, if you’re still stuck for inspiration, think about what you love that others might love. Have you been known to enjoy eating a delicious but ridiculously large ice cream sundae the size of your head? That photo might appeal to rather a lot of people.

You only have a total of five or six photos with which to make a powerful impact. That’s not a huge number of photos to work with, so make sure you’re the star of every single one – no group shots – and that each photo has a clear role and is working hard for you. A killer profile photo doesn’t just show people what you look like, it tells them what you’re made of. 

Saskia Nelson is the founder of Hey Saturday, a dating photography agency that specialises in creating show-stopping dating app and matchmaking profile photos, equipping clients to take their online impact to the next level.

If you are looking for help and support for a dating journey you’ll truly enjoy, why not turn to the experts? Our matchmakers really get to know you to understand who you’ll share a connection with, introducing you to some truly amazing people who share your goal of a long-term, committed relationship. We take away all the hard work that can come with dating, by arranging a professional photoshoot and hand-selecting individuals you’ll really enjoy meeting with. Give us a call today to find out how to start you search for true love!