Snap Happy? How to ‘Photo Up’ for Online Dating Success


Time to photo-upBy Top10BestDatingSites Staff

Gone are the days where you had to summon up the courage to admit you met your partner online, and were likely to meet with scorn or laughter at the admission. Online dating is now a £2bn industry, and an estimated 50% of couples will be meeting online by the year 2031 according to research done by popular matchmaking website eHarmony.

But now that the stigma has all but disappeared, we are left with a new dilemma. How can we achieve the best first impression online in order to beat the suddenly fierce competition?

A ‘Snap’ Decision

Just like when you meet someone in real life, most people trust instant attraction as a deciding factor in taking the next step with a new person. Online, this means they are far more likely to reach out and send a message or a flirt if they feel a spark of initial chemistry when looking at your photos. You might think this is out of your control, but unlike offline encounters, where you can get caught out on a bad hair day or while popping out for a newspaper in your pyjamas, you have control over how your date sees you for the first time. But remember, this doesn’t mean it pays to exaggerate or create a false image with your first impression. offers some great advice on choosing photos wisely. it isn’t about “creating a fantasy version of yourself – it’s a way to meet people with whom you can build a genuine relationship. There’s no point using photos from 20 years (or 20lbs) ago. There are so many people looking for love online now that you don’t have to exaggerate – be yourself and someone will adore you just the way you are.”

How to ‘Pic’ the Right Photo

Aside from being honest about yourself, what else can you do to ensure success? One seemingly obvious piece of advice that many online daters ignore is the quality of their photos. eHarmony warns “want to completely kill any chances of success? Then upload blurry, poor quality or super small images.”

Lisa Hoehn, online dating pro and founder of Profile Polish, suggests uploading a main photo which shows you looking directly at the camera. "Even if it is online, you're more likely to feel engaged with someone if they're looking right at you," she advises, talking to Business Insider.

If you can upload more than one photo to your profile, Zoosk suggest including shots which show personality or hobbies, or full body photos which increase the likelihood of contact by an impressive 203%.

A Great Profile Photo

Be Your ‘Selfie’

With this advice in mind, and more than half of online daters already accessing dating websites via smartphone, it can be tempting to use ‘selfies’ as profile photos. According to this infographic in the following Zoosk study while this isn’t inherently a bad idea, selfies should be used with caution. Follow these rules to make the most out of the trend for dating success:

  • Do smile! While men used to be perceived as more attractive with a serious pose, studies have shown that both sexes are looking out for partners who look happy and relaxed. Say Cheese!

  • Don’t choose a bathroom selfie or a mirror shot. Apart from looking tacky, it’s unlikely to show you at your best. Use selfies for the close up images you want to highlight your features in. Full length shots should be taken by a friend.

  • Don’t pose with your bestie or pet. You have plenty of time to introduce a match to the significant others in your life. Your first impression should be all about you. In fact, Zoosk has shown that posing with an animal can decrease messages received by over half.

  • Do post a pic of your ‘everyday look’. The more comfortable you feel, the more confident you will come across as and the sexier the overall image will be.


As Romain Bertrand, marketing director of eHarmony comments “In the decades to come, online dating will not only be an efficient way to meet a partner, but will be by far and away the most common way that couples meet and initially communicate”.

By using our advice to choose accurate quality pics for your profile, you give yourself the best chance of standing out from the crowd and finding people to ‘click’ with.

Want some more tips on making a success of online dating? Try our Do’s and Don’t’s of the online dating scene.


About Top10BestDatingSites Staff

The Top 10 Best Dating Sites staff are your guides to the world of online dating websites and services. The team navigates the world of online dating and share their findings to help readers find online dating success. Our team includes dating experts Laurel House, Ken Solin, James Preece, Erika Ettin, Nida Sea, Vanae Tran, Carmelia Ray and many more talented writers. Top 10 Best Dating Sites staff have extensive first-hand experience in: signing up for and using various online dating sites; researching the ever-growing online dating market; and copywriting and editing for various online and print publications about online dating.

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