Online Dating: 9 Tips for More Effective Profile Photos


Effective profile photosBy Top10BestDatingSites Staff

The single most important factor in getting responses on an online dating site is the profile photo. As in the real world, attractive people are contacted more often than average-looking people. But there are a few things you can do to improve the odds.

Ladies: Make Eye Contact

According to research, women get better results by looking directly at the camera with a slightly flirty expression. Even the flirty expression didn't help if the subject was looking away. As a rule, men's decisions to make contact are based almost exclusively on the profile photos, while women consider both the photo and written profile.

Men: Forget the Smile

The most effective shot for men is no-smiling and looking away from the camera. For guys, looking flirty resulted in a dramatic reduction in contacts.

Do Something Interesting

Candid photos showing the subject doing something interesting resulted in more contacts.

Include Your Pet--Maybe

Photos that included cuddly animals also resulted in more contacts. However, more exotic pets such as reptiles or snakes seemed to discourage contacts.

Travelogue, Anyone

Travel pictures in exotic locations were also shown to get higher contact results.

Four Photo Subjects to Avoid


The photo subject most likely to discourage responses was a photo of the subject drinking. Most online daters are there because they aren't comfortable meeting people in bars.

Goodnight and Good-bye

Another background no-no is the picture of you in bed. No matter how tasteful you make the picture, there are negative connotations.

The Not-so-Great Outdoors

Most respondents preferred photos set indoors.

Three's (or More) is a Crowd

Finally, pictures of you having fun with a group of friends also served to discourage responses.

One of the most effective ways to choose good profile pictures is to enlist the help of a friend or relative of the opposite sex. If you are a member of several online dating sites, rotate pictures to see which garner the most response.

Make sure that your photos, profile, and preferences are in harmony. One of the biggest challenges in any relationship is the mixed message. Don't be afraid to show your personality--it's better to weed out the ones who wouldn't like the "real" you quickly so you can continue the search for the one who will. One overweight single widow was once asked how she coped with the fact that most single men preferred slender women. She smiled and replied "my weight has proven to be a great jerk filter."

Even imperfect people can find perfect matches online. Give it a try!


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.


Advertising Disclosure

This site is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to its visitors. Please be advised that the operator of this site accepts advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, and such compensation impacts the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented, and in some cases may also impact the rating that is assigned to them. To the extent that ratings appear on this site, such rating is determined by our subjective opinion and based on a methodology that aggregates our analysis of brand market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, compensation paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.

Must Reads

Top 5 Online Dating Sites