As I’ve said many times, the quality of your photos represents at least 80% of your success (or failure) with online dating. If your photos are average, no amount of clever online dating techniques will be able to help you schedule more real-life dates. On the flip side, if your photos are very good, you can make a few mistakes (not many, but a few) during the online dating process and still be successful.
I go into great detail regarding the exact process to produce the best online dating photos in the Ultimate Online Dating Manual. Below are some of the basic elements that will get you aimed in the right direction.
The point is to not take your online dating photos for granted. Most guys do this. They snap a few selfies with their phone or dredge up some older photos they have on their computer and slap them onto the dating apps. That shit doesn’t work! (Unless you are Brad Pitt gorgeous, but I’m not and you probably aren’t either.)
Seriously. You’re just wasting your damn time. Put real effort into your photos, then you won’t believe how easier the entire process becomes. Here’s what you need to do.
1. In your photos you need to look as fantastic as you possibly can based on your physical appearance and body size/shape. If that means you need to go shopping for a new outfit, go do that. If that means you need to get an existing outfit tailored or fitted to fit you better, go do that. Address your hair. Do some fake tanning the night before if you’re pale. And so on.
2. Empirical data has shown that when men wear colors that look good on them, their matches and responses increase on dating sites/apps.
So, for fuck’s sake, pay attention to the colors you’re wearing. Know which colors look good on you and which ones look bad on you. This is different for every man, based on his skin tone, hair color, and eye color. I look good in blue, red, purple, and grey, so those are the colors I tend to wear most often. I look terrible in green, brown, and white, so I literally never wear those colors unless I’m forced to (like when I’m wearing a tux). However, you’re not me, so green and brown might look great on you. Figure this out and then make sure you’re only wearing colors in your photos that compliment your natural appearance.
3. Use a photographer. I used to advise men that having a pro or semi-pro photographer would be a big help but wasn’t mandatory. After years of working with guys to improve their online dating results and seeing the difference it makes when a pro is used, I am now saying that working with a pro or semi-pro photographer with a fantastic camera is mandatory.
Now, don’t worry, there are cheap ways to do this. If you have the money, then by all means use a professional photographer in and out of the photography studio. If money is tight, go to your local college or to Craigslist and find a photography student or amateur/semi-pro photographer. The only requirement is that this person has a decent amount of indoor and outdoor photography experience and that they have a really good, really expensive camera with an array of lenses. I’m talking about those badass digital cameras that are $3,000 and up. Often, you can find these people who will spend several hours taking pictures of you for $60-$140 or less. It’s some of the best money you’ll ever spend, and the uglier you are the more you need it.
4. Select your backgrounds carefully. This means you need to be aware of the color behind you in the photos. You do not want the background of the photo to be a photographer’s fake backdrop. Instead, if the photo is indoors, you want a real wall with normal stuff in the frame. It’s critical that the wall be of a color that compliments you, but not necessarily a color you’re wearing. If it’s outdoor, pay attention to the colors of the grass, buildings, sky, or whatever else that’s behind you.
This is important. If you’re not sure as to the best color that should be behind you, experiment with a few pics with your phone and find which makes you look best. If you really want to make this work, bring a woman with you, and get her color opinions after the photographer takes a few test shots. Women see colors much better than men do. (This is one of the very rare times I will recommend you take advice from women regarding anything dating-related.)
5. Pay attention to lighting. This is one of the biggest places where guys screw up their online dating photos; the lighting is fucking terrible. This will damage response/match rates. If you’re using a photographer he/she should be aware of this, but if you’re not (and you should) make sure the lighting in the photos is perfect. This means not too dark, not too bright (too “hot”), and not too many shadows on your face.
6. Take hundreds of shots. Yes, I said hundreds. Whenever I do any photos for the express purpose of online dating, I try to get at least 400 shots. I consider 200 a minimum though more is better. Use different angles, different locations, different outfits, and different facial expressions. Later, go through your hundreds of shots, and pick out the 15 or so best ones. Then have two or three women (ideally within your target age range) help you pick out the absolute best three to six shots. Those are the photos you should use.
In all seriousness, with a lot of guys who are having trouble with online dating, all they need to do is to get better photos. If they just do that and literally nothing else, their results go way up. I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times over the years.
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