Online Dating Profile Picture is a MUST

Your photos are just as important as your profile. And photos will get someone to look at your profile faster than they would look at a profile without photos. Yeah, you know its true. But this doesnt mean you should put up just anything (meaning no drivers license, passport, or old college ID photos). And though "the more the merrier" may apply to some things, putting up more than 6 or 7 photos can be a bit much for anyone looking at them (well maybe not to your mom, but shes not going to be looking on this site—as far as we know). You do want to be up front and share a little about yourself—just not all at once, and on this type of venue.

Head shots
Youll want a good head shot, and a shot showing people that a body does exist below your neck. What about one of you participating in a sporting event, playing tennis, volleyball, windsurfing, camping, fishing, riding a horse, your bicycle or Harley? You get the idea. Yeah, I know, how many shots do I honestly have of those things? Well, how about a couple of shots of places youve been that you really enjoyed that means something to you? They not only show you, but what you find interesting. Note: Leave out photos with your minor childrens faces in clear view as I view this as a security issue.

Blacked out faces

I run the other way when I see photos with a lone guy surrounded by people with creepy blacked out faces -- the worst of which appear something like the four horsemen of the apocalypse surrounding a broadly grinning guy holding a beer bottle in one hand with his other arm lost behind someones body.

Thats so nice of you not wanting to reveal the faces of your friends, relatives, old loves, etc., but give me a break! Guys, you seem to be guiltier of this than women, but youre still not alone. Women, dont do it. If you cant take the time to actually crop the photo and make it look good, or just take a new photo, how do you think that makes you look?

As a woman looking at prospective date and seeing one or more photos of a guy surrounded by people with no faces (and these faceless wonders are usually women and most of the time this is quite obvious), then I start thinking that this guy is not really serious about finding a nice person to date. Or he thinks hes so great that he doesnt have to make an effort. And if hes not making an effort and taking time to present himself well, what does that say about him?

And what about a guy looking at photos of a woman surrounded by men with no faces...get the picture?

And what about pictures that literally look like theyve been ripped in half? Not a pretty picture!

Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses or hats that shadow your eyes are a big "no" on your main photo. If youre skiing down a mountain or pointing out the migrating whales from a tropical beach, or wearing a wetsuit and mask, thats cool. But make sure you have at least one photo where I can see your face. I want to see your eyes. Covering them up with sunglasses says to me that youre hiding something, whether or not its true. Dont waste your time arguing. Just dont do it!

Shirt or no shirt?

While checking out a myriad of dating sites, Ive run across my share of guys who are not wearing shirts in their photos. Hey, I think its great that you take care of your body. You should be proud of it. At the beach, running a marathon, playing sports, in the water, all fine. But what about those other types of photos. You know which ones I mean. The ones where you guys think its sexy to show those rippling muscles, or your chest bared all the way done to your navel. Along with that type of pose, you usually see someone trying for that sly half-smile half-glance, come hither look. Most of the time, it doesnt work.

My first thought is "Oh Jeez!" My second thought is "Oh Jeez!" To me, it can be a turn off. Why? Because Im looking for someone who is not just about the physical side of things. And more often than not, thats how these photos come across. When I really start thinking about it, I wonder if this is his way of telling me thats that all there is to him – a body. And thats fine, if thats all Im looking for.

Now dont get me wrong! I enjoy seeing muscular guys sans shirts. I admit to walking a little more slowly past the magazine rack where Mens Health is displayed. But seeing a bunch of photos of a shirtless guy on a mainstream, traditional dating web site where I want to meet a guy thats serious about wanting to meet a woman for more than a quick tumble – I dont think so.

Smile for the camera

If I took all the fingers and toes of all the players in any major sports league, I still wouldnt have enough to count the number of times Ive cringed at someones main photo (not to mention their other ones). Some of you just dont know how to smile. Some of you actually grimace! If the first thing I see after your headline is a shadowy photo of a guy or girl not smiling, or actually grimacing, I flinch and immediately X out. No second chances here. Im going to find someone that looks friendly, at least in the beginning.

If this is what the guy or girl actually looks like – Arrrgghh! Thats scary! Whats more, if they actually thought that this photo was an accurate representation of who they were well, thats even scarier! AND if they actually thought there was nothing wrong with the photo, crikey! Thats even worse! What does that say about their taste? Please. Lets not go there.

Taking your own photo

If you cant take a better-than-decent photo of yourself without it looking distorted (like a part of your head is bigger than another part, or that youre in a fishbowl), then dont use your webcam or your cell phone! Duh! Have someone else take a photo of you. Someone whose judgment you trust. And that doesnt mean your friend who just took his or her photo with his or her webcam or cell phone and finds nothing wrong with it!

Please, put down the beer bottles

If youre trying to put your best foot forward, do you honestly think a picture of you holding a beer bottle looks attractive? Its tacky at best. Id rather see the webcam photo
(see above). And as far as cigarettes, ditto.

Arm crosses

Body language is something to be aware of, especially when youre trying to attract prospective dates. Standing there with your arms crossed says to me "Keep out, stay away. Im not letting you in."

Doubles

Heres something I dont get. Whats the point of putting up several shots of you that look almost exactly the same? I still cant figure that one out.

By now you must have a good idea of what types of photos shouldnt be put up with your profile. We all know its all so subjective, but hopefully these guidelines will help you on your way to getting responses from the people YOU want to meet!