As a Bay Area dating coach, one of my jobs is helping individuals craft their on-line profiles. This is not always an easy task! While I'm not one that is easily shocked, I am sometimes stunned at what people post for photos.
Since I know not everyone can afford my services, I've taken the time to highlight some general profile photo no-nos.
- Sweeping panorama shots from vacations. Ok, I get it, you like to travel. However, putting up a national geographic worthy picture is not doing you any favors. Profile photo space is prime real estate people! Remember that. If you are essentially a pin in the center of a sweeping photo then you might as well not even post it. While on the same subject, don't post photos of you wearing floppy vacation hats and sunglasses.
- Excessively cropped photos. People do this one all the time. If you are cropping out blank space or someone who would be livid to have their photo on a particular website, then crop away. However, if you are creatively cropping for the sole purpose of disguising some perceived body defect then my advice is to use a different photo. People looking for a potential match want to see whole body shots.
- Kids in profiles. If you have children, then be honest about it and put that in your profile. Do NOT post pictures of you and your kids in an on-line profile. Kids didn't ask for mommy and daddy (or daddy and daddy or mommy and mommy) to break up so don't go posting their pictures for the rest of the world to see. In fact, if you are a parent and your ex posted pictures of your kids on a profile think about how livid you would be.
- Excessively photo-shopping your picture. I get really annoyed when I see people tweaking the color balance on their pictures, and I know you know exactly what I'm talking about. People who change the contrast so much that they are now magically devoid of pimples or freckles. It's deceptive. It doesn't even look like you. Don't do it.
- Group shots. So it provides evidence to others that you are, in fact, likable. Be very careful of posting group photos onto your profile. Unless you are way better looking then the rest of your friends, it provides unnecessary competition. Do you really want to open an email that reads..."say your friend to the right is pretty hot...what's her/his/their status?"
- Photos that make you look sexually ambiguous, or worse, gay. This one is interesting for so many reasons. I can't tell you how many men have showed me their on-line profile and I feel compelled to ask them if they are, in fact, gay. **For the record, I LOVE people who identify as something other then heterosexual, so please don't send me hate mail**
- Overly sexualized photos. Do I really need to comment on this?
In summary, you need to remember that photos are prime real estate when it comes to on-line profiles. People want to see at least two or three different pictures of you. One should be a close up head shot and the remainder should be full body shots.
Here are some examples of on-line profle photos that you should AVOID.