How to Choose Photos for Your Dating Profile (With Examples!)

good pictures for online dating profile

Choosing good photos for your dating profile can feel like taking a shot in the dark. Oftentimes, you end up simply stuck with the most acceptable photos from the last 2 years. These may look like random group pictures, a photo of you awkwardly standing in front of a tourist attraction, or a sweaty mirror selfie at your local Gold’s Gym. 

While not having good photos shouldn’t stop you from putting yourself out there, there are some criteria for which photos are worth including for optimal results.

To learn more about the photos you should never include in your online dating profile, check out this article.

More is not necessarily better…

Intentionality is something that women notice. “Random” seeming photos count against your profile. This is not actually something I was aware of nor expected until I had different women go through my profile and tell me which photos were good and which weren’t. When several of them at different times said to get rid of certain photos and when I asked why, they responded “I just don’t know why it’s there. It’s random.” More importantly though, they said this with some level of disapproval. I don’t personally rate women’s profiles by how random the photo is, but the girls have spoken— so violate this rule at your own risk.

But this leads us to the question of which photos you SHOULD add…

The 4 Categories of photos to put on your dating profile:

Auditing your photos is crucial. A really good photo will cover multiple of these categories in one. If your photos do not match one of these categories, delete them!!! (or seriously ask why they are there)

1. Flattering but approachable photos of you.

Women are acutely aware of their vulnerability in the world and unfamiliar men are scary to them. You must remember that to her, you start as a random internet man who may be a psychopath killer like she’s seen in all those true crime documentaries. 

So for (most) women on dating sites, you want to come across as someone who is physically attractive but who she can also relax around. 

The purest versions of these photos are simple, flattering portraits of you like many of the ones we take at Fresh Image. These photos are your bread and butter. 

This isn’t to say you want to look like a mushy, goofy shlub, but you do want to look like you bring some fun energy to your interactions.

During my photoshoots, I’m always getting my clients laughing and smiling to bring out their relaxed positive side. 

*If you need photos in this category (which most guys do) check out my photo packages here.

2. Photos that communicate a lot about you.

The second category of photos you want to include on your profile are photos that communicate a lot about who you are as a person. This may include hobbies, interests, something related to your job, or that communicate something about your values.

An example would be a picture of yourself wake surfing or a gym selfie (the only type of selfie I condone). It could also be a picture of yourself in a social context.

These are photos that give you a chance to show that you’re out there in the world doing things.

3. Photos that are easy to comment on.

Photos like this are both a chance to show personality as well as a massive hack to get girls to actually initiate conversations. These are photos that are funny, shocking, or mysterious. They can also be funny photos of your pet (as long as you’re in it). They create a pattern interrupt, which grabs the girl’s attention.

Because they rarely have to, girls are extremely bad at hitting on guys and initiating flirtatious conversations. By having these photos on your profile, you give them an easy route to commenting on your profile.

You can also reference the photo in your bio or prompts for an added effect.

There is one MAJOR caveat to this, which is that you want these photos to make you look more attractive. So personality pics that make you look like you don’t have your shit together or make you look physically unattractive are counterproductive. 

4. A photo with other people

This photo can potentially overlap with your communicative photo, but even if it doesn’t, I really think it’s beneficial to have at least one of these on your dating profile (but not more than two). 

There are strict rules for group photos, and keep in mind it’s actually probably better to leave out group photos entirely than to break any of these rules.

Group Photo Rules for Dating Profiles:

Rule #1: Group photos should never be the first photo on your profile. This is both confusing and leaves room for the viewer to “hope” it’s one of your friends. A true nightmare… they might swipe left due to the disappointment when they might have swiped right had you just left that photo out.

Rule #2: In line with rule one, you do not want to take photos with guys who are better looking than you. This one takes some self-awareness, but is crucial to consider since it can hurt your chances of a swipe right.

Rule #3: If you include pictures with other girls in it, it should be a mixed group. It’s okay to have photos with girls on your social media, but since dating profiles are picked with the intention that other people will see it, girls will be routinely turned off by seeing you with girls. Just imagine if you saw a photo of a girl with one or two guys on her dating profile. It’d probably be a red flag.

Rule #4: Lastly, NO MORE THAN 3 OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR GROUP PHOTOS. And even 3 is a stretch… unintelligible group photos are irritating. You don’t want the girl to have to work hard to figure out which person you are.

“Okay that’s great and all… but how do I get these photos of myself?”

Great question!

How to actually get good photos of yourself for your dating profile:

1. Initiate Mini Photoshoots

The free but extremely time-consuming way to get good photos of yourself is simply to initiate mini photoshoots in day-to-day life. If this is not already a habit for you, this will be strange and uncomfortable at first. Out doing something fun with the boys? Take a moment to get a picture. Checking out a cool view? Ask your friend to take a photo and then take one for them. This will be slightly awkward at first but your friends will actually also greatly appreciate having photos of themselves too.

2. Hire a pro

At Fresh Image Photography, it’s my job to make you look attractive, authentic, and approachable. I focus on bringing out the best in you specifically, matching the location and styling to your specific vibe and interests. This will save you massive amounts of time spent trying to accumulate good photos on your own and fast-track you to the dating life of abundance.

So if you’re tired of endless swiping only to get a few matches you don’t even like, then book a shoot today and lets transform your dating profile. Click here to find out more!