Is your dating profile picture a smouldering selfie or a snap from a boozy girls’ night out? It may sound trivial, but it could be costing you everlasting love.
That’s according to photographer Saskia Nelson, who’s snapped hundreds of dating profiles for men and women looking for romance.
She says the key to a great shot is relaxing, having a good time and being yourself. Her biggest no’s are selfies, group photos with your friends and shots with the ex cropped out.
Saskia set up the UK’s first dating profile picture photography service, Hey Saturday, three years ago and since then she says she has been inundated with cries for help from people let down by their profile picture.
Saskia says: ‘After eight years of online dating I’ve seen it all. From dark and dingy selfies with dirty laundry to a wedding photo with the bride cut out.
‘Getting the right profile picture to attract a potential suitor isn’t just about looking your best, but it’s also about making sure it expresses your personality too.’
Here are Saskia’s ten ways to transform your dating profile for the better.
Take care of yourself
Before you attempt to look good in front of the camera, you have to believe you look good. This starts with your own self-confidence but can also be helped by eating right and pampering yourself. So book yourself in for a manicure, get active and stay away from the take-away menus
Choose a photographer whose style you like
It’s time to say goodbye to the selfie, a picture that includes your full body will be much better and you’ll be less self-conscious. Whether it’s a pro, an amateur or your friend with a camera, make sure you choose a photographer with a portfolio you love.
Pick someone who you think you can relax with and who will be able to best represent your personality through their photographs.
The more the photos reflect who you are as a person, the more compelling they will be to other people. There are a number of ways to express your personality such as choice of clothing or location.
Props are also a great way of showing what you love, maybe it’s you relaxing with your favourite novel or riding your beloved bike.
Professional hair and make-up
Just as you would dress up and make an effort for a special date, do the same for your dating photo shoot. Your dating photos should be about capturing you at your best. Get your hair cut into top condition, roots and split ends don’t look good on camera.
Try not to have your photos taken after a stressful day at work, it will show in your pictures. The aim is to get a set of photos where you look relaxed and happy. So picture something funny or imagine yourself back on your last blissful holiday.
Have a laugh
Aim to relax in front of the camera. Talking to the photographer and being comfortable with them first is a huge help as having a laugh with them captures natural photographs.
Try not to keep still for too long. Try new poses, hairstyles and backgrounds often so you’re not stuck with similar looking photos. If the background is too overpowering, move and try something else. If you’re getting stiff, try a new pose or lean against something for a new look.
Learn to smile with your eyes
There’s nothing worse than fake smiles on camera so smiling with your eyes is one of the most important things you can do. Have fun with your photographer, take deep breaths and shaking yourself out all really help.
The easiest way to make your profile photo stand out is by the clever use of colour. If you wear a lot of colour, choose to wear bold colours like red.
‘Men love women in red as it represents love and passion. If you prefer more muted tones, then aim to get some colour in the background. The eye is naturally drawn to images with bold colour in them.