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For anyone new to online dating, working out how to put together an eye-catching dating profile can be a minefield. A dating profile is your shop window on a dating site and if you get it wrong, you face being ignored by potential dates. But although the written portion of a dating profile is arguably very important, the pictures you post are the key to success on any dating website – most people look at pictures before they bother reading the text and a dodgy picture can spell disaster. So to avoid such mistakes, read my online dating tips and learn how to choose pictures to put on your profile.
Lots of people post terrible pictures on dating websites, and in many cases, they probably would have achieved better results by posting no pictures at all! But what types of pictures should be avoided at all costs when making a dating profile?
Dating profile pictures you should never use
1. Blurred or out of focus pictures so grainy it looks like you were in a sandstorm when the photo was taken
2. Pictures woefully out of date by several decades-easy to spot because the picture has been scanned in from an old-fashioned Polaroid or your outfit in the picture is circa 1978
3. A long distance picture where you are a speck on the horizon and a fabulous sunset takes centre stage
4. Pictures of you and your ex in a soppy PDA
5. Pictures of you and your ex with him/her scrubbed out
6. Photo-shopped pictures with funny (not) additions
7. Avoid pictures of you propping up a bar with lots of empty glasses in the vicinity-potential dates will think you are a party animal or an alcoholic, and neither is likely to be very appealing
8. Pictures of you with your kids – never post pictures of your kids on dating websites as you run the risk of being targeted by paedophiles
9. Pictures of you in a crowd with no indication as to which person is you
10. Any picture featuring gratuitous nudity (unless you are on an adult dating site)
11. A picture of someone else much older or younger than your profile states
12. A picture of a model-type you cropped from the internet
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How to choose pictures to put on your dating profile
They say one picture can speak a thousand words, and when it comes to dating profiles this is undeniably true. If you have the right picture, what you write in the rest of your profile is not half as important, especially if you are very attractive.
However, the most important picture on a dating profile is the headline photo. This is the picture potential dates see first and if they like this one, they will click on the rest of your profile to check you out. Use a head and shoulders shot for your main picture, preferably a good quality picture that portrays you in a flattering light, although stay away from professionally shot pictures as these usually look too fake. Always use a recent snap and make sure you are smiling! You want people to think you look approachable and friendly, so choose a relaxed shot where you look “happy”.
When posting additional pictures, take the opportunity to include pictures that offer a greater insight into who you are and what makes you tick. For example, if you are into extreme sports, post some pictures of you jumping out of a plane or hang gliding across a gorge-anything to make you stand out from the rest. These pictures do not have to show your face up close and personal, but it helps if you are the main focus of the picture.
Please note: if your idea of fun is participating in blood sports, breeding pit bulls, or any other dubious hobbies, it is a good idea to avoid drawing attention to this by NOT including lots of pictures of you standing over the carcass of some dead animal or proudly holding your snarling ten-stone pit bull on the end of a chain. Stick to some more wholesome hobbies instead, or you run the risk of alienating a large number of potential dates.

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