This seems counter intuitive, right? When selecting our dating profile photos for Tinder, Grindr, Match and other online dating apps, surely we are the best judge of what is going to make us look hot and get the most dates? We know our best side, and how to choose pics that hide our freckles and other imperfections. Why would we ever give up that control to someone else?
Well, a recent study from the University of New South Wales has found that dating photos selected by strangers convey a much more favourable first impression than images we select for ourselves. So why is this? We thought we’d dig a little deeper and see what we can learn for our own dating profiles.
We favour images of ourselves that emphasise physical attractiveness
Of course, looking hot in dating photos is important. Many dating apps, such as Tinder, encourage us to make instant decisions about someone based on their looks alone. However, while we might think all we need to do is pick dating photos that make us look hot, the study shows that actually there are other equally important traits that others are looking for in a partner and which we need to convey in our pics. For example, not only do we need to look attractive, we also need to come across as trustworthy. The study showed that other people are much better at picking photos that convey a range of personality traits than we are. It seems we are more shallow than we think!
We don’t see our own face in the same way others do
Of course we can never see our own face the way a stranger sees it for the first time. We’ve spent a lifetime having to look at ourselves in the mirror every day. Plus when we see ourselves, we instantly hone in on little imperfections that bug us – whether it’s our big nose, those pesky bags under our eyes, or a little blemish here or there. Because of this, we don’t have a great sense of how others perceive our face. That makes other people much better able to pick photos that get more of our personality across. And personality is of course crucial in dating.
We can’t trust our own judgement
Another study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science in 2016 found that while the test subjects tended to believe they look best in selfies, other people actually thought they looked better and seemed more likeable in photos taken by someone else. So when it comes to presenting the best versions of ourselves, we really may not be able to trust our own judgement.
What this means for you
Firstly, it’s pretty clear from the evidence here that you stand a much better chance of scoring dates online with photos taken by, and chosen by, someone else. Ahem, hello! At Hey Saturday, that’s what we do. When you book your dating profile shoot with Hey Saturday, you can trust us to take, and choose, the photos that present the best version of you. We’re experts in online dating, have taken hundreds of dating photos and we know what works and what doesn’t. So, put that selfie stick away and book your dating shoot!
Shouts out to Lauren for the words & Saskia for the pics