Which dating pictures should I choose for my online dating profile?

Which dating pictures should I choose for my online dating profile?

So here it is – the best advice on what dating pictures to choose for your online dating profile from the guys who pioneered dating photography, Hey Saturday. There’s lots of conflicting advice out there but this is the definitive guide to creating a stand out set of dating profile pictures.

Firstly, the golden rule is to make sure all your dating photos are recent. If you include photos that are really old or don’t look like you anymore, then you’re deceiving your date from the off. And that’s a turn off, no matter how great you look now or how brilliant your personality is. So how old is too old? Well, we’d say anything that’s more than 3 or 4 years old is probably pushing it. But the more recent the better, especially if your appearance has changed (for example a new hair style or colour, or different facial hair). If you haven’t got any good quality, recent photos, then your first stop is to invest in some.

The next crucial question is – how many photos should you include on your dating profile? Our advice would be a minimum of 4-6 dating photos and change them regularly to keep your profile fresh. But as you’ll see below, you can add more photos as long as they tell your story and help to build your personal brand. Here’s the breakdown of dating profile pictures to include:

good dating profile photos

The close up headshot

Every dating profile should include at least one well-lit headshot of you smiling. It’s been proven that shots where you’re smiling get more right swipes so make this a priority. We’d advise using this as your main dating profile photo, for both men and women. Smiling makes you look fun, engaging, approachable and happy – all attractive traits that will get people’s interest. However, not all your headshots have to show you with a big, wide grin. As long as you’ve got one smiley one in there, feel free to show some other, more neutral facial expressions too. This works especially well for guys and you can read more tips on this in our ‘Expert tips for the best dating profile photos for guys’. By ‘close up’ we mean that your face should be clearly visible – a head and shoulders shot is ideal.

The medium shots

Next on your list of must haves should be several medium shots. These are waist up shots that show some context and background. People can start to get a good sense of your body type, your sense of style and the kind of stuff you’re into. This is where storytelling starts to come in. Your dating photos are giving people instant clues about you and they’ll decide whether they think you’re compatible very quickly. Everything in your dating profile photo, from your clothes to the backdrop, is important in building up a mental image of you as a person. Check out more examples of great medium shots in our Expert tips for the best dating profile photos for women.

Dating Profile Photos Hey Saturday

The storytelling shots

We’ve touched on storytelling, but what do we mean exactly by this type of dating photo? Storytelling shots are dating photos that help people to understand what makes you tick and show what makes you different and unique by showing your personality and by showing you doing something interesting. Include dating pictures where you’re visiting somewhere you love, for example hanging out in your favourite vintage market, bookshop or cafe. Have photos of you doing favourite pastimes or holding items that have meaning for you, for example musical instruments, baskets of fruit and veg, headphones, books or coffee. But avoid shots of you with booze or looking the worse for wear at parties, as drunken party snaps are a proven turn off when it comes to dating profile photos.

The full body shot

We all like to see people’s body size, shape and height, so make sure you include one full body shot. This can be a tricky shot to get right as it’s not a type of photo we often take, so make sure you keep your pose as natural as possible. Looking away from the lens is a good tip, especially for men. Women can be intimidated by too many shots where men are gazing into the camera. For women, laughing, smiling and looking flirty is what men want (no surprise there!).

To get loads more advice and tips on creating stand out dating pictures, including more about showing your personality, choosing your photographer and how to rock your dating shoot, head over to our main blog.

To take the hassle out of getting an awesome set of dating pictures, book a shoot with us. We are the experts after all.


Wise words by Lauren, sassy photos by Saskia, Nicole and Audra for Hey Saturday London and Hey Saturday New York City

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