The Online Dating Profile Photography Problem…For Men

A good online dating profile must have photographs. This applies equally to men and women. I recommend at least one professional photo combined with three or four candid photos. It’s the candid photos that causes men the most problems. For the most part, men don’t take candid photos of each other. It’s weird for us. But those candid photos are vital because women surf photos just like the guys.

There is, however, a scenario in which guys are more than happy to snap photos of each other: it’s when we have accomplished something. This is why so many guy’s profiles feature a photograph of them holding up a freshly-caught fish, at least here in Florida. This also includes the various activities that a guy might enjoy – motorcycling, jet skiing, hunting, etc.

A guy’s profile typically has a really bad mix of photos. There might be a posed photo with the ex photoshopped out. Then comes a fish photo, then a motorcycle photo, and finally the obligatory bathroom mirror shot. That’s it. It’s small wonder that women surf photos, they’re desperate to find something different!

There is a solution here but it requires men to step out of their comfort zone. With good cameras in smart phones, it’s real easy for a guy to give his buddy the phone, “take some photos of me but make them candid.” Many of the photos will be suckage. No matter, delete the bad ones and keep at it.

After a variety of social venues and cooperative camera/phone-toting friends, the guy can build up a fairly impressive variety of candid photos. These should also include photos that show the guy interacting socially with women. There’s some preselection in that.

Online dating is a challenge and any guy doing it should take it seriously, especially the photos. I’ll re-iterate, women look at those photos first and will instantly move on should they not be sufficiently intrigued or impressed with the man’s visual appearance.

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  1. #1 by Vicomte on January 7, 2013 - 2:46 PM

    Make sure to always look miserable in your pictures, like Danny.

    This demonstrates that you have high standards and are not easily impressed.

  2. #2 by tj on January 7, 2013 - 4:42 PM

    God, this is so true. Last time I did online, I had a female friend of mine take them for me – was more comfortable that way. The best one ended up being me cleaning the toilet of all things – got a lot of comments about that one.

    The same female friend has a rule of NOT dating any guy with a fish photo. Some inside info for y’all – she’ll break that rule only if the guy has a funny caption with it like “This trout has two eyes” or “I will not kiss your bass”, etc.

    • #3 by theprivateman on January 7, 2013 - 6:47 PM

      Your female friend is really ignorant about men. When a man is proud of his accomplishment(s), photos are taken. Being ignorant of men is to be unhappily single.

      • #4 by DC Phil on January 7, 2013 - 7:55 PM

        The female friend might have a point, especially with the fish photo. The way I see it, any fool can get lucky while fishing and show off his catch. I don’t fish and haven’t since I was a kid. When I caught a fish, it was a big deal. Nowadays, no big deal.

        I liken the fish photo to chicks who show that they’re “cultured” and “well-traveled” by showing pics of them in Paris, Florence, London, Sydney, and Macchu Picchu, for starters. The kind of places that nearly everyone (on package tours, no less) will see when they travel.

        Now, if the chick has a pic of her catching a swordfish, that would capture my attention. And, if the dude was in some remote location, like Greenland, ice fishing, that would make a whole world of difference.

        Just sayin’.

      • #5 by theprivateman on January 7, 2013 - 7:59 PM

        I have to adjust for geography regarding the fishing thing. Here in South Florida, catching one of those mahi-mahi fish can be epic and expensive. The local paper (Sun-Sentinel) has a section on its webpage where people can post photos showing the results of a successful catch. Lots of women get into the fishing thing… perhaps to catch a guy with enough dough to own the boat?

      • #6 by tj on January 8, 2013 - 8:14 AM

        This is probably a geography issue – I’m in the Upper Midwest – 95% of men with fish photos are completely into the outdoors lifestyle which often means spending your weekends out on a boat chasing walleyes and northerns and then at the hunting shack during various hunting seasons.

        Proud of accomplishments is one thing – joining a lifestyle you don’t care for, is something else entirely. If she’s not into the outdoors lifestyle, why would she choose to be with a guy who happily lives that life? That’s a setup for disaster.

  3. #7 by Phat Guy on January 7, 2013 - 5:51 PM

    I had some professional shots done recently and I was pushing to have them done before the profile launched before I landed someone and put my profiles on hold.

    I’m working on the other tip that should be in here. Don’t be the guy holding up the wall in the photo. Get out, do something with confidence and commitment and make sure you feel good doing it and that will come through. I don’t always feel comfortable in my own skin, but when I do, I am more likely to want to be photographed to remember the occasion.

    … stay thirsty …

  4. #8 by In The Frigid North on January 7, 2013 - 6:46 PM

    Also, tell a story. Take and select photos that show not just your physical appearance, but who you are – your personality, your hobbies, your style. Have a couple of your pics follow one or two themes in your written profile, and have them taken in activities or gatherings that show your value or activities that you’d share with a date. In a medium like online dating, where skepticism is high, congruency is an important tool.

    Common, but good advice: limit the number of pics you put up. You need enough to give them a solid impression, but every one past a certain point adds nothing but will be nitpicked for reasons to say “no.” 5-6 seems to work.

  5. #9 by LostSailor on January 7, 2013 - 9:17 PM

    This. This has been–at least to me–the biggest problem with online dating. That, and I don’t think I’m very photogenic. I’ve been a little more aggressive in certain social situations in asking people to take photos with my camera, but I still have outdated photos. Better that than bad photos.

    But fortunately, I seem to make up for it with a quirky wit and awesome writing. Hey, we all compensate where we have to…

  6. #10 by 3rd Millenium Men on January 7, 2013 - 10:22 PM

    “There might be a posed photo with the ex photoshopped out.”

    That’s preselection right there. Nothing wrong about that, as long as its done tastefully!

  7. #11 by Nupnupnup on January 8, 2013 - 2:26 AM

    Isn’t this kind of conflicting with the usual advice of trying to take her into your world and showing that you have a purposes of your own? I can sort of see the issue with contrived fish shots, but motorbikes give you bad boy status, no? (cf roissy’s SMV test for males). In this regard, I think the story idea raised by Frigid North is very true

    But yes, if I were to ever embark on online dating, I need decent shots. I have a couple of half decents shot in a suit for my CV but I dont want to use that….

    • #12 by Hamster Tamer on January 8, 2013 - 5:26 AM

      No, the power suit photo is good, even the std. CV headshot, but also have one in a different power suit (just to prove you have more than one), taken from at, or even below, waist-level, camera aimed up, with you NOT looking down at the camera, but rather chin UP and looking off at a 45-deg angle! i.e. Towering Giant, Leader of Men, gazing off towards his next big important wimminz-and-children-saving mission… overwhelms The Fem-Hamster… oh yeah.

      Of course you already know the evo psych behind WHY teh wimminz find a man’s biz suit to be uber-tingly.

      • #13 by Nupnupnup on January 8, 2013 - 5:34 AM

        I have like 6 suits, but on a picture they would all look the same (in fairness, some actually are 1:1 copies of each other :)

  8. #14 by Team-Red on January 8, 2013 - 11:12 AM

    I’m not sure if it’s been mentioned here, but pics of a man + young kids are pure gold from my experience. I had the action shots like private man mentioned: snowboarding, riding my atv, surfing, hiking. I looked great in the photos and my results were mixed at best. I had spent time with my niece and nephew and my sister in law took some pics and emailed them to me. I decided to put 2 up on my profile and then BOOM! Flood gates opened with emails pouring in. I have 12-15 women lined up within a week and it was only like 2-3 a week.

    I think the pics with kids automatically drops the creeper alarm and women say to themselves “he’s safe.”

  9. #15 by Dr. Illusion on January 8, 2013 - 8:57 PM

    I have two pics on my online dating profile. Both are of me and Mistress. One includes a random blonde who just couldn’t stop touching me. I get messages every day. Take pics with women.

  10. #16 by Nate on January 8, 2013 - 9:37 PM

    Dude you said “guy” so much in this post you sound like a chick writer.

    We are men.

    You are one of the last people I would think to start doing this.

    • #17 by theprivateman on January 8, 2013 - 10:49 PM

      Knowing one’s audience is vital. The term “guy” is well-deep in masculine lexicon.

    • #18 by DC Phil on January 10, 2013 - 9:09 PM

      “We are men.”

      We are Devo? :)

  11. #19 by someguy302004 on January 9, 2013 - 12:24 AM

    I recently went for the “what are you looking at?” expressioned pose, wearing a wife beater on a porch in Georgetown. It doubled my response rate.

  12. #20 by scopey42 on January 9, 2013 - 2:48 AM

    The biggest thing I did to get my response rate higher was professional photos. I highly recommend going and setting up a profile on model mayhem, this does two things. 1. Gives you access to pictures of some of the most beautiful girls out there. 2. Potentially if you have the right look, several photographers will contact you, looking to increase their portfolio with TFP or Time for Prints. They get shots of a cool male for their portfolio (non-gay in shape men are hard to get to model) and you get some great looking shots for your profile. This is my profile – http://www.modelmayhem.com/2689899

  1. The Online Dating Profile Photography Problem…For Men « PUA Central

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