The #1 Reason You Should Not Pick Your Own Online Dating Profile Photo
I started out taking pictures of my family, my husband, and even flowers on the side of the street. It didn't take long before I had someone ask me to do a photo shoot with them and they ended up using one of my pics as their online dating photo and that's when I became one of New York's top online dating photographers.
It wasn't long after that I was contacted by one of New York's top dating coach and a New York Matchmaker asking if they could send their clients my way because they needed photos for their online dating profiles and my work resonated most with what they were trying to achieve, an authentic photo of their client.
Soon, I started to hear back from some of the clients asking if they could get photo #32 edited or a different photo than what I was asked by their dating coach or matchmaker to edit. See, once I was done with the photo shoot—all photos would go to the matchmaker or dating coach. They were the ones determining which photo the client would end up using on their online dating profile—not the client themselves. At first, I didn't really get it but then I understood the process plain as day when a friend of mine shocked me.
I did a photoshoot with a friend and I was so thrilled with the outcome and so was my friend, according to her excitement when I'd show her shots during the shoot. A few days later I was on Facebook and to my shock, she posted several pics I would consider "outtakes" and if it were up to me—they'd never see the light of social media!
Why didn't she post the best ones on Facebook?
Instead, not only did she post not so flattering pics of herself (and my work) but she filtered them so badly that I didn't want to be associated with the photos and cringed when I saw that I was tagged. It was clear, individuals don't see themselves as others see them and that filter (no pun intended) influences their choices and when it comes to picking their own photos to post on their Tinder profiles, Houston, we have a problem!
University of New South Wales Sydney researchers asked 100 college students which of 12 pictures of themselves they'd use for their Facebook, LinkedIn, and online dating profiles. They also asked them which photos they'd pick for other people. Then they had people rate each picture online based on attractiveness, competence, and trustworthiness.
The good news: Your photos are just as hot as you think they are. Both the people in the photos and the strangers picked the same ones for the highest attractiveness ratings.
But if you're hoping to show your personality in a positive light, that's where your friends may come in handy. "Unfamiliar people appeared to select images that were at once all three"—that is, attractive, competent, and trustworthy—lead author David White told Time. Since we don’t see our own face in the same way others do, he explained, we don't have a great sense of how others perceive it. "The practical advice is that people should really ask someone else to select their next profile picture," White explained.
and in that same article in Glamour:
Another study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science last year found:
"While the test subjects tended to believe they look best in selfies, other people actually thought they looked better and seemed more likable in photos taken by someone else."
So when it comes to presenting the best versions of ourself, we really may not be able to trust our own judgment.
And it's so true -- because you don't see yourself as others see you, you don't know how a stranger will react to your photo and you want an unbiased opinion when selecting your online dating profile photos. I tell all my clients who find me on their own to let their sister, friend, even neighbor pic your online photo and trust them. You might get the urge to disagree, but give it shot--post the photo for a week and see what happens -- the worst that can occur is you get flooded with date propositions!
Bottom line when it comes to your online dating profile:
Don't pick your own photos. Find someone you trust and turn it into a game. If you can't find someone, if we end up working together--I can be that person for you. And you can trust me, because your dating success keep me in business! (Because you will tell all your single friends that you made your mark with Marin!)