Positive Pictures

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When constructing an online dating profile, there’s a lot of focus on keeping negativity out of the profile. What some people may not realize is that the self-summary is not the only area into which negativity can creep. In fact, the image section is a great way to make sure you’re not injecting any unintended negativity into your profile; a picture is a worth a thousand words, after all.

The easiest way to stay positive is to select a picture with a smile. True, not everyone likes the way their smile looks, especially when it’s genuine and not a “pretty” smile. But from the perspective of the observer, the genuine smile is the most attractive of all. When you’re really having a good time, you’re feeling comfortable and happy; you’ve let down barriers. Those visiting your profile will pick that up immediately, and perhaps feel like they know you a little better. They’ll feel that warmth, and feel warmer toward you.

Thus, a genuine smile is often the best choice, even if you don’t think it’s necessarily the most flattering. However, not everyone has a photographer standing by when they’re having a good belly laugh; what then? Well, smiling is still a good option, even if it’s your “pretty” smile that you use when you know you’re in front of a camera. Try to choose an occasion that was relatively candid, even if the smile wasn’t. What that means is, a casual shot standing in front of the entrance to a theme park is still better than a posed glamour shoot from your local department store.

Pictures to avoid are anything that might be construed as anger, aggression or moodiness. You might have been going for “alluring” with your sultry pout, but to someone else, you’re just brooding. In particular, staring directly into the camera can be a little too intense for an online profile pic, especially if you’re not smiling. If you feel you absolutely must convey your pensive, serious look, try looking into the distance or off-camera; at least it won’t be mistaken for a mugshot as easily. Thinking about something happy, even when you’re not actually smiling, is helpful, too - though really if you don’t already have some serious picture you love, it’s not worth spending the time to create one now.

Before your profile has even been clicked, you’re making a first impression with your default picture. Furthermore, some peruse all the images before they even get to the text. Is the impression you’re making as positive as you’d like?