Dating Profile Pictures That Get You Matches

Dating 101
07 Mar 2024
10 min read
9 Elements and 6 Tips to Take Best Dating Profile Pictures

When it comes to dating tips, many people focus on things like where to go for the first date or why New York is the best place for many couples to travel to. But those tips are not useful if you don’t know why you cannot get matches on a dating app. That’s why all those guides should start from the basics: dating profile pictures.

Consider your dating profile pictures before you even start to make accounts on dating apps, and make sure they align with your personality and needs. How to do it? Check out our dating profile tips to see which pictures you should choose as well as the kinds you should take and avoid taking for your dating profile picture.

A rightly done selfie is one of the best dating profile pictures

9 Elements of Good Dating Profile Pictures

When taking a profile picture for a dating app, consider all the options you have, from the classic headshot to the shirtless pics that lead to many of us wanting more. The following pictures are just a few examples of dating photos you can use in your online dating profile.

1. A Selfie

A selfie may not be the best type of dating profile photo, but it is a good way to show yourself off on dating apps. They show yoruself and add a bit of fun and spontaneity to your dating profile.

Just don’t overuse filters and don’t stand with your mon. Make your selfie natural, beautiful, and all about your true colors.

Date on your own terms
Join Hily and meet people all over the world to chat, flirt, and date!
Try Hily now

2. A Genuine Smile

Maybe you got a picture taken of yourself at an event with your friends that you were easily able to crop. Or maybe you happen to have some not-very-old photos that you feel show you with a genuine smile on your face.

Although it can be hard to tell the difference between a smile that is staged and a smile that is real once, you can almost always tell the difference without trying to explain it.

3. Full Body Shots

Your collection of dating photos should include at least one full-body shot. Have a friend help you out, and ask them to be honest. They’ll help you decide which ones show off your best assets.

4. A Good Headshot

A headshot is not a selfie and is something that a professional dating profile photographer should take. This picture shows just your face and should be one of, if not the very first, photo on your dating app profile.

A headshot fits best in a one-inch square bracket and is the best bet for getting people to show interest in you.

Related reading: Tips for Making Dating Profile Headlines

5. Bold Colors

Yes, black and white photos can be dramatic, and so are pictures with monochromatic filtering, graining, etc. Still, bold colors stand out and they’re what people are going to remember.

Have fun with your pictures, but the first photo in your dating app profile should feature bold colors.

6. A Recent Picture

Choose photos that have been taken in the last few months. These will best represent you, your interests, and your current mindset.

People deserve to see who you are today, and you deserve to find romance with someone who wants you as you are.

7. Open Body Language

Scroll through a dating app and look at the photos. Chances are, the most attractive ones use open body language.

You won’t see too many with crossed arms and legs or looking away from the camera. Instead, you’ll notice eye contact and friendly postures. These things communicate friendliness and accessibility.

Related reading: The Art of Body Language: How to Guess What Your Dater Is Thinking

8. Include a Talking Point

For at least some of them, you should choose photos that include some kind of talking point about yourself, be that:

  • A lifestyle photo that shows what you do as a hobby
  • A photo with a furry friend
  • A photo that shows your cool recent trip to New York or Paris

Photos that give you and others a potential talking point are very popular on online dating apps because they help you and others avoid awkward pauses

9. Shirtless Pictures

This is a controversial one. It also applies to guys, according to our current social norms. Should you or shouldn’t you include a shirtless photo in your dating profile?

That depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you feel confident, go for it! Just be aware that setting a thirst trap might attract people more into makeout sessions than matrimony.

Dating profile photos people won't take serious

6 Elements of Bad Dating Profile Pictures

Now, let’s talk about the dating profile pictures you don’t want to use. These are the pictures that are misleading, dishonest, and may not show you at all. Make sure you don’t post such things to your dating profile!

1. Pictures That Don’t Show Your Face

We’ve all seen it on every single dating platform there is. A photo of a sunset, the beach, a pretty seashell, maybe even a meme or two. These dating profiles will have tons of pictures but none of them will show anybody’s face, body, or anything that shows what you look like.

Of course, you can still use these types of pictures on occasion. But they are more a decoration or cover, not your dating profile pictures.

Related reading: Introvert Dating: It Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

2. Group Photos

Unless it is blatantly obvious who you are in the photo, it is best to avoid group shots like the plague. We can almost guarantee that people will get confused about who you are in the photo or think you’re not serious about dating new people while being surrounded by people of the opposite sex.

Avoid group photos, as they can be misleading and lead people who show interest in you to feel deceived.

3. Photos That Are Older Than One Year

In many cases, you can go with photos that are up to two years old. But you’ve likely changed since then, and things like new hairstyles and weight changes make you look very different from those photos. And your real future date can turn into a disappointment for both if you were not fair from the start.

Use older pictures as throwback fun moments while chatting, but put the newer photos on your dating profile.

4. Photos That Are Misleading or Heavily Edited

Good pictures are always genuine about what you look like. That’s why it’s best to stay truthful about your appearance in as many aspects as possible and avoid heavy filters and great appearance changes.

You might think that shaving down your nose might not be noticeable in real life. Or that adjusting the shape of your eyebrows might be ok but these small changes can affect the expectations that a person looking at your profile might have of you.

5. Bathroom Selfies

We get it. The bathroom normally has the best lighting in the house, which makes many of us believe that it gives you the best photos. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The bathroom severely lacks natural light and ample space to shoot quality photos. Besides, it usually houses items that, while normal, could take away from the attractive factors you may have.

If you are looking to find good lighting, experiment with places around your home or outside. You would be surprised how well-lit some places can actually be.

6. Themed Photos

Themed photos can be a fun part of your collection of best dating photos. Some examples might be:

  • You in an ugly Christmas sweater contest
  • Photos of you wearing beads at a Mardi Gras
  • Some photos of you with a holiday backdrop

These photos are perfectly fine to use as long as they are relevant. What you want to avoid is keeping them up for too long.

If you add these to your dating profile, swap them up with something more current before they go scale. That cute Christmas photo is great, between December 1 and January 2. After that, it’s time to retire it.

Some "bad" profile pictures can work if you use them carefully

3 Profile Pictures to Be Careful of

Let’s talk about a couple of specific instances that are right in the middle. These are the dating profile photos that show both good and bad aspects of profile pictures.

1. Costumes

You should always be as honest as possible about your appearance, but this doesn’t mean that you cannot post pictures of yourself in costume from time to time – especially if wearing and making costumes is a big part of your life.

Professionals who make appearances at parties for kids and cosplayers who spend time crafting the different outfits of their favorite characters are just a couple of examples of someone who may put a couple of costume pictures in their dating profile photos.

2. Unflattering Photos

Unflattering photos show you as your truest self. Here are some examples that can work well:

  1. You’re taking a bite of food that is way too large for your mouth
  2. You’re genuinely laughing at something
  3. You’re doing a nightly routine while even wearing a face mask.

Don’t post too many of these as your dating profile pictures. One or two photos among six possible will show you in this genuine light and are perfectly fine.

Related reading: Hours of Smiles from a 10-Second Text Message? It Can Happen!

3. Controversial Photos

Let’s be clear: controversial photos in a titillating or risque sense are great as long as they fall within TOS. But here, we’re talking about photos that showcase views and values that others may not agree with.

Is it your right to use your pictures to show who you are and your opinions? Absolutely! If you want to attract people with similar worldviews and prefer to let others know that you may not be for them, go for them. Just use judgment, and be sure that you’re going to get the results you intend.

Here are some things to consider before you post that slightly edgy pic:

  • Irony and sarcasm don’t come across well in photographs
  • Some people may take your pictures as baiting
  • Even those who agree with your views may question your judgment/see you as a bit of a troll
  • Never assume that people will get a pop culture reference – especially an obscure one
  • You may be inundated with messages from people who want to debate you, not date you
How to navigate online dating and start getting matches

6 Tips to Take a Good Dating Profile Picture

When it comes to online dating, we have gone over the best and the worst types of dating profile pictures. Now let’s talk about how you can take the best dating profile pictures for your online dating journey.

1. Clean Up Your Area

Remember that you want to be seen at your best on your dating profile photos, meaning both your physical appearance and the background for you.

For better or worse, your environment matters on dating apps. You could be considered one of the most beautiful people in the world – but if your profile pictures feature you with messy backgrounds or some sort of unappealing setup, people are less likely to show interest in you.

2. Have Someone There to Help You Out

Selfies are fine on occasion in online dating, but there are so many other aspects to consider for your dating profile photo. If you are looking to find love on a dating app, you should get someone to help you take photos for your dating profiles.

You can hire a professional photographer or just ask your friends to help you with your profile picture – especially with a full body shot, a classic headshot, and photos that showcase different aspects of your personality. These photos should be of high quality, so you’ll surely need someone’s help making them.

3. Put on Your Most Flattering Outfit and Makeup

When showcasing yourself through online dating, take the time to ensure that you look good in your dating profile photo. You can choose a few of your favorite different outfits to get a set of good photos to choose from.

By wearing your favorite outfit, you show off your unique style and how good you look. This will lead you to get the most matches and a higher likelihood of meeting your potential partner at your best.

Related reading: The Cutest Ideas for First Date Outfits for this Season

4. Test Out Different Angles

We’ve evolved from the phase when online dating profiles were from a high angle only. These days, almost any angle can be good, depending on the way it is executed, and the best way to find them is to try them all out.

You would be surprised by how many great photos you can get out of just trying out a few different angles. Take a few tips on photo angles from folks in the entertainment industry.

5. Edit Your Pictures the Right Way

stated that you should avoid using heavily edited photos or photos that give a misleading interpretation of who you are or what you look like. People want to see the real you!

We still state so. However, there is a difference between a photo that is edited to make you look different and a photo that is edited to make the image itself look better. The point is to keep all photo edits within reason.

If the photo looks good overall and just happens to be too fuzzy for your liking, you can edit it to give it more clarity. Or if the lighting was too bright or dark, then editing that aspect of the photo is reasonable as well.

6. Get Some Honest Opinions

Yes, you should trust yourself to be the final decision-maker here, but your friends are a great resource. Someone you trust will give you a reality check and ensure you don’t post anything you’ll regret. A good friend will also give your confidence a nudge and encourage you to share pictures you might feel a bit hesitant to put out there.

It's safe to start on Hily
All these tips work well on Hily dating app. Come and try by yourself
Get Hily

All Set for Dating Success!

Now you know that you need multiple photos (and high-quality photos!) that are rightly edited and showcase your personality and things that matter to you in real life. Now it’s time to set up your online dating profile and start getting matches you’ve dreaming of!

Good luck is not needed when you already have your best photos, so enjoy the dating process!

Dating Tips Author
Shelly Standford
After a devastating relationship breakup, I threw myself into the dating scene by registering on Hily. I had over 100 dates - some absolute disasters, some pretty average, and some that were actually great. So many stories to tell and insights to share with you guys!

You May Also Like

A Cougar and Her Cub - How Dating a Younger Man Works
Life as a Cougar – All You Need to Know
Are you dating a younger man? Make your path can be filled with fun, excitement, and amazing romance!
11 Jul 2023
10 min read
Sex Magic Rituals - It's Not About Sex
Sex Magick – Getting All That You Want
How about using sex to achieve life goals? This article explains how you can do just that. Learn all about sex magic right here
04 Aug 2023
10 min read
Do Opposites Attract, and Who Are True Opposites? 7 Tips for You
Do Opposites Attract? It’s Not That Simple
Do opposites attract, and how to navigate your dramatic differences if so? Check out these 7 tips to know
27 Jul 2023
11 min read
Hily: Dating App
Meet People.Find Love...
Start Dating Quiz!

W3 Total Cache is currently running in Pro version Development mode.

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.