#1 - More, More, More!

If you only have one photo on your Findmate profile, you’re losing a key chance to show off your range. Include a variety of shots to perk a potential partner’s interest: how do you look dressed to the nines and how to look casually; what activities are you into or what interesting place have you traveled? Not only are they conversation starters, but they go a long way to convincing users you’re a real person with depth and spark (and that you’re attractive from more than one angle!).

#2 - The Group Shot Guess Who

Sorry to say it, but this one is directed principally toward the girls. One of the biggest online dating pet peeves is when girls post nothing but group shots on their profile. It’s tricky enough for your potential matches to tell whether they think someone they’ve never met is cute from a few photos, let alone when they’re also not exactly sure which one you are.

We get it: you want to show you know how to have a good time, and your besties are a huge part of your life. But, like, unless you want your Findmate match to think they’re going on a date with one of them when you first meet for coffee, you need to put the spotlight on yourself!

#3 - No Shirt, No Service

To even things out, here’s one for the guys. No matter how yoked/ripped/built/swole you may be, there is only one place where the shirtless flex pic plays: Grindr. Even gym rat girls think that kind of picture on a dating profile is tacky, and if you pair them with a shot of a big fish or your car, they are going to check out right quick. Plus, if you happen to be making moves with some of our southeast Asian users, your half-naked selfie might be a big cultural faux pas.

Bro, relax. If you’re really built, it’ll be obvious no matter what you’re wearing. And the mystery of exactly what you’re hiding under your clothes gives her or them something to think about.

#4 - Don’t Hide Your Hotness Under a Bushel (or a Bad Angle)

Findmate’s detailed profile fields are designed to give users more info than the “swipe left, swipe right”-style dating apps, but most people are still very visual creatures. If none of your pics give a good view of your face or body, your potential dates will think you have something to hide. Likewise, if all of your pics have filters (and most people can tell), it raises questions about the real thing. (Don’t even get us started on the dog filter…)

Liking yourself is key to being attractive, and to being a good partner once you are in a relationship. Choose clear photos of yourself you like, including some full-body shots, and go from there.

#5 - No Bait-and-Switch

There is someone out there for everyone (look how many death row inmates get married from behind bars if you need proof), but there’s no sense gambling your date will overlook the fact you look nothing like the picture they matched up with once you actually meet. Use recent pictures, and if you’ve made radical changes in your appearance (like shaving your head or getting some gnarly face tats), make sure your pics reflect the new you.

Cultural factors play into this. A 2015 Business Insider piece on the lack of enthusiasm for online dating in Japan versus the West gives us a great example:

“The Japanese feel like [selfies are] so narcissistic,” a 29-year-old Japanese woman named Kana told the comedian-turned-author. So instead, they use photos with two or more people, or no people at all. Kana mentioned that a lot of people just post photos of their cats, or, oddly, a rice cooker.
Honestly, even on a site called Findmate, no one is that into rice. (Though we could go for a bowl… hold that thought.)

Yeah.

Oh yeah.

Okay, maybe the Japanese are onto something here.

#6 - To Selfie or Not to Selfie?

Should guys selfie? We’re not going to dig too deeply into what the evidence says about gender norms, but some studies have shown that men who post selfies (especially the dreaded bathroom mirror selfie!) get substantially fewer dates than those who don’t. There doesn’t seem to be a corresponding bias for women and we’re not aware of any analysis for queer and trans users, so as long as you’re anyone but a cis hetero guy, be your own paparazzi!

#7 - To the Left, Y’all?

File this one in the “vagaries of the human brain” bin, but a study published in Experimental Brain Research suggests that people react more positively to photos that show the left side of the face:

"Our results suggest that posers' left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing. Our findings provide support for a number of concepts – the notions of lateralized emotion and right hemispheric dominance with the right side of the brain controlling the left side of the face during emotional expression."

Participants were asked to rate the pleasantness of both sides of male and female faces on gray-scale photographs. The researchers presented both original photographs and mirror-reversed images, so that an original right-cheek image appeared to be a left-cheek image and vice versa.

They found a strong preference for left-sided portraits, regardless of whether the pictures were originally taken of the left side, or mirror-reversed. The left side of the face was rated as more aesthetically pleasing for both male and female posers.

Now, as John Oliver has noted, the findings of studies like this are often exaggerated, so don’t go through life refusing to turn the other cheek because lefty is putting in good work for you. That said, it’s easy enough to flip pics around using basic image editing programs, so let us know if you get a big boost from going lefty!