Dating Online? How to take a Good Profile Photo. / by Joe Baz

online profile photo blues When it comes to online dating, men lose out on countless opportunities to meet a quality match simply because they fail to recognize that a grainy, at-the-computer, "bleary eyed after a few beers and givin' you the look of tough love in my sweatshirt" photo does not send a compelling message. Or at least not the kind of message that anyone would be interested in without first consuming something equivalent to a six pack.

Bedraggled is not desirable except to a very small sector of the population - and you don't need to spend the money for an online dating service to find them. If you are a good catch (and you know you are) your photo must capture that - because your photo is the first thing a prospective interest will inspect. There is no way she will find out about all those puppies you rescued from a shelter or the senior citizens you read to on the weekend if what she sees first resembles the love child of an ice road trucker and a fashion-challenged (redundant?) football fan. Here are some tips to maximize your odds:

- What's sexier than a double chin? Take test photos of yourself from different angles to determine an angle that best flatters your features.

- Don't go it alone. Have a friend help with photos and don't rush through it, take many shots. Narrow down the favorites by sending them to trusted friends of the opposite sex and have them vote.

- Look out behind you! You want to be the star of the photo so keep the backdrop simple. Don't photograph yourself with anything that will vie for the viewers' attention. For indoor shots, make sure the background behind you is tidy. It is not sexy to be photographed in front of the world's largest beer can pyramid.

- Some clouds definitely have a silver lining:  for outdoor photos, overcast weather - not high sun - make for the best light.

- No fakers allowed. Don't force your smile. While your friend is snapping away, keep your mind on the things that make your heart light. Your genuine happiness, a highly desirable trait to potential mates, will come across in the photo.

- Ready for inspection? What you wear in your photo is what your potential dates will evaluate - looking for your level of success, your basic nature, and your desirability. Choose attire that is appropriate for a first date and infuses you with confidence. Make sure the fit is good - remember bulky clothing distorts your body and anything too tight is unflattering.

Items not to wear in your profile photo:

- Hat or baseball cap that conceals your face

- Sunglasses - again, the aforementioned face concealment

- Horizontal stripes, plaid or any large print

- Bulky sweater

- Turtleneck

- Anything over-sized or resembling a bowling shirt, ratty jersey, sweatpants, etc...

- Cut-off sweatshirt - if Bill Belichick can't make it work, you don't have a prayer

belichick_sweatshirt