A note from Audrie Thompson, senior graphic designer & photographer at CMB
The other day, my friend Sarah asked me to look at her online dating profile to see if she was doing something “wrong.” Admittedly, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on the dating scene — but I like to think that I’ve still got it 🤷♀️. After all, I met my boyfriend of three years on Coffee Meets Bagel (not to mention I work there)!
Now back to Sarah’s profile. Basic info? Check. Quirky one-liners about herself? Check.
Let’s get real for a sec. Choosing your dating profile photos is no easy task. And they’re important. In fact, we know that at CMB ~80% of the reason people pass on a potential match is because of their photo.
So it wasn’t that Sarah didn’t have photos. She just didn’t have good photos. You know, the ones that showed her…for her 💗.
Here’s the insider advice I gave Sarah on the dos and don’ts of dating photos.
Dating Profile Photo Dos
Do #1: Show your face
A full-face photo is less of a dating photo tip and more of a dating photo must-have. In fact, on Coffee Meets Bagel, if you don’t have at least one photo that shows your face, we can’t approve your profile. Keep this headshot as your first photo, so your matches know what you look like from the start!
Do #2: Let the light in
Man-made light is better than no light, but natural light is basically magic. In photos, sunlight can work its wonders by highlighting your best features and making your eyes pop. Pro-tip: For the best photos, make sure the light source isn’t directly behind you. We want to light up your face ☀️!
Do #3: Share a smile
Your smile is one of your best and most telling features. Smiles radiate warmth, kindness, and positivity — all important qualities in a partner. So before you snap a photo, try flashing a natural grin. To look less posed, have a friend take your photo, but ask them to snap several action shots to capture the organic moments that lead up to the main shot.
Do #4: Show what you love to do
After you have that first face-forward headshot, you can also upload an action shot of you doing something you love — whether it’s going on an epic hike, seeing a live show, or hanging out with your pet 🐱. These photo types are perfect conversation-starters.
Do #5: Upload a full-length pic
A recent (within the last year) full-length pic gives bagels a better idea of what you look like, so upload at least one. Don’t have a tripod on hand? Grab a friend and make a day out of an impromptu photoshoot at a local park or in front of a vibrant wall. Bonus points if they have a DSLR or a great camera phone 📸.
Dating Profile Photo Don’ts
Don’t #1: Get lost in the crowd
You may think that you look best in that group photo with your best friends or family. But, how is a potential match supposed to know whether you’re the cute brunette on the left, or the dude in the howling wolf tee on the right? To make sure it’s clear who you are, leave group photos out of your profile photo line-up. Or, if you really love a certain group shot, make sure to file it last — that way there’s no mistaking who you are.
Don’t #2: Feel pressured
When it comes to dating profile photos, don’t feel pressured to look “sexy” or to show more skin than you feel comfortable with. Because believe it or not, choosing your profile photos isn’t always about finding the picture where you look the hottest or the fittest. In fact, the best photos are the ones that can give us a sense of your personality and your “vibe.”
Don’t #3: Stop at selfies
Discard the dog ears and filter #glowup pics and exchange them for photos taken by a friend in “do” tip five. Apart from the fact that selfies don’t always turn out well, the filters we like to apply to them don’t make for an accurate representation of ourselves.
Don’t #4: Hide under hats & sunglasses
Slather on the SPF 50, because the wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses have got to go (at least while you’re taking photos). Even if you think your Ray Glams make you look stylin’, photos where you have sunglasses or hats on hide what you really look like and can cast unflattering shadows.
Don’t #5: Upload ancient photos
Your potential matches aren’t interested in seeing what you looked like five years ago. So, rather than uploading photos that don’t resemble you anymore, take new ones. You want the right match to fall for the current you, not the you from junior year of high school (…unless you’re still in junior year of high school, in which case you probably aren’t old enough to be using our app!)
Selecting the Best
Now that you’ve had your photoshoot, it’s time to select your best! Choose a minimum of four photos — but, more is always better if they’re quality. It also helps to have a friend who matches your gender preference to review your picks. What we see in ourselves is not always what others see, so a second opinion can help make sure you’re putting your best face forward.
Spotlight: Profile pic superstars
Like Sarah’s best pics ended up being different than my own, so will yours. To give you a better idea of what kind of pics you should be looking for, I’ve gathered a few profile-pic superstars from Coffee Meets Bagel. Their photos radiate their warmth and positive energy — just like yours can ☀️
Upload Your Photos
Feeling inspired? I hope so! Now’s your moment to upload your own photos to your Coffee Meets Bagel Profile.
To do so, just log in and tap your “profile” icon. On iOS, tap “View and edit your profile,” and then “Edit” in the top right corner. On Android, tap on the pencil icon in the bottom right corner. Here, you can choose to upload new photos, or delete and swap existing ones.
Taking and choosing your best pics can feel a little overwhelming at times. But with these 10 photo dos and don’ts, you’re already on your way to selecting photos that show off the best in you!
Ready to show off your best self? If you haven’t already, download Coffee Meets Bagel on Android or iOS.