How to take better profile photos: try these tips for online success!
With help from freelance photographer and PR specialist, Toby Aiken, we discovered the six things you can do today that will perfect your profile pictures and help you have a better time online. Photos already up to scratch? Then why not jump to setting up your profile? Join EliteSingles by registering with the button below. Otherwise, read on for our photography master-class.
Why profile pictures are so important
The only thing worse than a bad profile picture is no photo at all. Sound strange? It’s true. If you opt to skip the personal photos in your profile, you automatically alienate more than half of your potential audience. In fact, in a recent EliteSingles survey, 58% of British singles would refuse to open a profile without photos.
Toby Aiken, a professional freelance photographer based in Gloucestershire, says that having profile pictures is an essential step for two reasons. Firstly, ‘’whether we care to admit it or not, the first thing that we look at is appearance.’’ This is a sentiment echoed in our survey: 65% of our UK respondents said that photos are the part of a profile that most catches their attention when they’re looking online.
The second reason profile pictures count for so much is that they are a really valuable way to back up the impression you have created in the written part of your profile. As Aiken explains: ‘’it’s important to make sure your profile picture says the right things about you. If your profile says you enjoy quiet nights in watching a movie, and your profile picture was taken on a rare wild night out or at a friend’s hen do then it’s not going to help your search!’’ Having photos that show the true you, however – now there’s an extra way to catch the eye of someone truly like-minded.
So, it's clear that photos are extremely important – but what's the best way to maximise your chances of photographic success? Toby Aiken helped us find the six steps that can help you get better profile photos.
1. Get comfortable
An essential part of taking good profile pictures is the set up. Aiken recommends setting up somewhere you feel at ease: after all, one of the most important parts of portrait photography is that the subject is relaxed and happy!
He says ‘‘The key to taking a good photograph is making sure that you are comfortable in your surroundings. Whether that means taking the photo in your lounge, or with a professional backdrop, if you are familiar with your surroundings, then you will be more relaxed and take a better photo...Consciously relax your muscles and try to go with a natural smile:’’ If you feel calm and confident in the photo, it will show in your profile – and that is an image you definitely want to project!
2. Laying the ground work
Comfort may be king when it comes to an at-home photo shoot, but before you get too relaxed, you need to lay the ground work. Aiken points out that it is helpful to think about what will be in the frame of the finished photo (besides yourself, of course!). ‘’If you go for a shot in your lounge, make sure the background is relatively tidy – we’re not talking catalogue shoot clean, but just take a look and maybe tidy that pile of washing you were meaning to deal with and make sure the curtains are straight.’’
Prepping yourself is also worth doing. This doesn’t mean giving yourself a full-on glam makeover; it just requires that you give a little thought to how your clothing and accessories will work on film. Aiken’s biggest tip here is that colour blocking can be very effective. ‘’Bright colours are fine, as are pale colours, but the important thing is to avoid busy patterns.’’ In other words, you want to be the star of the show – not your clothing!
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3. Avoid the profile picture no-nos
Another thing to avoid is clothing that is too revealing. In fact, in our survey, this was the voted the biggest picture no-no by our UK members. 33% said that they were not fans of profile pictures that showed too much skin, making stripping off the biggest photo mistake one can make.
Additionally, there are a few other photography no-goes that are best avoided. Surprisingly (given their reputation), this doesn’t include selfies. In fact, they get a bit of a pass from our members, being voted as unacceptable by just 10% of singles. The big portrait blunders were instead constantly wearing sunglasses (picked by 18%), and having poor photo-shopping skills (16% ).