Proven Tricks to Looking Better Online
At ViDA, we say that with online dating, a picture isn’t worth a thousand words—that’s a low-ball estimate. If you don’t have a variety of well shot, flattering photos…your words won’t be worth anything! Recently, OkCupid analyzed photography from a numerical perspective. They collected 11.4 million opinions on what makes a good photo. Let’s see what they had to say.
1. Collect 552,000 example user pictures
2. Paired them up and asked people to make “snap judgments” by deciding which of two people they’d rather go on a date with.
3. Collected the “EXIF” data from each picture—this includes the shutter speed, time of day, etc.
4. Made graphs
Make or Break your Attractiveness
First, they judged how the model and brand of the camera affects how attractive the photos are. They used this chart to present the data:
Interchangable lens cameras make you look better than a basic point and shoot camera, which snap photos that will work better for you than your cell phone camera shots. Surprise, surprise… the more complex the camera is, the better the photo is. But they are missing a huge point here by just attributing this to the camera itself! Sure, if you go and buy an expensive camera, the photos will be of a higher quality…but they failed to consider the correlation between: the higher quality/complexity of the camera à more likely to be owned by a qualified photographer à more likely to be shooting as a professional.
This portion of the experiment backs the advice that we have been giving our clients since day one…get some professional photos taken, but have them taken in a natural environment (i.e. nearby park) since those boring, plain background studio shots often scream that you’re trying too hard. We also tell clients to exploit their wardrobe and move around a bit with the photographer. If you are going to invest in having a professional take your photos, you should bring at least 3 wardrobe changes since having multiple photos of you in the same outfit or changed but at the same location also screams professional photo session. Most women will probably guess that a professional took the shots no matter what but studio shots or otherwise glaringly obvious pro photos can come off as cheesy. It is VITAL to include a variety of effective photos. One of you laughing, one of you serious, and most importantly one of you in “your element,” doing something that you love! Remember, those high school “MySpace” photos of you doing a keg-stand won’t do much for you anymore…you have to come off as having an interesting and diverse personality.
Who’s Getting More?
OkCupid also decided to use their camera efficacy data to present the data that we have all been waiting for…which phone brings in the most sexual partners? A statement they made in the format of a question may also service as a quality icebreaker for your next approach: “Did you hear that iPhone users aren’t just getting fucked by Apple anymore?!”
To Flash, or Not to Flash
We’re talking about your camera flash… Not your goodies!! In this chart OkCupid is saying that a 28 year old who uses a flash is as attractive as a 35 year old who doesn’t. This does make some sense —it is well known that soft light can hide wrinkles, blemishes, and devil eyes. Note to self…avoid direct flash-photography in profile photos.
Give Your Photos the Time of Day
At the climax of the article, OkCupid says that their plotted timestamps seem to support the golden hour, that magic time at dawn or dusk when the shadows are long, the sky is golden and everything is softer. This is advice we’ve been giving our clients since the dawn of online dating (well, not quite, but you get the point)…choose your profile pictures wisely; they could make or break you!
And these days, you’ve got no excuse for choosing them all on your own. Instead, get loads of members of the opposite sex to help you. Check out OkCupid’s new MyBestFace tool here.
And the Moral of the Story Is? …
That your photos matter! We have told our clients one million times, and we will now say it again for you… If you don’t have good photos on your profile page, you are not going to get good candidates who are interested in you. It’s as simple as that. You have to put care into your profile, just like you put care into your appearance every day. You wouldn’t want to show up to a first date without showering before, right? (At least we hope not.) And maybe even splash on some cologne? Well, think of your 3 crappy camera phone pictures that are representing you… Might as well have said “I don’t care, I know I look fugly in these photos, but take me or leave me.” Not impressive.
Get the right light. Turn the flash down a notch, or off completely. If you can’t get professional photos, find a friend who will snap some shots of you with a nice lens. And voila! We promise that your attractiveness level will go up a notch.
If it doesn’t, let us know. Email us at [email protected] – we’re here to help.