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You never get a second chance to make a first impression

How many times have you heard people say this? Well, it’s true. There is a physiological, psychological and social basis for this.


More often than not, the first impression we get to make is with our physical appearance. This doesn’t necessarily mean how attractive we are but it does mean how we present ourselves. You wouldn’t go on a date without having brushed your teeth, put clean clothes on and having a smile on your face. So in this increasingly digital age and with the social media explosion that is Twitter, Facebook and online dating why is your profile picture any different? The answer: IT ISN’T!

Your profile picture, especially on a dating website, speaks volumes about you. Here are the top 5 tips to bear in mind when choosing your profile picture:

1. Actually have a picture of you, not a hobby or interest. Nobody is going to be able to make a connection and start up a conversation based on a picture of your car or pet

2. Make sure the picture is just of you. No ex-partner, friend or parent’s shoulder visible. If the best picture you have of yourself is with someone else, at least crop them off completely

3. Do not take a self portrait in a mirror on your camera phone. It can look like you don’t socialise enough to have a picture taken by a friend and people usually notice what is in the background (public toilet, unmade bed etc)

4. Relax and SMILE. You want people to want to talk to you so the more relaxed, friendly and happy you look in your profile picture, the more likely someone is to approach you

5. Make sure the profile picture is of your face. Other body parts are not helpful. You wouldn’t expect a person in a bar to talk to your naked torso and not look at your face so don’t expect them to on a dating website either

As a photographer I know how important it is to get that look right. It isn’t rocket science though. Follow the tips above – if you don’t have a recent photo of you that is any good then ask a friend round for an evening with a few drinks and have fun taking a few relaxed pictures of you. Be mindful of what is in the background of those pictures (wedding pictures on the mantelpiece behind you will never look good, whether they’re yours or not!) and have fun. Most of all, remember to SMILE.


Please see the article on the OnlyDads website as it was commissioned by them and is a great place to visit if you are a single Dad looking for advice and help. Similarly please also check out the sites OnlyMums for single Mums looking for advice and help as well as OnlyDating which helps bring single people together.

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