Top 5 Tips for Choosing Winning Profile Photos

According to my friend Will, who is a font of all knowledge, approximately 90% of men and 68% of women make a decision about whether to date somebody based on their photos alone, therefore this is an area where you really want to shine when it comes to compiling a knockout online dating profile.  Research suggests that three to five photos should be enough to enhance your profile.

As London’s original online dating photographer and an experienced online dater myself, here are my top 5 tips for choosing winning profile photos.


1. Make them light, bright and clutter free

Your profile photos should be in focus, clear and light with no clutter or fussy background going on.  Sounds basic right?  Well, it’s still quite common to see dark and grainy profile pictures with cluttered backgrounds distracting from the person’s face.  Faced with that in amongst lots of pin-sharp, bright photos, the dark ones are going to be ignored no matter whose face is staring out.


 2. Make them relevant

Are you still guilty of using a photo that your best friend took of you five years ago?  Hey, I’m not judging, we’ve all been there.  But when it comes to online dating, you really don’t want to disappoint someone when you actually meet them face-to-face and trust me five years is a long time in dating years.  Looking much worse in person than in your photos only leads to awkward and strained dates.  No fun in that.  Make sure you’re using photos that were taken within the last two or three years.


3. Make sure you’re on your own

Are you using a photo with the ex cut out?  Or are you surrounded by a group of your friends?  Lose these photos, they can be intimidating and off-putting and can lose you lots of potential dates.  Saying that, avoid the ‘selfie’ photos taken in the bathroom mirror (unless you’re a teen) they suggest you have no friends plus who knows what horror is lurking on your bathroom shelf that you have failed to notice!

[Tweet “Here’s 5 WINNING Tips when choosing your photos from @SatNightAlright”]


4.  Smile

If you’re not smiling in your photos you’re in danger of making yourself appear unapproachable.  And if you’re a man, you may also come across as creepy.  A real turn off.



5. Express elements of your personality

Your photos can be used as another way to showcase who you and what you’re into.  You could have your photo taken with your beloved bike, in front of your favourite pub, at a festival, wearing a t-shirt with a band logo on it or whatever works for you.

About the Author:
Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the multi award-winning and internationally acclaimed Hey Saturday, the UK’s coolest dating photography business, specialising in creating show-stopping dating profile photos that kick ass and win dates for 100s of single people across London, Brighton, Sheffield, Leeds and Edinburgh. She is also the co-founder of Irresistible Dating. She’s been credited by Time magazine and Martin Parr for creating the genre of dating photography and is recognised as the leading industry expert in the UK & US on all things dating photo related. She also puts her extensive online dating experiences to good use by sharing her experiences and wisdom on her blog.


  1. Narelle Hart
    July 19, 2013

    Smiling is so important when you take a picture – it makes you look so attractive and people will approach. I love the photo’s in this article!

    • Saskia Nelson
      July 19, 2013

      Hi Narelle, thanks for the compliment on the photos. I took them in Battersea Park on a beautiful day with a lovely girl all very conducive to good photos.

      • Narelle Hart
        July 19, 2013

        So no skill required hehe – I bet they are great shots. So in your opinion what should the top 3 profile pictures be?

        • Saskia Nelson
          July 19, 2013

          Haha, yes lots of skill required too. I think the top 3 profile pics should show someone relaxed, happy and confident in a variety of settings and perhaps with different outfits if possible. Here are some of my fave shots taken on my last shoot (with her permission of course).

  2. Great tips. Online dating photo’s are soooo important.

    Thanks for sharing Saskia.

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