In the previous two weeks, this unattached Yukon man described the circumstances that led him into the world of Yukon online dating and discussed some suggestions for tailoring the narrative part of the online dating profile. This week, he’ll take a look at the profile photograph.
Many dating profiles don’t include photos; I’m guessing there are several reasons for this.
Whitehorse isn’t a big city. What if someone recognizes you? Well, unless you’re a public figure trying to cheat on your partner, I don’t see the issue.
I mean, if some guy recognizes you, he might already believe you’re not his type and avoid wasting your time. Or he might not have realized you’re looking for someone. Because you know each other, you’ll have something to talk about on the first meeting, if a match seems remotely possible.
And what if some other woman recognizes you?
She might be a competitor for the same guys, in which case comparing notes would be interesting. But what if it’s one of your attached female friends? Well, maybe she won’t have realized that you’re looking for someone and she could fix you up with a friend of her partner. I can’t see the downside there. Actually, your attached friends probably don’t spend their time going through online dating sites.
Maybe it’s the “judging the book by its cover” syndrome — what if some guy decides just from glancing at your photo that he doesn’t like the way you look, so he skips your profile and never contacts you? Well, you’re probably not looking for anyone that shallow anyway, and are better off without him.
If we do end up meeting — and isn’t that the point? — the photo might help us identify each other as we exchange coy glances across the crowded coffee shop at that first meeting.
Take care in selecting photos you put online. You don’t need more than two or three. Remember, you’re not trying to tell the complete story here, only enough to confirm that we may have something in common. One photo should be taken reasonably close-up, and clearly show your face.
This will serve as a memorable tag to help me find my way back to your profile instead of trying to remember, “Now, was that ‘alice456,’ or was it ‘bkm_23tz?’”
A picture of you as a small dot standing against a line of trees isn’t very useful in this regard, even if you are an arbour-aphile.
Ideally, your photo should confirm the impression you’re trying to present in your narrative, or at least the two shouldn’t contradict each other. If your narrative describes in great detail how you’re a child of nature, and go to great efforts to respect the environment, a photo of you next to your giant gas-guzzling pickup truck with quad in the back may be a bit jarring.
I recognize that’s a judgement call on my part, but do be careful that your narrative and photo match easily. If hiking is your great passion, then why not include a photo of you hiking?
Here are some other suggestions:
Make sure you are the only person in the photo. One profile I found has a series of pictures of the same two women: one older, one younger. Is that you with your mother or is that you with your daughter? And are you proposing an inter-generational three-way relationship?
Many women’s profiles have group photos of girls’ nights out: arms around each other’s shoulders, wine glasses in hand. I don’t see myself in that, or maybe I’ll like your friends better than I like you.
Unless you’re looking for a short-term sexual encounter, forget the lingerie shots and suggestive poses. I certainly skip those ones.
An online photo rotated 90 degrees screams that you don’t understand this computer stuff and you don’t really care about what you’re doing: a real turnoff. Get someone to help you with the photos and check your narrative while they’re at it.
Long photo strings of dogs, cats, birds, street scenes, and glaciers, especially if there is no reference to them in your narrative, simply indicate to me that you’re unclear on the concept. I’m potentially interested in you to see what we have in common. If you like photography, say so, but keep your portfolio for one of our future discussions.
So by all means, yes, do include a choice photo or two. If you don’t have anything suitable and recent in your archives, get someone to take a few in an environment that complements your narrative. That shouldn’t be a big deal in this age of digital photography.
You are taking this seriously, aren’t you?