How to Get the Best Dating Profile Pictures

A woman taking a selfie for her online dating photo.

Dating apps are a normal part of our lives now, whether we like it or not. While before it was funny to joke that you’d, “tell your kids you met in a coffee shop one day,” now people fully embrace the online dating scene. And the stigma that online dating is somehow desperate and weird is long gone. In fact, it’s kind of weird if you’re not using dating apps. 

But now that dating apps are more popular, you need to try a little bit harder to meet people online. Ya, there’s more people on the apps but there’s also more competition. Before, when not everyone used the apps or cared as much about creating the perfect dating profile, pictures could be whatever. To help you make sure you dating app is in great shape, here are some tips on how to pick the best pictures. 

Ditch the overdone pictures.
Gentlemen, anybody will tell you that it is time to retire the gigantic fish picture. We get it, you caught a fish, and we are honestly very proud of you. But there is no need to keep this picture on your dating profile. Not only is it probably a big turnoff for someone who doesn’t eat meat, it’s also just not the best picture to sum up who you are as a person unless you really are a huge fisherman. If you’ve only been fishing one time in five years, get it off your profile.

Show some range. 
This applies to all genders, but it’s super easy to accidentally upload six selfies because they’re all your favorite picture. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a hot selfie, but you may want to consider mixing it up a bit. Six pictures of your face doesn’t really show off your personality as well as you might think it does.

Instead of using all selfies, mix it up. Use a picture someone else took of you. Use a group picture, or a picture with you and your cat, or a picture of you practicing the guitar. Use a picture of you dancing at a wedding. Mix it up. 

Ditch any picture that’s a few years old.
Sure, we don’t all have six up-to-date pictures that we love. But, it’s important to represent who you are and what you look like. You wouldn’t have your favorite movie listed as something you loved in college, so why would you use a picture from that long ago? Make sure your pictures are recent, or at least look like how you look right now. Maybe you’re balding now or you’ve gained or lost weight, or you hate your new hair color—too bad. You’re likely being too critical of yourself, and also it’s important to show your potential new person what you actually look like.  

The mom/grandma pics are… a little overdone.
It’s adorable that you’re close to your mom, grandma, or family—but if you just have one picture with your mom that looks a few years old, it seems like a line, but in picture form. You can love your mom, but at least make sure you have a recent (good!) picture with her to show off if you’re going to use the mom card. Otherwise, ditch it.

Get a picture that’s in focus.
Blurry, fuzzy, out of date pictures that look like they were taken on the first version of an iPhone? Not gonna get you many likes. Maybe it’s your favorite picture of all time, but if it’s blurry and out of focus, it’s not great.

Get a picture on purpose.
Maybe you don’t have five or six great pictures, but do you have one or two? Especially if you’re a man and you don’t tend to take selfies or have friends that take pictures of you, it’s important to make the time to take a few. Your friends will be happy to help snap a great candid of you that’s a) in focus b) recent c) shows who you are. In this day and age, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a picture with the sole purpose of updating your dating apps. Do it and watch those likes increase.

Maybe this seems like too many rules, but trust that if you get your pictures updated, keep it clear, fun, make it fun, and show a great range, then you’ll definitely notice better dating app results. 

Jessica Tholmer

Freelance Writer

Jess Tholmer has been writing on the internet for what feels like most of her life. After studying English Literature in school, she has leaned into her degree and is a full-time content writer, social media manager, and freelance contributor to websites like You can find her @tholmz on Twitter and Instagram!

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