Picture perfect: Choosing the right image for your profile

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When it comes to your online dating profile, people's first opinion of you usually comes from your picture. While you can put your personality across in what you write on your profile, it is your profile picture that initially catches the eye.

This means you can make the right or wrong impression in an instant, either helping you find a partner or meaning you miss out on someone who could be perfect simply because of your picture. 

So how can you ensure you're making the right impression with your pic? There are a few rules to follow that will help you stand out for all the right reasons. Keep to these simple tricks and you're sure to be getting a lot more of the right attention:

Don't focus on your face

While you want the main focus of your image to be your face, your profile picture shouldn't just be your face. This can look a bit jarring and may leave people wondering why you haven't shown any of your body.

You want to frame the shot so it shows more of you, as well as your face, in a flattering way. Ensure that there is a gap between the top of your head and the edge of the image to create a well-proportioned picture.

Avoid selfies

While it may be tempting to put up your best selfie, many people view these types of images in a negative light. They tend to be over-staged so you don't look like your natural self.

You'd be much better putting up a picture that has been taken by someone else, in which you look natural and happy. This gives a better impression and will avoid any prospective partners thinking you're vain.

Smile

Even if you don't smile a lot, you should be smiling in your picture. Looking deadpan at a camera can be a bit intimidating, whereas looking happy will mean people feel invited to look at your profile.  

You're more likely to freak a prospective date out if you don't smile in your picture, so you really want to choose a happy image.

Background

There's nothing more boring than a plain background. While you may look great in your picture, if you're simply stood in front of a white wall, it isn't very inspiring and could make people pass you by.

Think about what the image background says about you. Do you like being outside, do you like art or is there a favourite place nearby? Showing something interesting in the background that doesn't detract from your image will make your profile look more vibrant.

Be bright

You can make your profile picture stand out from the crowd by ensuring you stand out. Choosing an image where you're wearing something vibrant and eye-catching will help draw people's attention to you and make it more likely that they'll click on your profile.

Of course, you don't want to wear anything too garish, but even a bright accessory can make a huge difference.

Don't edit it

Most importantly, your profile picture needs to be an accurate representation of you. This means you should use an up-to-date photo that hasn't been edited. 

Stay away from filters, photoshop and photos taken more than six months ago. This will show any dates that you have been honest on your profile and increase the likelihood that they will want to see you again.

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