15 Oct 2014

5 photo mistakes that are losing you dates

Category: Features
Author: Michaela
People are very visual creatures and gather information, clues and messages mostly from what they see rather than what they read or hear.  In person, over 55% of communication is through body language i.e. what people are seeing rather than the words they are hearing (7%) and the tone it’s said in (38%), so it makes sense that photos are also giving out lots of clues and information.
With this in mind, it might be time to do a quick audit of the photos you’re using on your dating profile and check what your photos are saying about you. To make it easy for you, here’s a list of the top 5 mistakes that could be losing you great dates.

Dating photo mistake #1 

Red-eye syndrome
I am always surprised when I see people using photos of themselves when they have got red-eye going on i.e. instead of someone’s eyes you see what looks like red laser beams coming out of their eyes.  If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, ‘what’s wrong with a little red eye?’- let me just say that the eyes are, without doubt, the most important part of the face.  Pro photographers usually focus on the eyes in portrait photography because they know if the eyes are out of focus, then the photo won’t work well. You can tell a lot by looking into someone’s eyes, like whether you think they are trustworthy etc.  If people can’t see your eyes, at best they will find it a little off-putting, at worst they are going to move on to the next photo without bothering to open up your profile because they won’t feel any kind of connection with you.
Dating photo mistake #2

Messy house horror
Are you nodding your head in recognition?  Have you seen dating photos recently, where piles of washing are languishing on the bed behind that person you like the look of? Or their shelves are heaving with piles of messy papers?  I bet it turned you off them instantly. Ideally, you want to create a dating profile, which conjures up a lifestyle that people are drawn to.  You want them to see your profile and start fantasising what life would be like with you.  There aren’t many people who are going to be fantasising about a messy house.  Yes we all know real life includes doing the laundry, but this is definitely a topic to be avoided when you start dating someone.   Keep it real, yes, but the best version of real. 
Dating photo mistake #3

Ex cut out of the shot
Another common mistake you see in people’s dating photos are the ones where what looks like the ex partner has been cut out of the shot.  No one really wants to deal with the ‘ex’ issue at the beginning of a relationship let alone before they’ve even connected with someone.  It acts as a reminder that relationships end and they may even consciously or unconsciously be thinking that one day it could be their head that is cut out of the shot.  It’s like staring at the end of the relationship before it’s had a chance to begin.  So, this is definitely a no-no if you don’t want to put people off.
Dating photo mistake #4

Blurry and poorly lit
Blurry and poorly lit photos are damaging on a couple of levels.  Firstly, your photos won’t stand out in the sea of dating photos that people are looking at.  A pin-sharp, bright photo can attract people to your profile, purely because they stand out from the crowd and your face can be easily seen – don’t underestimate the importance of showing your face off clearly. Secondly, blurry, poorly-lit photos might give some people the message that you ‘can’t be bothered’, which will have some people thinking that they can’t be bothered to get in touch either.  Remember you’re aiming to get people to start imagining how great things would be if they were seeing you.
Dating photo mistake #5

Not smiling
When people turn up for a dating shoot with me, I ask them to channel the best version of themselves, you know, the confident, carefree, happy version.
I encourage them to momentarily forget about unpaid bills, the mean boss, looming deadlines and to relax, enjoy the moment and have fun. This is because happy people are attracted to happy people, so your dating profile photos need to showcase you looking happy and relaxed.  People just aren’t naturally drawn to sullen, moody or unhappy faces – no matter how hot you look in the shot. 

This post was written by the lovely Saskia Nelson.

Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning Saturday Night’s Alright, the UK’s only dedicated dating photography business.  She is passionate about helping the UK's eclectic range of single people to shine online and ultimately find love, friends and happiness. She specialises in creating gorgeous photos for her clients to help them build awesome online dating profiles that help tell the story of who they really are.  She also puts her extensive online dating experiences to good use by sharing her experiences and wisdom on her blog and by organising dating workshops for women as one half of the Go To Girls.
You can find her here on Twitter or on Facebook

Follow Saskia's advice on picking good photos for your dating profile and see if you see an improvement in your dating life!

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