Nobody wants to judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it: profile pictures matter big time when you’re dating online. Now, you could be a rogue dater and refuse to put effort into making your photos seem appealing, hoping to attract daters of a similarly non-conformist mindset … or you could just adopt the far simpler “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” dating ideology and take the advice of HowAboutWe co-founder (and de facto online dating virtuoso) Brian Schechter, who recently shared a few helpful photo tips with Men’s Health blogger Naomi Piercey, aka The Girl Next Door (who, I must say, is way too empirically attractive to believably typecast herself as the proverbial “girl next door”).
Related: How to Look Hot in Pictures
Anyway, incorporating Schechter’s advice, Piercey identifies three photos every male dater should include in his profile:
1. According to Pierce, photo number one (the “cover photo”) should inspire “interest and intrigue.” Make sure the background says something about you (e.g. a beautiful or foreign place, something that could qualify as a “conversation starter”) but obscure your face, such to compel the person to scroll through your other photos.
2. Now that you’ve hooked them with your intriguing and interesting self, Piercey recommends demystifying things with a “flattering close-up of just you, no pals.”
3. Finally, tell her something about yourself — your hobbies, preferred destinations, etc. — with an action shot. This one can include friends, so long as it’s evident which person is you.
I think Piercey’s three “essential” photos are comprehensive, but I would one more:
4. Make sure to have at least one photo in which you are dressed up and another in which you are dressed down. Or in other words — one where you look like the super-hot version of yourself, and one where you look like the “normal” version of yourself (aka what she’ll likely see on the first date). If you only use ridiculously flattering shots, she’ll be disappointed when she meets the real you (unless, of course, you’re this guy); if you only use everyday photos, she won’t know how great you can look when you’re really trying.