As a portrait photographer in San Francisco, I’m always looking for new approaches, especially for online dating photos. Okcupid.com has done plenty of research about online dating photos. One discovery I wanted to share with you is that women respond more favorably to a man’s profile photos when he is looking away from the camera. You can read a little more about it here.
There are a few theories as to why this is. One says it’s because men can be intimidating if they are looking straight into the camera; looking away is supposedly less threatening to women. The opposite seems to be true for women’s photos. Men seem to respond more favorably to women looking straight into the camera with either a smile or a slightly flirty look.
As an online dating photographer, I’m not sure I totally agree with all of this, but if you’re a guy wanting to attract women, it certainly can’t hurt. If you have professional profile pictures taken, put up one or two photos where you aren’t looking right into the camera. The difficulty with these types of photos is they can have a tendency to look posed or fake. So here are some tips to help get that candid ‘looking away’ photo while avoiding looking like you are staring off into space.
1) Have someone else there (besides the photographer) that you are talking to or looking at.
2) Mix it up and look at the camera sometimes as well. Don’t take this study so literally. If you have a great photo of you looking into the camera, you should definitely still post it.
3) Actually look at something rather than thinking too much. Pick out a group of people passing by or a dog or something that catches your attention.
4) Try both sitting and standing.
5) Talk and laugh. You want this photo to look candid as though you didn’t even know you were being photographed. If you’re having fun you might just forget the camera is on you.
The very best online dating profiles are honest and down to earth. Great photos happen when you are more casual; where you look like yourself, so try to relax, have fun and just pretend the camera isn’t there!