How To Create The Best Online Dating Profile


One of the benefits of shooting online dating profiles for the past 7 years, is getting a first-hand look at what is working for people, and what is worth trashing, or just not shooting anymore. 

Each photo that you decide to use needs to have a reason behind it versus just putting it up because you think you look good. You will stand out more, look better, and show what makes you unique enough, that someone wants to meet you.

What is it that makes an overall great dating profile, as there are so many views from people out there today as to what does and doesn’t work?

The most important advice I can give you is that first impressions count. Once someone passes on you, that is often it. They won’t appear again unless you delete what you’re using online and come back again.

From the different elements of fashion and lifestyle, through to how many photos to use, these are the keys to increasing your matches. For more on choosing the right outfits for a dating shoot head here.


Dating Profile Smile

The amount of photos to have in your dating profile or mini portfolio should be in the 5-6 range. With an app such as Hinge which is popular with my clients now, you do need to have 6 to complete your profile and to be able to use the app.

I like to think of this as on a platform such as YouTube or even Instagram, where if someone decides to follow you, you have to be intriguing enough to do so. I will cover this more below.

Under 5 photos isn’t enough, as it puts just enough doubt in someone’s mind that you’re not really that interesting. 

One tip that applies to all of these categories, is don’t include photos where it’s you up against a wall or just nothing happening behind you, including any shots done in a studio. 

This is something I did when I started shooting, and none of my client’s matches increased.

This is something to also look out for when choosing a dating photographer. Everything needs to come across as reality, but not boring or obviously staged.


But aren’t all my photos dating profile photos? I class profile shots as the 2 photos in your profile only, where the focus is purely on you. There is no one else in the shot, well apart from possibly blurred-out people, or an interesting background such as the photo above. 

These photos need to be well lit which is essential, and with good resolution. You won’t do as well with matches without these 2 things. Within these shots do not use any type of filter.

You will also notice within the above photo the use of props/bike are strategically positioned to keep things natural. This is where this person is now, vs them getting shots done for a dating profile.

You also need to smile, (which I’ll also be covering in a different piece shortly) and it is the photographer’s job to find your best angles. You don’t need to be front on to the camera if it doesn’t work best for you. If you look at the gallery here, or head to my Instagram page, you will get a good idea of what I mean.

Full Body Dating Profile Shots

Full body fashion dating photo

A full-body shot, whether it’s standing or sitting is great to use, though if you have an outfit that rox you would go for the standing option. (I will go more into what to wear in a separate upcoming blog).

The first reason as to why you would show full body is being open. The more open you can be/nothing to hide, right from the outset the better, versus turning up on a first date, and someone being surprised by a physical aspect or something else they didn’t know about. It removes the awkwardness. 

I have photographed people, who have been asked if they could add a full body shot to their profile, as all images were head and shoulders/waist up only.

The second reason is exactly that, you need to smash out lots of variety in your photos. All close-ups make you look uninteresting. 

The last thing is to ideally match a location that fits your vibe, versus why are they wearing a suit in the playground. Although I do like to throw curve balls on occasions to match the personality of who I am shooting 🙂


Online Dating Photography with Pets

Don’t stress out if you don’t have a pet, as it isn’t going to make or break your profile. In saying that everyone loves pets, well I think so based on how many people I shoot, who don’t come with one, but end up searching for or playing with one when we shoot.

While dogs are the obvious choice, anything that you have is great. I have photographed cats, horses and parrots which is unexpected but very cool.  

The pet does not have to be yours. If you are asked, you can very easily say it’s a friend of yours or family friend. Obviously the main benefit here is that there are heaps of pet lovers, so you may find it easier to match up.

Be aware that you don’t want to post a photo of a pet by itself. There is no benefit to that. You also need be outside, as it makes for a better photo. This includes a suitable location again. Dog park?

The other way around this, is it to mention that you love pets in your bio.   


When you look at someone’s Instagram, what is that makes you follow them? The chances are that their feed is quite interesting and gives a pretty cool insight into their lifestyle. 

There is an intrigue factor, and is something I apply to all my shoots.

Think of  dating app’s as a small-scale Instagram but with the chance for someone to swipe left or right, with stand out photos. It’s an element which the most swiped on guys and girls get right.

Creating talking points is a big thing, which a lot of people miss out on, or do not get right.

When I say creates talking points, what I mean is that when you match up with someone, the conversation can flow or lead in a certain way if you have something to talk about in your shots.

This versus the typical conversation of “yo, hay, whassup, hows ya day, which often fizzles out.

What are hobbies and interests of yours? What’s involved in your lifestyle that makes you interesting or unique versus everyone else? Included in this can be any places you like to go to outside of work, as this may also lead to somewhere you can go on a first date.  

There isn’t anything wrong with being more business-minded and career-orientated, or travel, if it is your thing. I mean you just need someone cool to travel the world with.

Think here about what type of people you want to attract, as you will have a higher chance of ending up with matches who have similar interests to you.

Guys who list travel, exercise, theatre, dancing and cooking do very well. Music festivals, lounges or bars, a favourite place you like to eat at are also good ideas. Most women fall for a guy who can also play musical instruments.

For women, exercise is most desirable, followed by photography, travel, art and dance.

The common thing between these two is a healthy and active lifestyle. It is a big part of a lot of people’s daily routines and lives, whether it’s going to the gym or doing things outside.

Something that has been super popular for quite a while now is yoga and pilates.  If you have an interest in that, it is great to include and also meet people at.

Just make sure whatever you include here is actually who you are.


Social life dating photos

So far your profile is all you, so adding the social side will show your more outgoing side, and I would throw this in photo 3 or 4 position, as it breaks things up well.

If you decide on two shots with others, go three and six. If you don’t have social shots, and especially for guys who often take much fewer photos when out versus girls, then just have your family, or pull someone off the street which I have done a crazy amount of times while shooting. 

Why this works so well, is that people love being in photos, and their energy is very candid. They are pumped and ready to go, which makes for a cool photo. The photo above is an example of this. My guy is not in the sunnies, and the other guy was psyched.

Just think that if you’re in a social scenario, and you’re on a dating profile, grab a shot, remembering that good lighting is key.

In relation to group photos, they are also cool, but don’t get lost in there. I would limit the group to 4-5 people max. 

All of these things are planned prior to when I shoot with you. If you’ve got a question, send me a message or if you’d like to shoot, you can do so here.