The pictures you choose to show people online say as much about you as your profile text. You should always use current photographs and include a nice head shot and a body shot. Avoid photos that aren’t just of you, and respect the privacy of others by not featuring them in your photos. Judge your own photo the way you judge photos of people you’re looking at online. Be sure your photo is sending the message that will resonate with the type of person you hope will respond to your profile. If you’re tempted to use existing photographs, or if you plan on taking some new pictures, you’ll want to pay close attention to the following rules. Let’s take a look at photos to avoid.
Pictures of You and Your Ex
Never use a photo of you and your ex (as in ex-spouse or ex-significant other). First, it’s not fair to feature someone in an online dating site without her knowledge and when the profile isn’t about her. You’re no longer in that relationship and you’re single now. Photos with your ex also send a message about what type of person you’ve been attracted to in the past.
Pictures of You and Your Kids
Beyond not being a picture of just you, it’s always a little dangerous to put pictures of your children on a public site. You don’t know who might be trolling a dating site, looking for just such an opportunity. When you combine a bad person with the name of your town and your kids’ picture, you’re creating a recipe for disaster. In just one scenario, the bad person could stop by your kids’ schoolyard (how many schools are there for kids their age in your town?), spot them, and then follow them home to learn where you live.
Old Pictures of Yourself
You don’t look like that anymore, and you never will again. It’s not fair to your prospective date, and it’s not fair to you. The farthest back you should go in using an older picture is one year. And if your weight, hairstyle, or general appearance has changed since then, even that old is not acceptable. An old picture may be how you think of yourself. It may be from a better time, a better hair era, a greater firmness, but it’s just not fair. It’s not telling the truth. Take a new picture. That’s the person you are, and that’s the picture everyone wants to see.
There is no better way to confuse someone than with a picture of you with a group of friends. It’s hard, if not impossible, to figure out who you are in the group, and in the process you expose other people online who may not have wanted. What if they think your friends are hotter than you are?