Gallery: Your top 10 profile photo pet hates
1. Group photos
This was a bit of a surprising one, but nonetheless, lots of people took issue with this kind of photo. The main issue seems to be that if you put up a group shot then how is your match meant to know who you are? If you really want to include a group photo, please label it REALLY carefully.
Animal lovers look away now, because a lot of the people who responded really didn’t like profile photos with animals in. To be fair, whether or not you like this kind of photo probably depends on how much you like animals in general. But, while they say that we’re a nation of pet lovers, that doesn’t seem to be universally true. Perhaps save your animal snaps for further down the line, when you’ve got to know your match better. Or, as Graham put it bluntly: “I want a relationship with a woman, not a dog!”
3. Far away
This is a bit of a no-brainer, and based on one of the most basic rules of photography. If you’re taking a photo, make sure your subject is visible in the photo. Or, put another way, don’t upload a photo of yourself that looks as though it was taken by someone a mile away. Your matches want to be able to see you properly, don’t be shy!
Like pets, photos of matches drinking are probably divisive. You might put up a photo of you with a drink in your hand because it just happens to be a nice photo, or because you want to show you have an active social life. But, some matches might take this the wrong way. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you put up photos of you on nights out, but you might want to choose photos from the start of the night, rather than the end!
5. Not smiling
We wholeheartedly agree with this pet hate. Why, oh, WHY would you post a profile photo of you looking grumpy? And yet, we’ve seen hundreds of photos of gloomy photos that shout ‘trip to the dentist!’ rather than ‘funny, warm person you want to get to know’. We liked Lisa’s summary: “Give us a cheeky smile!”
Self-taken photos (either with a webcam, a phone or in a mirror) rarely look great, and it seems a lot of you agree. We would absolutely urge you to get a friend to take the photo of you that will be your online dating profile photo. If you’re embarrassed about saying you’re online dating, then don’t be; over 5 million people in the UK currently do online dating and the number is growing every day. If you still can’t bear to tell someone why you need them to take your photo, then tell a little white lie. Say it’s for work, or for an online application. Whatever you do, DON’T take a photo of yourself!
7. Old photos
It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that uploading a photo of yourself from 10 years ago (or more) is frowned upon by your fellow online daters. We’ll say this until we’re blue in the face; it’s a false economy. Yes you can maybe convince someone you’re younger than you are, but unless you’re planning on never meeting them in the flesh that’s a short lived strategy. Dave made his feelings very clear on this subject: “Even worse are those pictures taken many years ago. I don’t want to see what she looked like years ago, I want to see what she looks like now! So many profiles say they are looking for honesty, yet this smacks of total dishonesty”
8. Opposite sex
If you post profile photos with you with your arms around someone of the opposite sex, then you’re not really sending out the right signals to your matches. Unless it’s your son or daughter, then it’s quite likely the other person will look like your partner and that’s an instant turn off for most matches. If you really want to post a photo including someone of the opposite sex, then at least make it very clear who they are in the caption, and make sure it’s not too touchy-feely. But better still, don’t post the photo at all. As Sal said, “[I hate] pictures on men’s profiles of them with their arms around another female (we don’t care if it’s your sister – we’re interested in you, not pictures of you with other women).”
Posing for profile photos is a big no-no. We’re not talking about looking at the camera with a winning smile, we’re talking about striking a serious pose. Here are some of the examples you gave for posed photos: with a car, on skis, in the mountains, on a motorbike, in sports gear, topless, in bed and finally holding a fish. Just don't.
10. Tiny photos
Tiny photos are really a variation on ‘far away’ photos. If your match needs to hold a magnifying glass up to their computer screen, then your profile photo is too small. Go big and bold – each photo you upload to your eHarmony profile can be up to 5MB, which is plenty big enough!
The best of the rest...
There were a few pet hates that didn’t quite make it into our top 10:
- Rob: “Pictures taken whilst backpacking / aid working in Tibet, Ghana or who knows where. They look like the kind of thing you see on Facebook”
- Kat: “I find it cringe worthy when people put photographs of their kids on their profile. We all love our kids but we don’t need to see them just yet!”
- Mary: “Pictures of a guy with his ex-girlfriend from whose she was cut out! You can always tell because there is a female hand on his shoulder or a lock of her hair. On one instance there were woman’s lips on the guy’s cheek! Looks ridiculous and kind of insulting.”
- Eleanor: “Thumbs up on every photo. Well done! You’ve got two thumbs!!”
- C: “Pictures of you with sunglasses on – we want to see what you look like”
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