Profile Picture Taking Rules
Photo edit tips that will help you to take a photo of yourself and be able to transform your everyday picture into a great picture that will be ready to be uploaded with your personal ad at the online services that encourage you to include your photo.
Also how to make your picture stand out from the rest and attract more replies to your personal ad at the same time.
After you’ve prepared the perfect profile, the next step in the online dating world is to include the perfect photo of yourself. Looking at photos is an important part of most people's selection process and a lot of dating sites allow users to browse only the profiles with photos. A nice picture of yourself adds personality and presence to your profile. What's more, profiles with photos get browsed five to ten times more often than those without photos. It stands to reason that a nicer photo is even more likely to get a response! Conversely, a bad photo can also have an adverse effect. A photo that reflects the way you currently look is important too. By following some simple guidelines and investing a little time and thought into the process you can take your own great photo without spending hundreds of dollars on a professional photographer.
1. Determine how you are going to take your picture and who is going to take it.
Using a digital camera is the best, but the traditional film camera will work just as well. Even purchasing a throw away camera is fine. (Traditional print pictures will require the extra step of scanning in your picture or asking for the images to be saved onto a disk, ready to be downloaded to your computer.) Find a friend who can operate the camera – artistic skill is not necessary - but you need someone that can follow your directions easily.
2. Schedule a block of time. Allow for enough time that you don't feel rushed, so plan for at least a couple of hours. Be prepared to take more than a couple of pictures. You'll find that if you have allowed a full roll of film (or more) to take your picture with you will relax more and have a better selection of images to choose from.
3. Location, location, location – scout for a place to take your picture. The background of your picture should be plain enough that you are certainly the most important figure in the picture but interesting enough that you don't seem "up against a wall and ready to be arrested".
Lighting is really important, if not the most important element in getting a great photo. Ideally you need a place that has a lot of good natural light and most photographers prefer the early morning or the late afternoon, but not direct sunlight (avoid squint face). It's also better to avoid using a flash as this can cause the red eye effect, distracting shadows and (reflective or shiny) hot spots on the face.
The background should be something simple, plain and light in color. A waterfall is beautiful, but will distract from the real purpose of the picture – to highlight you!
4. GET SPRUCED UP!
This is so important I have to say it again. GET SPRUCED UP! Fix your hair, do your makeup and wear something that makes you feels good. Pretend that you are going out on a really hot date and get ready for it! Take advantage of any free makeovers that department stores sometimes offer. Practice in the mirror with some different "looks", find your best "side". Get a good nights sleep and avoid the sun prior to your photo shoot, if you have to have a tan get one from a bottle.
When you're feeling handsome or pretty and good about yourself, the camera can't help but capture that, so indulge in you!
5. Take a bunch of pictures!
Photographers will take 100's of pictures with the hope that one will be a money shot. Even subtle changes can make a world of difference. Try different poses, tilt your head, lick your lips, change outfits and use those "looks" you practiced.
6. Make eye contact with the camera. By making eye contact you will portray yourself as honest and engage the viewer. Remember to keep your chin down and have the photographer shoot at an angle from your eye level.
7. Get as close as the camera will allow. The better the original photo, the better the photo will be after optimization for the web.
8. Compose your picture in the viewfinder. If you don't have the ability to crop your picture, then be aware before you snap the picture. Center the subject, you may even want to try a diagonal for a dramatic effect.
To further enhance your photo, and if you have some basic computer skills, then you may want to look into a photo-editing program. There are several on the market that are easy to use and cost anywhere from $30.00 to $100.00. Another option is having your photo professionally retouched. With some simple adjustments a good photo can be transformed into a great photo - even super models have their photos retouched!
The most important part of a good picture is PLANNING AHEAD! and worth it, after all a successful online dating experience can lead to some life changing and wonderful adventures.
SOME PHOTO EDITING PROGRAM FOR THE NON-PROFESSIONAL
(Programs costs range from free $30.00 to $100.00 check out www.cnet.com for current prices available on the web)
Google's version of an easy to use and free photo editor.
Photoshop Elements delivers the core image-editing tools needed by most nonprofessional photographers. But it's still too complex for most hobbyists. For a more kitchen-sink feature set, try Corel Paint Shop Pro. take advantage of the 30 day free trial if you only need to juse it this one time or have a need for great photo editing software and might buy it.
Paint Shop Pro
A user-friendly, powerful image editor, Paint Shop Pro is an affordable alternative to Photoshop.
Sample Picture 1
This picture is a real attention-getter. Unfortunately it shows off the dogs better that the person. You probably looked first at the dogs and subconsciously made a decision about the person before really seeing her face.
Avoid attention-stealing objects in your picture. A great picture will showcase yourself in a subdued setting. Looking straight up to the camera from the shoulders is a very unflattering pose and can cause hot spots that may look like blemishes on your face.
Sample Picture 2
Photo number 2 is a great head shot. Notice the even lighting and the enticing use of makeup that draws you to look into the eyes of the subject and does not allow for just a quick look at her. This photo is sure to stand out from the crowd but could be improved by not cutting off the head or adding depth to the picture by having the pose go to the waist.
Be sure to avoid "over-accessorizing" and keep any visible jewelry to a complimentary piece or two, nothing that takes the viewer away from your goal, to see "you" in the photo.
Sample Picture 3
(click to enlarge)
In picture number 3 we have a very relaxed setting that involves the viewer to not only look at the picture but to explore the pose and the person in the photo. You probably looked at her face first, then followed down the photo to notice that she is barefoot.
The colors used are subdued and actually encourage the viewer to slowly look at the photo. Contrasting a light color above (her hair) with a dark color below (the pants) forces you to take a full look at the photo and this is the action you are trying to achieve through your posing and wardrobe.
You may want to have a change of clothes available as you prepare for your photos to be taken. You'll likely find that once a few pictures have been taken you will relax in front of the camera and actually start having fun with the process instead of being self-conscious as to how you will show up in the pictures.
Remember to keep your eyes level to the camera lens, get your picture taking friend or photographer to bend down for the relaxed look to your photos.
Professional photographers can charge a lot of money for a studio photo, and it is certainly worth it, but not really an expense that many of us can justify.
Digital photo-retouching is relatively new and most people aren't aware that this service is available for a very reasonable fee and with some amazing results. By applying some basic re-touching a regular snapshot can be transformed into a studio-like quality portrait. With some simple adjustments like cropping, color correcting, red eye removal, adjusting the contrast, selective enhancing and blemish removal, a regular snapshot can become a portrait that shows off the best you and gets positive responses for your ad.
More advanced procedures like combining two average photos to make one great shot or replacing the background will further highlight a regular photo. All of this without spending hundreds of dollars!