Online Dating Profiles

The 5 Most Common Mistakes Guys Make in Dating Photos

Posted on
man with strained expression and strange hand gesture at red rock canyon in las vegas

Chloe Gray, Dating Coach

I’ve worked with over a thousand dudes on their dating profiles, and one thing is always consistent: bad photos.

I see clients all across the spectrum of dating experience, from guys who have never been kissed to those that do well on dating apps and want to min-max their profile. Some people who come to me already have good bios, are a master in the DMs, or go on a few dates a week – but almost all of them have at least a few bad photos. This includes public figures I’ve worked with… like dudes in movies, ya’ll. They had terrible photos too.

Most guys don’t understand what attracts and repels women when it comes to their photos. There are way too many issues to go over in one blog post, but let’s talk about the 5 problems I see most often.

1. Women have seen 3,000 photos of dudes climbing Machu Picchu

Do you know what you look like on the top of Machu Picchu? Friggin exhausted and covered in sweat stains.

Don’t focus on taking adventurous or exciting photos unless you look damn good doing it. Active photos, social photos, hobby photos, and aesthetically pleasing backdrops are awesome – but are always secondary to it being flattering AF.

llama standing in front of machu picchu

Even women looking for their soulmate want to be attracted to him. If she doesn’t want to lick you, you’re doing it wrong. Think about it, when you’re looking at her photos and it looks like she leads a thrilling, interesting life – but you’re not attracted to her – do you swipe right?

Probably not. It’s not a friendship app, it’s a dating app. Like it or not, physical attraction is a pretty big part of that.

2. If she’s uncertain you’ll be hurtin’

Do you know the biggest reason straight women swipe left on dating apps? Uncertainty.

Does your height look inconsistent? Are you wearing oversized clothing or a coat in most of your photos? Can she see your hairline? Your teeth? Your body type? If she experiences any level of uncertainty about what you’re going to look like as you’re walking up to her on a first date, she will swipe left.

puzzled young girl demonstrating concern

Photos standing next to large objects, in large or heavy clothing, next to your ex, in a group of 10 other people, or that are clearly 5+ years old all create uncertainty.

Most straight men are looking for a photo on her profile that makes him want to swipe right, while most straight women are looking for a photo that makes her want to swipe left. According to a plethora of data, straight women decide how to swipe based on your worst photo – not your best. Be consistent, friends.

3. Women don’t want to date murderers

Seriously, don’t stare blankly into the camera. You should smile, smirk or have some kind of friendly or sexy expression on your face. She should want you to pull her hair, not worry that you’re gonna keep her in the freezer.

creepy baby girl toy on swing

If you stare expressionlessly into the camera you’re going to look like a serial killer. Shockingly enough, that’s not a super effective way to get a girl off the internet to meet you in person. Your photos should show some personality, and you should look friendly and approachable.

4. Your boat is super cool, but it’s not the first thing we should know about you

Nobody likes a showoff, so don’t take a photo next to your fancy new car. Most women don’t really care about cars – but they’ll absolutely care if you seem like a self-absorbed jerk.

Similarly, it’s not a good idea to take photos where you’re clearly flexing, working out in the gym, with a celebrity, on a yacht, or anything else that’s clearly intended to show off.

If you’re showing off your wealth in your profile, I, as a viewer, assume that you’re trying to buy me… and I’m not interested in being bought.

handsome wealthy mature bearded black guy in a hat and striped suit driving boat

If you have a ripped bod and want to show it off, more power to you! But do it in a less obvious way. Take photos of you with friends at the beach, playing a sport (don’t forget – pre-sweat!), or having a lakeside cookout.

If it doesn’t make sense that you’re shirtless, you’ll look like a jerk. No one wants to go on a date with a dude who talks about himself for two hours at dinner, shoves his tongue down her throat, has literally no idea how to make her orgasm, and then doesn’t text her again until next Friday at 11pm… and that’s how you will come across if you take photos next to your Lamborghini or flexing at the gym.

5. Dress to impress

You should look quite distinctly like you aren’t wearing dirty clothes that barely passed the sniff test AND they should provide an accurate and flattering look at your body type.

Fit? Show that muscle off! Try a short-sleeved shirt that’s nice and snug. Working out first will give you a nice pump. It’s essentially the male version of a push-up bra, and it’ll look great on you.

Overweight? Don’t fall into the trap of using photos from the neck up or wearing oversized clothing – it’ll just make you look heavier. She wants to know what to expect on a date, and if she has to guess your size, she will assume you’re a lot heavier than you are.

positive mixed race brunette man in an oversized beige sweatshirt sits at a table in a shopping mall

Skinny? Your clothing should be touching your skin. If there’s a big gap between where your arms end and the shirt begins you’ll look smaller than you are, and if there’s a gap between where your belly ends and your shirt begins, it’ll give the illusion of a gut.

Shorts that go past your knees will make you lose height, and don’t wear anything that’s frayed, has holes, or that you bought at a gas station. You don’t have to get dressed up, but show her that you care about what you put on your body.

This is just a small sample of the mistakes I see on a daily basis, but hopefully it’ll get you started in the right direction. For more personalized and specific instructions, you can always make an appointment so we can work on your photos one-on-one.