Make love to the camera, Zooskers

By Juliet O

A picture says a thousand words.  Some of the most earnest questions — and some of the biggest complaints — that we get on the Community Forums are about  Zoosk profile pictures. Let’s face the facts. Pictures are an integral aspect of online dating. It should be no surprise that your fellow Zooskers want to know what you look like before they decide to date you. People do respond to things visually, and we’ve found that Zooskers who’ve uploaded photos to their date cards are many times more likely to be approached by prospective matches on Zoosk.

Taking our findings to the next logical step we can conclude with a high degree of certainty that if y = mx + b, then date card + photos = good.

Photos put a face to a name. Photos enliven your date card. They can even give you more personality. They give others the ability to judge their level of attraction to you. Photos make you more interesting. They also make you appear more trustworthy. Photos hold you accountable to who you say you are. You’ve registered for Zoosk, taken the leap, and are actively seizing control of your love life. Uploading a few photos is small potatoes when you’ve already come so far. And, when you upload pics, it shows up on your Activity Feed and alerts other Zooskers — on Zoosk as well as Zoosk Desktop. Zooskers can also “like” your Zoosk photos on your Feed, which gives you a whole new way to put yourself out and attract some potential flirting.

To help you maximize your date card and get you some bona fide dates, we’ve come up with the following tips to help you choose your Zoosk date card pictures and to tailor them to best suit your individual personality.

6. One is not the loneliest number.

Says Zoosker Angel Eyes, “I get annoyed with group pix when they don’t say which person they are in the group.” If you put a group picture up, indicate which person you are in the group. And it goes without saying that the primary profile picture on your date card should be you alone, solo, seulement.  SirCarls agrees, “As we go through profiles, it is just helpful to be able to see the person who belongs to the profile. I believe other pictures (we have 6 total) can be of anything, but it is just my opinion that the primary should be the profile owner. That way there is very little confusion.” In your online dating photos, being alone in your photo can ensure that you won’t be alone in life. Sounds like a good trade-off to me!

5. Be single, not ambiguously single.

Zoosker Loe warns the boys, “Please don’t show us no cropped photo of you hugging a girl with a strand of her hair in the bottom left corner. Why do you show your best ‘girl friend’ on your profile and wonder why no one is responding?” Lysa concurs, “Please stay away from the ones that look like the ex-girlfriend was cut out of the photo.” The same goes for you, single ladies. Gabe cautions, “No pics with your ex, or their arm around you in the pic. Come on, just take a new pic!”  Zoosk allows you to crop your photos on our site, so why not do a better job cropping? Or, why not avoid ambiguous pics altogether? People want to date you. Not you, plus someone else’ spare body parts. Because, ew, that would be weird.

4. Mix it up.

Variety is the spice of life. On Zoosk, you can upload 6 photos, so make them all different! Zoosker Jim writes, “People should have a variety of pics in their profile… the max if possible, also showing themselves in different situations.” Put up funny pics, sassy pics, serious pics. Put up those travel pics, party pics, family reunion pics. Having many different photos gives people the chance to see the multiple sides of you, so you should upload pictures of you that reflect your multifacted personality. Not only will this make you more attractive and interesting, but it does you justice to show off  a bit. Do you have a talent? Take a picture of it, and put it on your profile. Zoosker Loe wants to see “if you have talents such as playing the guitar, swinging fire pois or surfing in action. We want to be impressed!”

3. Ancient history should be left on the History Channel.

Don’t air your ancient history on Zoosk! Gabe writes, “Ok, this has probably been mentioned, but please do not post pictures of yourself that are 5, 10, or even 20 years old!!! I have seen some where the person is 44, yet in the grainy picture they chose to post they look maybe 30.”  While I wish someone would invent a time machine so we can all go back in time and play with the dinosaurs, the truth is that such a machine does not yet exist. Unfortunately, your potential match cannot go back to when Clinton was in office and date you as you were back in 1993 (though I am sure you really rocked the flannel and the Doc Martens at Lallapalooza) so you should probably put a picture up of you as you exist in the late 00’s.

2. Don’t be creepy.

Smile in your photo. Don’t snarl. Others tend to find that a bit, shall we say, disturbing. And some things are just categorically creepy, like weird facial hair,  gun collections, and pictures of your past flesh wounds. I think it’s awesome that you’re an amateur taxidermist, an amateur private eye, and an amateur wrestler, but maybe a potential date might not ‘get’ the charm right away? I know that we all have a creepy side (heck, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m totally creepy), but you should reveal those things about yourself slowly, over time. Don’t drop the bomb just yet! Otherwise how will they get that you’re lovably creepy as opposed to escaped convict creepy?

1. Love thyself!

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that, ultimately, your photos are decided by you and no one else. Upload pics that you actually like! Hey, if you actually like that photo of yourself eating a bucket of KFC while you’re cuddling up next to your pet python and watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and you’re not worried that it might scare some potential suitors away, then by all means upload it. Put up pictures that you like and that highlight aspects of your personality that you are proud of — if you love yourself, then you’re opening yourself to be loved by someone else.

PS: Zoosk photo uploading just got a bit more sexy. Did you notice the “edit” button? Now, on Zoosk, you can rotate and crop photos to make them all nice and pretty for your Zoosk profile. You’re welcome :)

photo credit: david guimaraes