Saturday, June 23, 2007

Using Photos in Your Personal Ads

Photo personals are now extremely popular on the web. When using top internet dating agencies like you will get the opportunity to post maybe four different photos of yourself along with your profile for people to see. If you choose not to post any photos then generally you will not get many replies to your ad and you won't be making the most of your membership.

When you first meet some you look at their face, you look into their eyes, you hold their gaze and within a single second you may have stored 2 million separate pieces of information about that face. Instinctively you will either be drawn to its appearance or not. Much research tells us that we like symmetrical faces most of all, but we also take great notice of hair colour, length, nose, lips, smile and anything else of key initial importance in judging attraction.

Why then do people find if so hard to post photos of themselves on their profile? Believe me when I say, photo personals work! I cannot stress this enough. If you want to be successful when internet dating then begin by adding at least a single photo. Research varies on actual statistics but generally you can expect to get up to eight times more replies with a photo than without. This is because people can see what you look like and all those who are attracted to you will feel able to form a link with you and make contact.

It certainly appears to make sense to add a profile photo but many don't. The reason is often that people don't view themselves as photogenic. What they mean is that they don't look attractive in film. Maybe the camera adds weight to their features or they just don't like to see themselves as others do. its a self confidence issue. The argument goes that they don't have any nice photos available or the scanner is broken or they should really get round to scanning some in. The truth is that they don't like seeing themselves. This can be rectified by having some nice photos taken by a professional photographer which can then be scanned in later.

Another way of solving the problem and keeping the cost down is to buy a digital camera which you can then use to take thousands of photos of yourself time after time until you get the image you like the best. However if you do that you should only select the photos that actually resemble you. I have seen many disasters of people using internet dating services and misleading other members by suing photos that were taken 10 years ago or that aren't a true reflection of them day to day. This in turn leads to instant disappointment on meeting.

Don't fool yourselves, when internet dating someone may indeed fall in love with you online and get to know your personality in depth but the moment you meet, if you don't look like your photograph it will mean nothing. People do NOT understand when they feel they have been misled so capturing someone by using no photo or a photo that is not a truthful representation is a complete waste of time. You are underestimating the power of physical attraction. Now I don't know how many countless times I have heard it said by people that they have learned to look deeper, beyond the outer shell and I am impressed. But its not entirely true. If someone likes the look of you, they like the look of you. If they don't, they won't be interested.

So it is crucial therefore that you use a realistic and recent photo of yourself that is an accurate and in focus portrayal of who you are. Don't even think of using a photo of someone else because its fake and it convinces no one. I often see photos of models on the internet and I know instantly that they are of models. This means that I am unlikely to contact them. A nice natural photo of a real girl will attract me to write. A glamour studio shot won't.

Smiling is critical to the photo you use in your personal ad and you should always try to present a happy face. Smouldering and sultry can work too as can moody, windswept and interesting. But do give some thought to the image you want to portray. You are promoting yourself online so take some care and time to get your image right. Any old photo to hand may not help you much.

The photo you post should be a JPG or a BMP file. Commonly known as a JPEG or Bitmap. Both are easily created through standard window camera software and they don't take up a large file size. However do ensure for most dating websites that you keep the final resolution down so that the file is accepted on the website. for example allows 4 photos of 100kb each. If you don't know much about cameras and photo images, recruit a friend to assist and they can take some nice shots of you too.

Begin by posting a couple of your favourite photos (no more than a year old) and see what kind of reaction you get. If you don't get the reaction you like, change your photo profile in your personal ad until things change. Try not to use fuzzy web cam shots if possible and definitely do not post sexually explicit photos as you come across in a terrible light - you will look like a tramp or sleaze merchant. Also be aware that some web cam images are of a different standard and although they are listed as JPG files they will not post onto dating websites.

Look at the photo personals of other people on the dating site you joined and see if you can match their style of shot. It will be immediately obvious which ones work best because you will like to look at them more than others. I like side profiles with head turned towards the camera in close up with a nice smile. It tells me everything I need to know. As they say - every picture tells a story.

Here are some tips to remember when using photo personals and internet dating services:

Always add a photo to your profile

Take a lot of photos and use the best

Buy a digital camera for its versatility and it helps reduce the cost in the long run. Its fun too.

Ensure the photos are recent

Ensure you are smiling in them or at least presenting the best image

Try and keep the photo file size down

Ensure the photo is bright and clear

Ensure it is an accurate portrait of you now

Add more than one photo if possible and swap periodically

Don't add revealing sexy shots

Try and avoid web cam shots which are grainy

If you don't want to use a photo start to think about your levels of self confidence and appearance and how things can be altered

Remember that photo personals are very popular

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