This is me. In fact this is me after four weeks of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. I took this picture to show you some of the common mistakes guys make in their profile pictures. I’m going to go through them one-by-one, so you don’t make the same mistakes. If you want a contrast, click the about section of this blog and you can see the photo of me that I used as my main Tinder profile pic. I’m sure plenty of people can happily troll me in the comments about which is worse. But if you want to learn something, keep reading.
Firstly the concept was right. This is a picture of me, on my own, clearly showing my face. That is the most fundamental thing that you must get right with your main profile picture. It must show off you, so if it doesn’t clearly show you, then expect most girls to swipe no straight away. The problem with this picture is in the execution. So here, step-by step I’m going to break down where it all went wrong.
Lockdown has clearly taken it’s toll. I haven’t trimmed my beard in a few days, my hair is overdue a cut. Jeez, I just realised even my glasses have slipped down my nose a bit and I haven’t bothered to push them up. All this says I just don’t care. Okay, maybe there was no way I could have gotten my hair cut mid lockdown, but I can sort my beard at least and style my hair so it doesn’t look like I just woke up (I actually had taken a nap earlier 🙈). My t-shirt is all wrinkled too, which is partly because of the pose.
You can maybe tell that, other than my kids, I’ve had no visitors for a few weeks. In fact, directly behind my head and out of view are a load of my kids’ favourite Lego sets! My place looks like a dump. There is laundry on the sofa behind me, my kit to work from home is on the dining table (fighting for space with Lego). Not only is my ironing board in the background; the ironing board itself is covered in junk, including the takeaway bag from dinner. It’s pretty clear that not only have I not put the ironing board away for an age, I’m not even doing any ironing with it. We all have excuses for getting behind on chores, mine is building a loft bed for one of my kids; but nobody on tinder knows that. To strangers it just looks like I’m lazy and happy to live in a hole.
You might think there is little I can do about my face, it just is what it is. But you can do a lot to make your face look better in a picture. Models do this all the time, we just need to know the tricks. I’ll detail them in another post. But here let’s focus on what’s wrong. I look like a rabbit in headlights, I look like I’m terrified of having my photo taken. My wide eyes and raised eyebrows make me look startled and give me deep creases on my forehead. I’ve done something that gives me a weird double chin. In fact my beard has partially saved me here, it might well be a triple chin, if only you could see. At least I’m smiling – sort of.
This is not a great camera angle. The camera is higher than me, which is generally a less flattering pose for a guy (although it works well for girls). In this case it’s not as bad as it could be, because I tilted my head back to look up at the camera. When a guy has a photo from above, he can actually end up looking really creepy; especially if his head is tilted down and his eyes are looking up. It also doesn’t help with showing off receding hair.
This photo was taken with the selfie camera on my phone. This is generally a lower resolution camera and you can probably tell. That said, phone cameras keep getting better. So if you have a newer higher end phone than me, it probably won’t be a big deal. What makes this photo worse, is that it was taken under artificial light. You can see it was dark outside and so the picture was taken indoors. When the light is low all cameras produce lower quality images (whatever your phone might claim) – you may think that your house lights are bright, but that’s only because eyes work really well in dim light. Cameras are much less good and it shows.
I’ve already mentioned that the light is not strong enough, but also I’m stood pretty much under a ceiling light, so it is casting some strange shadows on my face. It also doesn’t help with those wrinkles on my forehead. One good thing is that it hit a reflection on my eye giving a bit of a sparkle. But everything else about the lighting is wrong and not flattering.
Maybe some people consider this a bigger deal than others, but this is clearly a selfie. You can see my arms outstretched holding the camera. This in itself, is not terrible. But it’s a selfie of me, on my own, in my house. It screams, I have no friends, hobbies, passions or any interesting things going on in my life at all. Although a main profile pic should be of you and only you, it can be much less sad.
What have I missed?
Well, I didn’t have a giant fish, nor a sedated tiger to pose with. Given this photo was taken during COVID-19 lockdown, I couldn’t include other people (particularly girls or my mum). I certainly wasn’t going to put my kids on this blog.
Including any of these things would have been a mistake. Your main profile picture should be you, and only you – no distractions or weirdness. My example photo may be an extreme case, but It’s easy to make some of the mistakes highlighted here. Given that your main profile picture is the most important thing on your profile, you should strive to make no mistakes.
What other profile photo mistakes have I not mentioned? Leave a comment below, and if you liked this article, hit the subscribe link at the top to get notifications of new posts. Share it so others can make use of it too.