How to Pick Tinder Profile Pictures?
Taking and then carefully selecting the “right” Tinder pics is by far the most important part of being successful on Tinder. This guide will give you a solid overview on how to pick the best Tinder pictures. It is an excerpt from one of the chapters in our Online Dating Blueprint, which includes 10 highly detailed chapters and over a dozen bonus chapters to maximize your online dating results. Furthermore, the Tinder photo advice in this post is applicable to all other Online Dating Apps and Sites. So, you can use these to have the best Bumble pictures, Hinge pictures, or other apps, too.
Three Principles of Good Tinder Pictures
1) Good Quality – The picture itself should be of decent quality. This means that it is not grainy or pixelated. Ideally, you want a quality DSLR camera and good lighting. Look at the difference between these two pictures below. One was taken with a regular phone camera without attention to lighting. The other one was with a quality DSLR camera with perfect lighting:
2) You Look Good – The picture should be the most attractive version of you possible. This means that you don’t have a weird facial expression, poor posture, bad outfit, poor grooming, etc. It also means that you are the star of the picture and you are clearly visible. Take a look at these two pictures of me both shot within minutes of each other (with same equipment). To the left, I look scrounged over and displaying poor body language. My eyes are half open and I am looking down, which makes me appear timid and depressed. Now contrast that to the one on the right. I look attractive, confident, and intense.
3) Looks Natural & Not Posed – One of the most important factors is how “natural” does this picture look. The more it looks like you didn’t take the picture (or had it taken) on purpose, the better. You want it to look like you were just living life and someone crept up on you with a camera and took a snap of you being you. It’s a little bit of a “catch 22” since you want the picture to be high quality and for you to look good, but yet still feel like it “just happened”. However, if you take enough pictures you should be able to find a few ones just like this. Take a look at the difference between the two pics below. Both were taken during the same photo shoot with the same exact camera. However, the one to the right looks significantly more natural:
Putting Together a Successful Tinder Profile
Now that you understand what makes a good picture in general, let’s take a look at how all this comes together in a profile. You want a minimum of four pictures. Ideally five or six. Don’t feel like you have to fill every spot either. After the fourth picture, only add additional ones if they are neutral or better than the ones you already have. One bad picture can significantly reduce your results. In addition, you want to have as many natural looking pictures as possible. If you have one picture that looks very staged like a headshot or a shirtless selfie, then that’s acceptable. But if all your pictures look staged, then the girls’ perception of your SMV will take a massive hit.
First picture: Should be JUST OF YOU, it can be an activity picture, but no other people. Your face should be very clearly visible and ideally at least a part of your body. If you are fit or average, show that you aren’t fat. If you are fat or very skinny, make sure it’s as flattering as possible.
Second picture: Should also be JUST OF YOU and your face should also be very clearly visible. However, it should be a different style than the first one. If the first one is just a headshot, this should include your body as well or an activity picture. If the first one included your whole body, then this one should be closer zoomed in on your face, etc.
Rest of pictures: These can be activity pics, group pics, or just cool pics in general. You want to show that you are a normal & high-value guy. Some Ideas are: jet skiing, skydiving, chilling on a boat with some girls, riding a motorcycle, working out or even just walking down the street in a suit or nice outfit.
Let’s take a look at some successful profiles, notice how they all follow that same pattern:
Common Mistakes (DON’TS)
Here are other common mistakes the vast majority of guys make with their Tinder photos. Some of these might sound obvious or repetitive, but I want to make sure you are not one of them.
- Don’t be shirtless unless you look good – Shirtless pics aren’t for everyone. In fact, they are only for the small percentage of the male population who has a six-pack and looks great without a shirt.
- Don’t use group pics where it’s hard to tell who you are – This is especially important for the first two pictures. You could have an extremely high SMV, but if a girl can’t tell who you are or what your face looks like, she will automatically swipe left half the time.
- Don’t have a picture of you and one other girl – A lot of girls will automatically assume she is your girlfriend and swipe left. The only exception is if it looks like it’s at some kind of event and it’s obvious that she is not your girlfriend.
- Don’t have any pics with babies or children – Even if you are a single father, you don’t want the girl to know that right away. It will lose you a lot of matches.
- Don’t use pics with ugly women – Sounds mean, but it’s true. Unless the girls in your group pics are 7+, you are better off not posting them at all.
- Don’t post pics of you hovering around drunk girls at a club – Girls are excellent at reading into the vibe of a picture and this will be obvious. If you want to show preselection, it’s better to have pictures with girls during the daytime. For club pics, pay extra attention to the vibe. Even if the girls are part of your social circle, what does the picture make it look like?
- Don’t use multiple pics with the same shirt – This is another small detail most girls will pick up on. If you have two amazing pictures where you happen to be wearing the same outfit, don’t put them next to each other.
- Avoid selfies – Avoid selfies unless it’s a high-quality picture of you doing something cool like skydiving, traveling, etc. It may also be permissible if it is a good quality body/six pack picture. Though it is better to have someone else take it. Or if it is something like an “accidental” beach photo, etc. showing off your great body.
Now that you understand what makes a good picture and what you need to create a successful profile, let’s get down to specific action steps you should take:
Step 1: Get high-quality photos (or skip to Step 2 if you already do). For your photo shoot bring 3 nice outfits and have your hair/grooming on point. If you are not extremely tight on cash (i.e close to starving), invest in a professional photography session. It’ll be worth it. Choosing a photographer can be very hit or miss. Generally, the better ones will charge at least a few hundred dollars (in the states), but you might be able to get away with less than a $100 if they are just starting out (again hit or miss). The other option which can be just as good (if not better) is to get a friend/fuck buddy with a DSLR camera and a good eye.
Step 2: Sort the photos based on the things previously mentioned in this chapter. Many should be very easy to rule out. Send the top choices to four or five honest, attractive female friends that are in your target demographic (i.e if you are going for easy lays, don’t send your pics to your prude college ex). This may sound daunting to some, but TRUST ME it is by far the best way to find your top photos and the vast majority of the girls you know will be happy to help (girls love shit like this). Girls will be able to pick out on subtle, but important details that 99% of guys will miss. To this day, I regularly get my female friends/ fuck buddies to give me feedback on my photos and my clients’ photos. As an additional benefit, this might get ex-booty calls wanting to fuck you again.
Note: This is one of the main reasons I got really good. I was relentless in getting feedback and still am to this day. Screenshots below of me randomly hitting up a girl I hooked up with ages ago
Use pictures that are high quality, look natural and are the best representation of you. This means your style, hair and body language that portrays confidence. Avoid the common mistakes most guys make on Tinder and reference the general formula that works for the successful profiles, previously shown. Send everything to at least four or five girls that fit into your target demographic (age, attractiveness and sluttiness level) and get feedback. If you lack the necessary pictures, get a professional photo shoot done. If you are too broke to afford one of those, get one of your buddies with a quality camera and a good eye to hook you up.
Ok, so you’ve now got great photos, and you’re seeing good results. What’s next? Now, you’ve got to make sure to write a good Tinder bio.
Finally, here’s our video breakdown of the best Tinder profile pics: