We’ve covered the best types of Tinder pictures already, so we wanted to take a different angle. Today, we’re going to tell you what makes a bad online dating photo. Look through each example and make sure your Tinder photos are nothing like these!

As a man, it’s critical that your pics make you look more attractive than you are in person. Specifically, we believe you should aim for looking at least 1 point above your objective sexual market value (SMV). For example, if you’re a 7 in real life, you’ve got to look at least 8 or above through your pictures. Obviously don’t take this too far, if you are a 6 in real life but you pose yourself to look like a 9, you’re going to get called out for being a catfish.

I’m going to go through real examples of awful photos we’ve had our members using. I’ll explain WHY each of the following pictures are bad. While some may be obvious to you, it may not always be clear why it’s a bad photo. I’ll break all of this down for you.

  1. The Generic Tinder Selfie


  1. Selfies are always a No-No. Why? Because selfies indicate that you don’t have enough friends or rather ANY to take a picture of you. Selfies also usually result in shitty quality pictures since the front cameras are not as advanced as the back ones
  2. When you pick out pictures for an online dating profile, you want to show the best version of yourself. And a girl wants to know that you lead a decent high value life.
  3. What guy without friends would live a high value life? Hence, it’s a NO-NO.
  4. But this one even goes a level beyond. A poor background of a swimming pool. Doesn’t really showcase the pool as it’s supposed to.
  5. He’s wearing a very non-communal hoodie with a beanie at a pool. Why would he be at a pool during winter? Since that’s what he looks like he’s dressed for winter. An overall boring picture without anything attention catching.
  6. If it’s not a selfie and if you planned to take a picture next to a pool, you’re better off laying on one of the seats shirtless wearing shorts with a laptop on top of you indicating that you’re working or busy building a lifestyle.
  7. This guy could easily have a good body but none of that is being showcased either.


  1. The Terrible Hobby Tinder Picture


  1. Granted, it’s an adventure picture, but it’s quite gloomy. He looks like it was his first ski lesson. Lighting matters a lot in a good picture since the attention should not be taken away from the prize, YOU!
  2. You can stand out with either good fashion or just having a better contrast. Too bad you can’t truly display good fashion while skiing unless it’s an expensive jacket which is flashy like the pros wear.
  3. On top of that, he has an awkward facial expression which comes across overly dorky and timid. You want to have an expression that looks sexy/seductive or looking like you’re having a good time.
  4. He can’t really do much with the body language since he’s on his skis to begin with. Overall, it was a poor choice to use this picture.
  5. If this photo were showing him skiing on some really obviously very challenging terrain, and without the awkward facial expression and pose, it might be good. But with this, it looks like he’s at least 6 months of ski lessons away from a decent picture like this.



  1. Don’t be this guy!. Pretty attractive dude who’s ripped, but holding a fish he caught? Have you ever heard a woman say “I just wish I met a guy who could fish”?
  2. Apart from that, it looks like he’s in a swamp where dead bodies get dumped. This immediately instills some creepiness to the picture. Creepy is the worst box to be in – never give a woman anything that could make her think “creepy”.
  3. If fishing was truly a passion of his, he could have had a better pose. He could have been wearing a linen shirt with swimming trunks, wearing sunglasses while he’s having a good time on a boat fishing, for example.
  4. Every aspect of a hobby/adventure picture should project that it’s something you can get the girl to join in on. You want her visualizing in her mind what it might be like to be a part of your life. A girl won’t be inspired at all to join you on a fishing day at the swamp.
  5. He also missed out on a huge opportunity here! There’s a dog in the picture. The dog can be used to your advantage as long as you make it seem like he loves you and not hungry for the fish seeming like he hasn’t been fed in days.
  6. This is a prime example of how some ripped guys still don’t get enough matches or dates from Tinder. At the beginning, I mentioned your goal should always be to make yourself look more attractive in your dating app pics than you are in real life. This is a prime example of how low quality pictures can really mess with your perceived attractiveness online.


  1. The Awful Pet Dating App Photo

Key takeaway:

  1. Here’s another pretty good looking dude who is ripped. It’s not as bad as the “fishy” picture, but it’s a picture with his pet. That said, you’d have to look closely to spot the cat.
  2. The timing of the picture is also bad since the cat seems like he wants to get rid of the guy and run away.
  3. The background in the picture is just… weird. Not to mention the container which can easily be mistaken for lube. Along with faded furniture, the quality of the picture is overall too grainy.
  4. If your pet is of a dark color, make sure your attire goes well with it and at least the pet can be seen.
  5. Apart from that, his fashion is pretty average with a basic t-shirt and jeans. He sits awkwardly on the couch as the angle in which the photographer takes the picture makes him look shorter overall.
  6. Again, this is a guy who’s in great shape and who should be quite attractive for women. Instead, he’s hurting himself by posting a low quality picture that significantly reduces his attractiveness.
  1. The Basic At Home Tinder Pic


  1. Another couch picture. Notice that he actually has decently acceptable fashion here, but the lighting, gloomy couch, and no point just ruin the picture.
  2. When you take a picture at your house, you definitely want to show an “at home” activity where you’re having a good time. With your friends or alone. A house party where it seems like you’re the life of the party is a great example.
  3. That said, pictures at home can get tricky since you can’t really showcase a cool activity you’re doing other than in your backyard or your private pool.
  4. He has tattoos, which add to his attractiveness since it adds a riskier look. And overall he’s a pretty good looking guy. But again, the picture itself, and the color effects post-editing, don’t do him any justice.
  5. The color effects that were chosen for post-editing make it seem like he didn’t put any effort to look good for the picture. When editing a Tinder picture, you have to make sure it improves the quality rather than taking away from it. If you’re not confident in your ability to do this yourself, you can easily get someone on Fiverr to do this for you.
  6. Though overall his outfit choice isn’t terrible, he still could have done a bit better. His hat could have been a darker color to have better contrast with the wall behind him and his fashion could have been a bit more styled. And the flannel shirt doesn’t really make him look appealing. Remember on Tinder, there’s a lot of competition for women’s attention — so you’re competing against guys who do have really on-point fashion.
  7. He may have a good body underneath, but the double layers don’t show definition.
  1. The Group Selfie


A. Let’s crack into this group picture. The guy who’s using Tinder is the one in the middle. He’s got a good beard and is probably decently attractive.

  1. His buddies are smiling while he seems the calmest among the three. But, this doesn’t really tell a story to the girl. When a girl sees it, she wouldn’t be able to put a finger on what kind of activity or cool stuff they were doing that day.
  2. The background could easily be perceived as a shipyard or something. If you’re not going to blur the background (bokeh), you want the picture to tell some sort of story that’s going to be appealing to the girl. This one doesn’t tell a story, let alone an appealing one.
  3. They are all dressed in winter wear. Keep in mind that puff jackets don’t really communicate good fashion. Plus, puff jackets can make it seem like you’re hiding body fat underneath it. Especially since your body definition cannot be perceived in one.
  4. If you do live in a cold place and can’t take outside pictures without a jacket, pick out a stylish peacoat or a trench coat that goes well with what you’re wearing underneath.
  5. If you do select a group Tinder picture, make sure you come across as the one who’s the leader and not someone who’s a tag along. Girls can subconsciously pick up on this. Some ways you can show yourself as the leader of the group: By showing that you’re the tallest one. Or the best dressed one. Overall, you want to communicate that you hangout with high value guys/girls. Again, you’re trying to show the girl that you are a high value guy yourself.
  1. The “Funny Guy” Picture


A. Another above average looking guy. He has great symmetry on his face and a sharp jawline, along with a good head of hair. But, this picture falls into the category of “Having fun with photoshop but was never intending to make it seem real”.

  1. He gave a “painting” effect to the picture which makes it worse since the woman knows he put a lot of time and effort into making this picture happen. The guy will be categorized into being “try hard” since he is putting in a lot more effort to come across funny. Going out of your way to make something happen with a woman OR showing that you went above and beyond to “get a girl” communicates a lack of options to a woman. This is a huge turnoff.
  2. There’s nothing wrong with being a nerd. But, shoving it in a girl’s face is not attractive since she’d want some kind of sexual tension/swag to go along with the guy. Both of those definitely lack in this picture and so women won’t take him seriously.
  3. Women may also imagine that they’d have pointless conversations with a guy like him and that he won’t be relatable and can’t really connect intellectually as a result.
  4. It’s funny but it gives off a dorky impression. Girls are interested in a goofy guy, as long as he also is a strong dominant man. Unfortunately, this picture only makes you look dorky, with no redeeming qualities.
  1. The Simp of America Hinge Photo


  1. “I’ll vacuum your rug” (no pun intended). This one is BAD. First, vacuuming is not sexy (unless you’re a hot girl who’s dressed as a maid). It’s also just not masculine.
  2. To reiterate, selfies communicate that you had no friends who were down to take your picture. A “loser” complex that no girl wants to be around. Everything about this picture reinforces the idea that this guy has no friends.
  3. If you want to communicate that you can have a home night with a girl other than just adventure, party, and workout, you’d need to use a cool picture for it. For example, a picture where you’re cooking a fancy dish.
  4. He is coming off as someone who is “trying to impress” the girl by showing “Hey. I can clean the house so that you don’t have to”. But a stay at home hubby is not actually attractive since the girl wants to date a guy who’s a go-getter. Someone who’s constantly improving to become the best version of himself.
  5. To add insult to injury, he has a constipated expression, is wearing shorts and a very basic t-shirt. But while that hurts, having better fashion would have not helped the picture anyway. But, if you do plan on putting a picture on your profile, at least overdress rather than underdress.
  1. The Car Selfie


  1. Ah. The dreaded car selfie. This is an immediate left swipe even if the car is a Lambo. You can barely ever show off in a car selfie, other than subtly showing the brand of it.
  2. He also doesn’t show his eyes. When women don’t see the eyes, they feel less at ease. Eyes, or eye contact (in person), build a sense of familiarity and women intuitively pick up on any shortcomings through eyes.
  3. His facial expression is awful. He looks like he’s fed up with the traffic and wants to get out of it as soon as possible. This total lack of expressiveness, bordering on anger, can scare away girls because it can make them think “serial killer”.
  4. His face looks kind of chubby here, which communicates that he may be overweight. On top of that, a faded pink t-shirt puts him in the “I don’t care much about how I look” group of men.
  5. Think in terms of what would go through the girl’s mind before you post a Tinder photo. Here she’s probably thinking: “Doesn’t he have friends who could have taken a picture of him in the car? Someone in the passenger seat?”
  6. If you do intend to put a picture of yourself in your car, make sure it’s a nice car and that you’re driving it (and someone else is taking the picture). And have a cool outfit appropriate for the car — like a decent racer’s jacket and aviator shades. Done right, it can add a “risky” and “daredevil” factor to your profile. Plus, if you can subtly show the brand by having the steering wheel in the picture, even better.
  1. The “At Work, Lame Job” Pic


  1. Another selfie. This goes a level beyond the car one since this taken in the mask and at work. Agreed, with Covid happening, you’re supposed to wear the mask. We get it. But why couldn’t he have taken the mask off for one sec to take the pic?
  2. Also notice his eyes are enlarged. A woman would be confused as to why; in this case, it can easily come off as creepy or weird.
  3. The background itself is very sketchy. Has hammers and tools. What kind of girl would want to mess with that? If you do decide to use a selfie, use a selfie which at least has a good presentable background. A beautiful view, or at the gym showing off your bulk, for example. Or, use the damn bokeh setting and blur out the background!
  4. His hairstyle looks particularly awkward with this hat he’s wearing.
  5. He has headphones on him. Not really sure why, it doesn’t add anything to the picture. If you do have electronic equipment in your pictures, make sure they’re the best brand and not something generic and crappy. You want to always communicate that you don’t settle for anything but the best.
  6. Same goes with the job he has. It looks like he’s a cashier at Autozone or something like that, which really just isn’t high value or attractive to women.
  7. The glasses lower the picture’s quality even more since they look nerdy and lack style. In general, guys look better in contacts than glasses. If you do want to wear glasses, pick a frame that fits the symmetry of your face. Robert Downey Jr. always wears good style of glasses — he’s a great example to look to since he picks frames which match with his face shape.


  1. The Failed Travel Tinder Picture


  1. A very picturesque background that indicates he travels, which can be good. But unfortunately, just about everything else about this photo is awful.
  2. He’s too skinny to take his shirt off in pictures – he should save that for sexy time. Women physically perceive dominance as strength and muscle on the man’s muscle (and the lack thereof to be lack of dominance). Bottom line: Unless you are truly in great shape, don’t include shirtless photos.
  3. Pro-tip: When you start working on your SMV, focus on getting bigger shoulders since it just broadens your body frame and it communicates a strong masculine presence to a girl.
  4. The background does justice to a picture as long as the foreground (you) is something to look at as well. This Tinder photo in no way communicates dominance or masculinity. A woman would look at this photo and think he’d be very shy, timid, permission seeking, even feminine.
  5. When you wear shorts in pictures, make sure it has no patterns or embroidery on it. Too much pattern on your fashion can easily take you towards the “flashy gay” spectrum. This guy’s overall feminine posture and look just reinforces it. You can almost imagine his voice not being loud enough and has a feminine tonality. Or having an awkward meek submissive body language. And if you can imagine this, you can be sure women are thinking the same thing.
  6. Travel pictures can work great, since it puts a narrative in the girl’s head that you two would travel together and would always be up for fun adventures. Unfortunately, that only works if she can also imagine herself with you – the guy in the photos. For this guy, again, there are way too many turnoffs for this picture to work.

One common theme from the above pictures is that guys don’t focus on trying to look good, have good fashion, or groom well. They just pick out some pictures from their “camera roll” without second guessing. This doesn’t work. If you want to get good results on Tinder and other dating apps, you need to put some time into getting and choosing the best photos.

When you focus on getting better fashion and on being more attractive, you stand out among other guys. Most dudes will at best check one of the two boxes — either having good fashion but looking unattractive, or being attractive but having poor fashion.

A few other key points to reiterate. First, if you’re using a shirtless picture, make sure you have a decent body before you go about posting shirtless pics on Tinder. And second, avoid accidentally communicating that you lack a cool lifestyle or that you’re a loser who doesn’t have friends.

For some additional advice: Sometime, ask a girl to go through her Tinder, and flip through some of the guys she can see and has matched with. This should open your eyes to how 1) most guys have no clue how to present themselves and 2) what kinds of guys girls like to match with.

As you can see, there are a lot of mistakes you can make with your Tinder photos. It goes much deeper than the surface in taking good Tinder profile pictures. But, if you put the right effort and do your ground work, you can start seeing better results in no time.

Until next time,

Indian PE

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