The Best Online Dating Photos To Use | Updated 2021

The Best Online Dating Photos To Use | Updated 2021

Written by dating coach for men Gary Gunn - Founder of Social Attraction

In this article, I will be looking at what are the best online dating photos to use. Specifically, I will share with you the three types of images that will increase your results when you are online dating. The information outlined here is taken from my best selling book titled An Education in Online Dating

The key to getting better results online is to paint a story in your dating profile using the following three images:

  • Headshot
  • Action shot
  • Socialising shot

Here I will show you how to obtain the optimal image for each of these three photos that will help you to get better results online.

Online dating is one avenue to date. If you would like to learn how to meet and date women in the real world then review our client testimonials and book onto our next dating confidence course. Watch them on YouTube here: Dating confidence course for men reviews:

Daygame dating course for men to regain confidence

A Good Headshot

Before we go any further, I want to impress something upon you. When you are online dating remember that you have to look natural – you want an authentic image of yourself rather than one that looks staged. Therefore having professional photos taken will not give you better results online. Indeed the evidence shows that professional photos do not perform as well as natural-looking images.

How to secure a good headshot?

Using a 55-millimetre camera lens will help you take a good headshot as taking an image with this type of lens will automatically blur the background. This has the effect of positioning you in focus at the forefront of the picture, which makes you pop out. This influences the girl to focus her immediate attention on you, as opposed to looking at the whole image.

This is why a headshot is one of the best online dating photos to use as your main image.

With regards to the best backgrounds for headshots, something with a bit of colour works well. Therefore, avoid being positioned in front of a white wall as this will not blur as effectively.

For instance, take a shot with:

  • The ocean behind you
  • A park with trees in the background

The aim is to get some nice bright colours in that background so when the image is blurred it adds to the context.

How do you make the image look natural?

It can be difficult to obtain a good image of yourself that doesn’t look too staged or affected. A simple and easy way to help you achieve that natural look in a picture is to make use of a prop.

Examples of using a prop:

  • Holding a takeaway coffee cup and about to take a drink
  • Adjusting your blazer or your shirt
  • Putting a scarf on

The key is to have someone take an image of you at that moment because it will look natural. Remember it has to be an authentic image, so try and avoid it looking staged.

Aspects to consider for your headshot:

  • Use a 55 mm lens to create a blurred background
  • Incorporate bright colour in your background
  • Use a prop like drinking from a coffee cup

This will paint a warm and appealing picture of you in the mind of the girl who is looking at your dating profile.

For more information on how to create your ideal headshot please see my infographic below which outlines the sequential order of what a woman first notices about a man. You can also read my first 10 things a woman notices about a man article where I go into detail about each of the ten traits a woman notices and how to make a positive impression on her. This will help you when it comes to meeting women online and in person.

!0 things a woman notices about your online dating photos

An Action Shot

You also want to make sure that one of your three online dating photos is an action shot. An action shot is you at your best; it is you doing something that you love. If I personally was having an action shot, it would be of me recording my podcast or public speaking – two activities that I enjoy doing.

Other examples:

  • If you love to exercise it can be a running shot or you at the gym
  • If you play a musical instrument it can be you playing the piano or the guitar
  • Or if you love travelling and culture then have a photo that reflects this

This particular shot can be taken professionally or simply shot on a camera phone. It doesn’t matter. The point is to have an image of you being creative and doing something you love. This will paint a great picture to women when they view your profile picture.

Moreover, having that type of image paired with a nice headshot is memorable. It is beginning to form an appealing story of who you are. As you can see from my infographic below, creative self-expression is a confident thing to do that women will pick up on when they view your profile. To learn more read the full dating advice for men article.

5 ways to demonstrate confidence with women

A Socialising Shot

What do I mean by socialising shot? Let us take a moment to imagine the journey of a woman viewing your profile and your online dating photos…

She sees that you have a nice headshot; it is a warm picture of you smiling and drinking coffee in a park. She then moves on to your second image and she sees you in action hiking on the South Downs.

The next thing she will consider is whether you are socially aware: Does this guy have friends? For this reason, in this last image, you want to have a picture of you with a couple of guys and girls. It is nice to mix it up, but people having fun, smiling and socialising together is what you are aiming for. This will build trust in the woman who is looking at your profile online.

She will see the following in your pictures:

  • A nice headshot
  • An action shot showing you have interests
  • A social circle around you of people enjoying themselves and having fun

When you put all of these three images together, it portrays a warm and welcoming story about who you are as a person.

Just before I give you the summary I want to point out there are many different ways to meeting women, so avoid limiting yourself to only online dating. My infographic below gives you five dating lessons that will help you meet women. I also suggest you read my corresponding five dating lessons for life article to learn more. Or if you want any support in developing your confidence to meet and attract women then book a consultation call with me.

5 ways to save time, effort and energy meeting women


  • A Good Headshot – You want to use a 55mm lens to make you ‘pop’ from the blurred background. Have bright colours in the surroundings and use a prop to help make the photo look natural and authentic.
  • An Action Shot – This is a picture of you doing something that you love; that depicts who you are as a person.
  • A Socialising Shot – This is a photo of you with friends (both male and female), having fun and laughing. This shows that you are socially aware and have friends.

Written by Gary Gunn

Gary Gunn is the bestselling author of An Education In (Online) Dating.

He has hosted over 1000 dating confidence courses in the UK and Europe, as well as over 1,500 courses conducted online.

Moreover, he is the head coach at Social Attraction and leads the team, training and courses.
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