Friday, 8 September 2017

The importance of good photos when dating

There is this old saying that a picture tells a thousand words. Really? At RSVP Dating Agency and Singles Club, we've learned that a picture in a dating profile may ‘tell a thousand words’, but may have only tenuous connection with the person you are reading about. Furthermore, is a single photo always a true reflection of what the person in question looks like? 

Allow me to elaborate. Firstly, everyone has ‘good angles’ and ‘bad angles’. Then there is lighting - harsh lighting can age anyone. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are ‘face-tuning’ apps and Adobe Photoshop, which can enhance us quickly to have white teeth, bigger, wider eyes or even slim us down a dress size, whilst losing any spots of wrinkles. When was the photo taken? Ten years ago? Is it actually the person you're reading about? Was it taken by a professional photographer with lighting, make-up, etc? Or is it a holiday snap of you and your previous partner torn down the middle? I could go on. 

According to, a quarter of people who use dating sites and apps such as Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Bumble, eharmony, etc, have admitted to uploading digitally manipulated photographs which are unlikely to be a true representation of themselves. And, who can blame them, when, with a swipe, you are history. This brings us back to the authenticity of a dating agency like RSVP, where we meet every single one of our members and make sure everyone really is who they say they are.

RSVP's long-held nervousness about photos in dating stems from the myriad assumptions we make when we view a photo of a potential partner, about who they are and their character, which could be completely wrong. Frequently, daters will act on these incorrect assumptions by not going ahead and meeting that person (it's always easier to do nothing), or arriving with completely fabricated preconceived ideas on the individual, so that it ruins getting to know the person on the date.
It is now estimated that one third of daters look up a person online before agreeing to go on a date with them. It is almost inevitable that, in this day and age, there is no shortage of photographs of us online, whether it is facebook photos, Instagram posts, a LinkedIn profile picture and WhatsApp profile picture. It usually wouldn’t take long for a person to find photos of us online. There are ways around this: set your social media accounts to private (always a good idea, anyway), upload a photo of a beach/flowers/cocktails as your WhatsApp photograph. However, sometimes it is unavoidable; so, if you must, here is some advice on photos for social media when you are looking to date:
-It is always obvious if it a picture from 12 years ago, use update photos from the last year.
-A good quality sharp photo, is much better than a blurry, pixelated, over-exposed picture.
-Zooming in on yourself in a group photo and cropping everyone else out doesn’t always work; the photo then lacks context and the proportions look a little odd.

-Too many selfies, can look a little self-obsessed, even if that isn’t the intention.
-Adding animal ears, crowns and bunny ear filters to photos isn’t really funny anymore; it is just a bit silly if you are over the age of 15.

-Fancy dress, although fun at the time, can look a little odd to people who don’t know the theme or didn’t attend the party.
-Overly enhancing a photo using a face tuning app is dishonest and usually pretty obvious.

-A passport-style head shot photo can look quite serious and rigid; a more relaxed photo taken by a friend is far more natural.

-Photos taken in daylight outdoors are (a) usually better lit and (b) more popular with daters. Get a tree in shot as well, if you want the best.

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