How Do Our Photographs Impact Our Modern Day Dating Life?

How Do Our Photographs Impact Our Modern Day Dating Life?

If you have ever used dating apps or websites, have you ever considered how your profile picture is perceived by other users looking for a date? Do you go for a quick "selfie" or a professionally shot and edited photo of yourself?

If you are single and haven't thought about using dating apps or websites before, it's quite likely that lockdown has got you creating a profile just to see what and who's out there. In the US, three in ten adults have previously used a dating site or an app, and it's becoming a norm in modern dating life. As a photographer, you might have had the dilemma of whether to snap a simple smartphone shot of yourself or go for something more finessed, such as a professionally lit, composed, and edited photograph. Some users sometimes choose to go without a profile picture at all! First impressions in online dating are paramount, so what does your choice tell others about you and how does it affect your chances of finding a positive match who wants to connect or swipe right? 

Skylum, who has brought out products you may be familiar with, such as Luminar, has conducted an online study to give us insight into the role our dating profile picture plays when it comes to looking for a match online. Surveying 3,681 US-based adults, Skylum found a few interesting facts that might give you a different perspective on online dating.

Unsurprisingly, almost 60% of participants wouldn't even consider connecting with someone who didn't have a photo on their profile. When it comes to having a profile photo, 25% of people surveyed felt that having a good profile photo means that the person is serious about dating. It's not just using the right words on your profile bio, because 43% think that they can get a better sense of someone's personality based solely on their photos alone. It's not just about vanity; it's an indication of self-expression.

It's interesting that we are willing to overlook certain flaws if our potential match has good or desirable photos on their profile. For example, 28% of the surveyed were willing to overlook social preferences, such as drinking, smoking, and so forth. 27% were even willing to overlook their potential date's relationship goals (long- or short-term, casual dating, and so forth), with similar percentages of people prepared to overlook their matches' education, height, and political views.

So, what do users consider their deal-breakers when viewing someone's profile? 34% reported that a bad quality photo would deter them from matching with someone, while other factors include featuring photos with someone that could be their ex-partner (33%), using social media app filters on images (31%), uploading multiples of the same photo (31%), mirror photos or gym selfies (23%), and profile photos with just the user's face visible (20%). 

Not everyone's a photographer, so many users may not be familiar with using any editing apps, but 40% reported that they would like to use basic editing tools to enhance their photos, and 32% of users think that people should make an effort to upload better photos of themselves. Smartphone editing tools are advancing rapidly, so it's no wonder that 26% of surveyed would like to use smart removal tools, 18% would like to allow AI to help them identify the best photos to use, and 14% would be interested in using portrait enhancers, such as face slimming, teeth whitening, and more. Although these tools are already available on the market, it's understandable that not everyone is aware or have any experience in using them. 

When it comes to editing photos, users who fit the 18-34 age demographic are more likely to use any editing tools on their images, and about one in five (22%) have already edited at least one photo they have used on their profile. Not everyone is too concerned about others editing their photos, as 23% reported they don't care about it; however, 42% of the participants still think they can tell when someone has edited a photo. 

So, what kind of photo will you be using for your dating app profile?

Log in or register to post comments
Just me's picture

Maybe I'm old school.
But any profile with beauty filter I can spot, is a no go. It goes the same with heavy make up.
The idea is to meet the person at one point and to wake up together in real; not a fake Instagram story.
Are you so insecure of your own body that you need to hide it?
For casual encounter, the story could be different.

Wolfgang Post's picture

Here in Asia the inflationary usage of some Korean face shaping filter turns most faces into some doll clones. Next they add sparkles and other items making them look like some cartoon face. Simply horrible.

Alfonse Diantonio's picture

I met my husband 43 years ago and still have a photo booth picture of us on my dresser!

Anete Lusina's picture

That's so sweet!

Alfonse Diantonio's picture

Thank you for the nice comment!

Helga Cooper's picture

Thanks for the answers, it's interesting. Is there something similar?