How to Take Quality Online Dating Profile Pictures

We are happy to share this guest post from Eli Zaturanski of  Eli will be snapping free profile pictures for all of those joining us at our live event, Get the First Dates You Want, on June, 26th, 2018 -- join us!

Let’s face it, online dating can be daunting and stressful. 

Perhaps the most difficult question, after deciding to put yourself “out there” is: how do I present myself as a desirable person? 

A dating profile photo informs the first impression people will have of you, and is arguably the most important part of any dating profile.  The old saying still rings true; “first impressions are the most lasting.”

So then, how does one create a dating profile photo that reflects all the positive qualities you want to show prospective dates? 

the camera makes all the difference

The DIY approach may be sufficient, as most of us are now armed with high-megapixel smartphone cameras, and editing software is either built-in or just a free app click away.  However, taking a truly engaging and beautiful profile picture is not always as simple as holding up your phone and smiling.  

Here are some reasons NOT to use a smartphone “selfie” as a dating profile picture:

  1. Taking a “selfie” often involves holding the phone, which makes the phone either show up in the image, or forces your arm to be strained in an awkward angle to capture the shot. 

  2. Smartphone cameras have a tiny sensor (at least 35x smaller than a full-frame DSLR), and therefore the image produced will be “crushed,” and have lower resolution than with a traditional DSLR.
  3. Because smartphone cameras do not have optics (light travels from a small lens directly to the sensor) the image will lack depth and dimension.  Portraits taken with a DSLR at a lower aperture will always produce greater depth and will be more pleasing to the eye.

Based in this information, a shoot with a DSLR seems like a no-brainer for creating dating profile photo. 

But what if you cannot afford to hire a professional portrait photographer?  

I recommend that you find a friend that owns a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera (one with a body and removable lens) and try your hand at producing photos with this type of camera. 

Here are a few tips for how to produce the best dating profile photos with a DSLR camera:

How to Produce Quality Photos:

  1. Shoot 1.5 hours before sunset, this is known as “Golden Hour”- the light quality will be softer, and a lovely golden color.

  2. Keep a thought in your mind that corresponds to the emotion that you are trying to project.  Remember a funny joke, think of a loved one or a place that makes you feel energized, think about a moment when you felt very confident or accomplished.

  3. Use a low aperture on your camera (2.5 or below) and focus on the eyes, this will produce depth, and a pleasing path for your eye to follow in your photos.

  4. Use different angles (facing the camera at a thirty-degree angle), and levels (sitting, standing, and leaning on walls), to produce different options for the perfect photo.

  5. Make sure you treat your photographer friend that to dinner -- it’s a lot of work producing a quality dating profile photo!

Hopefully, you now feel inspired you to put down the smartphone and pick up the DSLR when you decide to take that leap into online dating.  It truly will produce images that will get more attention. 

Be it weddings, family portraits, headshots or fashion shoots, Eli Zaturanski's imagery and creativity pay tribute to the beautiful inner worlds of the people he photographs. Learn more about his celebrated, award-winning photography and book your profile photo shoot at