Tinder is a marketplace where we are selling bodies and souls. If I said “Sell yourself”, I’m 90% sure you’d imagine a corporate pitch or a hooker. Here however, we’re selling attractiveness and personality through a bunch of tinder pictures. The whole sales pitch thing doesn’t sound that sexy, right?
I agree. But knowing that it’s all a marketing stunt is actually kind of empowering; if you get less than a swipe a week, it’s not you. It’s how you’re portraying yourself through your tinder pictures and bio (we’ll cover bio later). You as a person are not ‘hopeless’. Your profile may be yeah, but that can be constantly adjusted and updated until you get those goddam dates.
*This article is written to help the poor godforsaken men of tinder get more swipes and the tone of it is geared towards guys, but the same tricks can and should be used by women as well.
This is part of a series of articles geared towards figuring out tinder and getting you dates. Here’s what else you need to know:
First things first; If you have the sum total of 2 blurry tinder pictures of you in your bedroom, then you’re not going to get very far unless you’re Ryan Gosling and your room is the Trump Tower. Read and take note…
Tinder pictures – How to make me swipe right:
1. Use ALL 6 tinder pictures
If I see a profile with 1 or 2 pictures I will 95% swipe left. Would you book an Airbnb in a place you’ve never been that has just one picture? No. Research done shows that a male profile with only one real tinder picture is just 0.27% likely to get a match from a woman. Why? Because it’s boring at best and seedy at worst. Be that dude who has six kickass tinder pictures and scoops in all the matches that the other 33.9 million tinder guys around the globe miss out on. Tinder has given you fucking real estate bro. Milk it and use all six pics.
2. SMILE! 🙂
If you look like Grumpy the dwarf on my screen, that will put me off immediately. I want to establish warmth and a connection with you. In fact, tinder’s new in-house sociologist says that smiling will make you 14% more likely to get a right swipe, while directly facing the camera will make you 20% more likely to be right-swiped. Being broody and mysterious will only work if you’re a vampire and I’m a pre-teen who has no idea that friendly guys are way cooler.
3. Don’t under-estimate the importance of self-care
Mehrabium and Blum (1997) wanted to find out what physical features were most attractive to men and women. They asked 117 University students to rate pictures of the opposite sex and measured emotional responses. The weird thing was, women were not all about height or body type; the features we found most attractive fell under ‘self-care’; so the guy with the great haircut, posture and clothes that fit well has an advantage, because he’s made an effort –and you should too. This is great news, whether you’re 6’1″ or 5’6″; you can make yourself hotter just by being proactive. Esquire has some good grooming tips and you can take some style inspo from this article in Ask Men.
4. Get a bulletproof first photo
This is so important. It is literally the first impression of the first impression. Your first photo needs to just be you; it CANNOT be a group pic and it CANNOT be blurry, because we need to identify you, duh. If it is a group photo, we will assume you are the ugly one. Your first photo needs to be confident, show your face clearly and invite us to swipe. The best profile pictures are waist-up or a good head-shot that isn’t too close to us (boundaries, guys).
5. Show some variety
So now we need to work on the other five tinder pictures. If you have the same picture of you inside your bedroom just wearing 6 different shirts, I think “Eugene just likes to chill in his room mostly and has no interests” – Don’t be Eugene. However, this dude below has shown serious variety and created a lot of talking points. Yeah, he looks like a model, but focus on the variety of pictures here. I can already see from his profile that he likes surfing, pizza, dogs and farming; he seems really interesting and well-rounded and I immediately want to swipe and chat. What can you do to be like this guy? Firstly; don’t copy him (that’s lame). Just be the best version of you and take note of these photo ideas below.
6. Participate in (and take photos of) outdoor activities
It’s healthy to get fresh air and we want to match with a healthy male specimen (biology, duh). Natural light will add awesomeness to your photos – If you really want to be a pro about it, then here’s a photographer’s guide to natural light.
Top tip: Go on a hiking trip with friends and get them to take lots of photos of you (solo and group). If direct sunlight makes you look pale, go on an overcast day. Then go home and pick your favourite from your stash. If you can’t go hiking, just walk the dog or something. Stop being a vampire.
7. Take some formal shots
I’m a sucker for a guy in a sharp suit and lots of women agree with me. It shows confidence and a sense of style/personality. Top tip: Go to a wedding or another occasion that requires you to wear a suit and make sure someone takes a pic – hijack the wedding photographer if you have to!
8. Get Sporty
Kill two birds with one stone and show us that not only are you an interesting person with sporting hobbies, but you have a great body as well (without sticking your abs blatantly in our faces). If you’re like me and have always been a sports reject picked last for any team, then don’t worry – this is your chance to be quirky! More obscure sports like sky-diving are great for showing off an adventurous side and as a point of future conversation – Hey, Sean Rad seems to think so. If that’s too expensive, go hiking, swimming or running – there are plenty of cheap sports out there.
9. Show off your hobbies
Remember; you’re selling yourself as an interesting person here. Hiking, music, chess – anything you’d like to talk about with a potential date. Don’t just say this in your bio but show us – After all, a picture is worth a thousand words and all that.
10. Do the whole cute animal thing.
Awww. After all, Science commands you include one animal pic, so go steal a puppy or something. Don’t however, let your furry friend take up the whole picture. We’re not swiping JUST for them. Get in the shot too.
11. Use the right kind of group pics
This is important, because it shows you have friends and aren’t a loser. Some people think it’s a bad thing to have group pics – but you just need to get it right; your friends can’t be hotter than you and it needs to just be one picture towards the end of the profile (so I know what you look like by the time I reach it). Geddit? See below on the type of group pictures you DON’T want to have.
12. Take full body tinder pictures.
No, not nudes (get your head out of the gutter). But ones in which I know what kind of physique/height you have. Not because I’m a judgmental bitch; it’s just important to know generally. This chick agrees.
Tinder pictures – How to make me swipe left:
Now this is how you turn a girl off faster than a light switch on acid. And the worst thing is that WAAAY too many guys out there have these pictures. Wake up call: Tinder is already the no.1 dog-eat-dog platform out there; you can’t cannot afford to make the following stupid mistakes:
1. That photo in the gym
I think this is the BIGGEST NO there is. Who even takes these for you? And if it’s a mirror selfie to boot, then even worse (see below on the dangers of the selfie). A date with a psychologically proven narcissist who spends all day pumping iron is not my idea of fun. There are much more subtle and tasteful ways to show of abs and physique – Put on a nicely fitted shirt and see the above tips on sports.
Maybe it’s hypocritical to advise you to take hiking photos and not gym ones (I mean, everyone goes to the gym, right?). Maybe. But remember; we’re crafting a marketing image here, not being realists. The gym is for working out, not having a photo shoot. You want to coolly acknowledge that you have a great body without shouting it in my face.
I went on a date with this guy and it was so awesome. But really, he was close to getting a left swipe, because of a first pic that was a gym selfie. If you’re a great guy, don’t increase your chances of losing great dates, because of wrong first impressions. After we dated and I told him about this blog, I fixed his pictures and he got 300 matches in a month. Boom.
2. Use shitty quality tinder pictures
If you use a blurry or grainy photo, I will assume that you’re fake or not attractive enough to have good photos. It’s also really annoying that I just can’t see you clearly. If your photo is grainy, stop being a vampire and go into the light. What if you have a small image size and can’t enlarge it without losing quality? Aha! Find out in THIS article about the secret tool that will enlarge tinder pictures for FREE without compromising quality.
3. You are a selfie king
You will kill your coolness credibility with a deafening gunshot. If all your pictures are selfies, I will think you have no friends or are too self-absorbed for a conversation. I agree with Sean and GQ that selfies should be limited to just one. AVOID – selfies in a messy room, in a mirror, in a gym, in a car, in a bathroom (ew). Also note that a lot of these bad tinder profiles are selfies. If you really can’t find anyone to help take photos, then use the self-timer function on your camera or iPhone.
4. Your crotch is in my face
“Excuse me, please would you mind moving your dick away from me; I don’t know you.” If you do this, you deserve every single left swipe like a slap in the face, because assuming that your crotch will get you matches is the most distasteful display of arrogance ever and belongs on the Bye Felipe feed. Even if it’s DTF, would I really feel safe if I went to meet a guy and all I had seen was his boner? Butt pics fall under the same category. Here’s more on this.
5. Keeping your ex in the picture
You think it shows that you can pull girls. We think NOPE. We don’t want another girl in the picture (pun intended) ESPECIALLY your ex. This also may suggest that you’re not over her and exes belong in the past – Business Insider agrees on this. It could be your sister or friend and you may even say this in the bio. But if she’s not your mum and it looks like it could possibly be intimate, then play it safe and keep her out.
6. Keeping a lot of girls in the picture
Let me get this straight: There is nothing wrong with a friendly group shot that happens to have female friends in it, but being surrounded by half-naked ladies in a strip club is another big NOPE. You may think you look like a lady-killer but to us it says misogynistic asshole. Yes, many women unfortunately fall for players (maybe it’s because they have stronger sperm?), but bragging about us having to chase you is vulgar in Tinderland.
7. Being a bastard to animals
It’s not cool guys – PETA and tinder itself say so. The elephants and tigers don’t like it and we don’t either. As a human, you look ignorant, unsympathetic and maybe even violent. If you’re really into hunting, keep that one to yourself, unless you’re on here specifically to find that 1 in a million who will go hunting with you. Personally, I wouldn’t like walking in the dark with someone who I know likes killing things…
8. Tinder pictures with kids
Some people think it’s cute; I don’t. As a trained teacher, I know why it’s best to be cautious about data protection and pictures of kids on the internet. I think tinder is not the right place for a three-year-old. It feels wrong. If you’re a single dad, mention it in your bio or on your date. If you’re not, are you trying to manipulate me through my ovaries?!
9. Your tinder pictures are practically ancient relics of a forgotten era
Oh so do you have a beard? Are you fat now? Is your hair long or short? Stop with the confusion! Do not deceive us at any cost – we will find out if your pictures are more than five years old if we eventually date you. And as discussed, Tinder is not for kids. This is not the place for you to show us you were super cute when you were little – that is way too personal and we haven’t even met you. Also – do I look like a pedophile wanting to date a five-year-old?
10. You look like an arrogant petrol-head
Only 1% of us are attracted to car photos on online dating sites. I’d also swipe left if you’re popping champagne. Or something else that makes you look like a show-off douchebag. Confidence isn’t the same as arrogance.
11. You’re waaaaay too close. Or too far away
If you’re too close up in a photo, it looks like you don’t respect people’s personal space. I don’t want you in my face, or need to see your nose hairs when I haven’t even swiped! Also, and this is less common; if you’re too far away in a picture there’s not really any point. I am swiping for you, not the scenery.
12. Have bad group shots
Which ones are bad? The drunk or ones, or where your friends are better looking than you. A photo of 20 drunk ‘lads’ at a stag do in Prague is intimidating, not attractive. If your hot friend is hotter than you, then get the hell away from him. And using too many group photos is a no – I didn’t sign up to play Where’s Wally, or for a gang-bang with the local rugby team. One at the end of the profile is enough (see above).
13. Pictures of you cropping out the past
“Ah, so this is me with a dismembered arm…” If you know it’s not a great pic, then leave it out and go take another one – this is like admitting it’s not great, but you have nothing better. Exes and the past need to stay off tinder.
14. Your wife and kids
“Hey, wanna help me cheat?” No thanks. If you are in the 30% of cheating scumbags out there, at least have the decency of being subtle and not assuming that we’re OK with being side-bitches. Alternatively, get the hell off tinder until you’ve sorted your life out…
15. You’re holding a bottle. In every. Single. Picture.
OK so you drink a lot. And often. If we went out, you’d end up falling over and throwing up on me, having spent all your money at the bar and swearing you’ll join the AA tomorrow. No thanks.
16. The messy room
“Hey look at me! And here are my dirty socks, my rotting takeaway and my lack of adult responsibility.” Look at the difference between these two pictures – which is hotter? Be aware of your surroundings before taking a photo and tidy the goddam room.
17. The fake photo
This is the worst thing you could do. Once a guy had a picture of a Bollywood star on it. Being a Bollywood nerd, I recognized it and swiped right just to call him out. He then gave me some elaborate story about how he was a high ranking person in a big Dubai family (and swore he was really attractive) and so didn’t want anyone to know he was on tinder, but he needed to lose his virginity in some way. I told him to stop being dishonest or get off tinder, because there were only two outcomes of this stupid game:
a. Everyone with an IQ of over 2 will swipe left.
b. He’ll get a match and then be seen as a liar and never get laid. Ever.
So then he thanked me for my help and demanded that I ‘help’ him some more. Ugh. My patience wore thin and I blocked his ass.
After all; a woman’s worst fear on a Tinder date is that she’ll get murdered. A man’s is that the woman is fat. So women look for signs that a guy can be trusted as well as being attractive and having good social skills (like these). Our ideal first date doesn’t involve being stalked, raped and stabbed. So no fakeness. Seriously.
Damn right you’ve got homework. Brainstorm 6 ideas for kickass tinder pictures and plan how you’ll make it happen – Are you going to go camping this weekend? Do you have a work event where you’ll wear a great outfit and trim your beard? Do you need to take your dog for a walk while you’re looking cute and dragging your best friend/cameraman with you?
Awesome. Do it. If you don’t have anything planned, then make it happen. And when you’ve chosen the 6 from your now huge stash, don’t forget to SIGN UP to my mailing list below, so that I can give you FREE unbiased advice on how to make your whole profile (tinder pictures and bio) bulletproof. And if you thought this was helpful, then make the world a better place and share this on social media ;).