A Jewish matchmaker rants about the alarming frequency of bad profile photos and why you need professional profile photos…

Let me put this bluntly; your profile photos suck. Well, maybe not YOURS – but probably, also yours. How am I so certain? Experience and stats – and both of them say that professional photos should be in your future…and soon…

The Stats

I estimate that about 90% of the photos that my clients submit for their profile are horrible at worst, and barely pass the minimum threshold of acceptable, at best. Only about 10% of the photos provided to me would qualify as great photos for a profile. After decades in the matchmaking biz, with thousands of profiles crossing my desk, I’m still bewildered by this.

Sometimes I wonder if the client has even looked at their own photos.

Fact is, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Humans are visual creatures – and I’m talking about both men and women.

Surveys have shown that a potential date is more likely to overlook some potential incompatibilities such as smoking, political preference, and height, if they like your photos. Think about that for a while.


1. 55% say having no photo at all is a dealbreaker.

2. 34% say having bad quality photos is a dealbreaker.

3. 33% are against photos with someone that could be an ex.

4. 31% say no to filters, such as those used on Instagram, Facebook, etc.

5. 31% dislike seeing the same photo multiple times.

6. 29% would not want to see you using a photo with a giant group.

7. 26% dislike photos that block out other people’s faces.

8. 23% dislike pictures taken in front of a mirror or gym selfies.

9. 20% do not want to see a photo of only your face. (they also want to see your body).

10. 19% dislike exotic animal photos or photos of an animal that might not         be a pet.

The Distortion

Given that all of us are walking around with a smartphone these days, I would venture to guess that nearly all of the photos jewish singles use in their profile have come from the smartphone camera. You might even believe that “professional photos” are a relic of the past. What you likely don’t know is that smartphone cameras have a built-in wide angle lens – and while this feature is great for group shots and landscapes, it distorts individual faces. Have you ever looked at your photos and wondered why they never seem to really “look like you”? This might be the reason. That’s not to say that you can’t get good photos using your phone – but you need to be aware of the limitations.

Whether using your smartphone or a regular camera, these tips will help you get closer to those elusive perfect profile photos:

  1. Keep the background simple. Potential dates (and mates!) want to see YOU. Keep the background noise to a minimum so their eyes are drawn to the subject of the photos and not distracted by the shapes and colors in the background.

  2. Ditch the group/family photos. Again, you want the focus to be on your – not more people the viewer doesn’t know. You are basically competing for attention when you use group photos and if someone in the group is more attractive than you…

  3. Show yourself! The point is to let a potential see what you look like. Why hide behind sunglasses, hats, scarves, bells, whistles…you get my drift. Distance shots are also a no-no. You should include at least one full-body shot, but not from 20 feet away..

  4. Use natural light. The most flattering photos are taken in natural light. When done right, natural light eliminates harsh shadows of overhead bulbs. If the sun is direct, take the photo in an open yet shaded area. If you must be indoors – take photos near a window or other source of natural light.

  5. SMILE. Smiling conveys friendliness and interest. Your smile reveals personanity and joy of life. Potential dates want to see this. They also want to see that your teeth are clean and healthy. If you don’t smile, it raises a red flag that you are hiding something.

The Experience

Take it from a Jewish matchmaker who has seen it all – the biggest dealbreaker in a profile are the profile photos.

People don’t like to admit it because it sounds shallow, but why you do or don’t like someone is based on primarily one thing – whether or not you are physically attracted to them. And this is not limited to online dating. Even if meeting serendipitously in a bar or a bookstore – what draws a stranger to you is how they felt about your appearance – and vice versa. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s called chemistry, and in today’s world, singles want to feel that chemistry when they look at your profile photos.

It’s crucial that your profile photos are flattering to you, show a bit of your personality, your charm – and yes, your attractiveness. Most photos look great in a photo album where it doesn’t really matter if the photos are any good or if they even look like you. Those are not the photos you want to use for your profile.

The Takeaway

All of that being said, great profile photos can come from casual/friend shots – but rarely. The goal is to attract a potential partner; shouldn’t you choose the best photos for the goal? And I get a lot of push-back from clients when I tell them their photos aren’t “good enough”. I’ve never understood the pushback. Any advice I give is with the single aim being our success at finding your soulmate.

You need professional profile photos. There. I said it.

For more tips on profile photos click here for a previous post.

*Image Source: https://www.instagram.com/by_julia_ismailova/