On dating websites, pictures are non-negotiable. If you want to attract responses, you must have a picture. According to researchers, a profile with just one picture will receive five times as many replies as one without. And the more pictures you have, the more responses. But not just any photo will do. Here's what you need to know to put your best face forward.

Don't Hide
An obscured photo is no better than none at all. Try to include at least one head shot and one full-body photo. You don't want to leave anything important to guesswork. Don't be "artistic." Don't take photos at such a great distance you can't be seen. You want to include a combination of photos that give an accurate, flattering portrayal of you, which will put online daters at ease and make them more likely to connect.

Be Bright
Photographers recommend wearing a solid bright color, which will help give you a young, healthy glow and will ensure you stand out on the page. Avoid busy patterns in your attire or background; you don't want anything to distract viewers from you.

Lighting it Right
Avoid unflattering cold, harsh lighting in favor of natural light. Good window light is best if your photo will be taken indoors, but heading outside is even better. But take care to avoid direct sun, which can make you look older. Aim for early morning or evening, when the sun is lower in the sky, or overcast days.

Strike a Pose
while it seems natural to face the camera for pictures, just standing still and staring directly into the camera makes for a boring photo. It also makes your nose, shoulders and hips look wider than they are. Try standing at a slight angle to the camera, hips facing the side and torso and face turned more towards the camera. Keep your chin tilted off to the side, and just move your eyes to look at the camera. Sound complicated? Check out celebrity red carpet pictures for inspiration.

Dating experts say your smile is the first thing people notice when clicking through profiles. If you're not grinning, they might assume you're negative or trying to hide something (like terrible teeth). Try imagining the camera is a person you find attractive; the picture will capture your flirty feelings.


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