We’re constantly told not to judge a book by its cover, but very few of us can admit to being quite that magnanimous. Tinder users especially will find it difficult to admit to such an honorable trait since the platform is, after all, designed with first impressions in mind.
You’re swiping left or right based entirely on how appealing a profile has been presented; perhaps you’ll analyze their profile further, but that’s still basing your decision on their appearance. Yet just as you’re immediately judging your matches, they’re certainly doing the very same to you. And since you only have a matter of seconds to convince a would-be date to swipe right, so you better make sure you stand out.
Luckily, there are some tips to follow to get those matches flooding in.
Picking the Best Photos
Maybe it’s a little obvious to suggest that it’s important to use the very best photos of yourself, but it’s not as simple as picking the ones that you are happiest with. You have to present the best version of yourself in just a handful of photos, and not only that but you need to put them in an order that will maximize the interest your match might have.
Tinder has implemented a ‘Smart Photos’ feature that, when activated, will use an algorithm to automatically shift around your profile photos to figure out which the most successful are, helping you to better understand and adjust your photo line-up.
But the first photo is the most important by far and away, since that’s what will get your potential matches intrigued.
Tips for Selecting the Main Tinder Profile Photo
While these aren’t hard and fast rules – it is different for everyone of course – there are some good tricks to follow when selecting your best image. If you decide to use Smart Photos, it might be better to stick to Tinder’s recommendations, since it’s probably having a better effect this way.
- Don’t smile, and look away from the camera.
- Don’t use a selfie.
- Use a headshot or close-up shot.
- Use a photo with an out-of-focus background.
- Use a filter from image editing tools, but don’t go too aggressive on this.
- Use a high quality image.
Image Quality Is Important
If you’ve been using Tinder before, maybe you’ve noticed that no matter what you do there’s always an issue with the photo: the quality is terrible, it’s focused on the wrong parts, it doesn’t quite fit. Frustrating, isn’t it?
There are some rules you should follow here, because no one is going to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you have poor quality images then it’s just going to make it harder for people to see the real you.
First make sure the photo itself is not blurry and that it is a clear photo of yourself, and a professional photo shoot will certainly erase a lot of those initial issues.
Next, ensure the image is as high a resolution as possible. At least 1000 pixels on either side is the best option. Tinder compresses the photos anyway, so use as high a resolution as possible.
And lastly, it’s worth considering the shape of the picture. Tinder only uses square photos, and anything that isn’t is automatically placed – which will likely not look as flattering as if you edited it yourself.
If it’s not square, either crop the photo so the ratio is 1:1 (like Instagram) and be sure to focus on the best aspects. If the resolution is high enough, don’t be afraid to crop out unwanted bits of the photo.
Remember that Tinder actually uses a slightly zoomed in version of your photo, too. As such, think about the parts of the zoomed in photo that will be visible, not the extra surrounding image. Roughly speaking the zoom is about 80% of your original, so if you’re using a 1500×1500 pixel image, then you’ll want to ensure that the central 1200×1200 is the part of the image you want to be seen.
Editing Photos for Tinder
Besides cropping, there are plenty of ways of using photo editing software to achieve better results. Rotation and movement are important to get the perfect layout, for example.
Browser-based editing tools like Fotor are especially good for applying filters. They come with many different filters and effects, and can be scaled in strength to either subtly or more visibly make changes to your photo.
Try including an arty, thoughtful picture of yourself in black and white or using a warming filter on a picture of you by the beach. You want a mixture of filters in your profile, and try to use them sparingly. If you over-filter a picture, your match may be put off since they won’t be able to properly see you.
You can also use something like Xara Photo & Graphic Designer to remove unwanted elements via the clone tool, apply blurring effects to simulate an out-of-focus background, or add a background to situations where you’d like to use a full length portrait picture.
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