Do you hate photos of yourself? Well, you’re not alone. Lots of guys hate how they look in photos. God knows I do. I can count the number of photos of myself that I like on the fingers of one hand, and most of those were taken professionally. Most of us would love to look good in photos, just out of sheer vanity. But as we live more and more of our lives online, those photos of us often are part of how people get to know us. A good-looking online dating profile photo is critical – it’s one of the snap-judgements that people make when they’re browsing through all of their potential matches. More and more employers are looking at prospective employee’s social media profiles to gauge whether they’re interested in hiring them or not… and that includes the photos of you on your LinkedIn profile. It’s all about understanding how to present yourself. Knowing how to look good in a photo will directly affect how people see you. To give an example that’s been trending on Facebook and Twitter lately: Jeremy Meeks. He’s a convicted felon with a long list of violent crimes in his rap sheet including weapons charges, grand larceny, assault and battery and a host of other crimes. But goddamn he takes a good photo:
Why are so many women apparently willing to overlook his incredibly violent past and history of incarceration? Because of that psychological phenomenon known as the Halo Effect – looking good means that people will more readily apply positive beliefs and attributes to you, despite the reality of the situation. But looking good in photos isn’t just about having perfect genes and cheekbones that could cut glass. Despite what we may believe, the camera doesn’t record reality perfectly.
Not only are you trying to render a 3D figure in 2D space – which is going to skew proportions – but you’re doing so through a series of refractive lenses and mirrors which introduce distortions. The list of things that affect how you appear in photos – ranging from the type of camera and lens to the lighting to the angle that you’re facing – is immense. And even little things like wearing sunglasses can affect how people respond to you. Knowing how to look good in photos is a skill, not just the benefit of winning the genetic lottery. And when you understand a few tricks (and some common mistakes) you too can have the sort of dating profile photo that has people flocking to your inbox. [Read more…]