JDate gives you the option to post 12 pictures, and you need to use at least four options if you want Internet dating to work to your advantage. Research shows that people view you as 20% more attractive than you view yourself (“The Beauty Prescription” 2008). That’s a pretty big jump. The authors of this study – a pair of female doctors, one from Beverly Hills, one from South Beach – argue that individuals don’t take their personalities  into consideration when they look in the mirror, while others who look at you do. But unfortunately, when you’re trying to promote yourself via JDate you don’t get that extra 20% boost from your personality. And if you choose the wrong pictures on top of that, you will actually be losing attractiveness points.

When you’re choosing your photos try to look at them from other people’s perspective. If you saw your photo online squeezed between eight other profile pictures, what would make you stop? Not that fuzzy out-of-focus photo or the one taken too far away to see the face or the one with three other people in it. And while you’re thinking about it, if you did click on the first photo, would it make you want to check out the next one and so on? Although the photo in your Halloween costume is cute, it should be the third or fourth photo while the one of you dressed-up for your friend’s wedding should instead be first.

Follow the four F’s in this order when choosing your photos: Face, Full body, Fun, Friends and Family. Hook ‘em with the face, reel ‘em in with the full body, keep ‘em interested with the fun photos and make ’em fall in love with the friends and family photos.

The first picture, the profile picture, should be a close-up of your face. They say the eyes are the window to your soul, so make sure your eyes are clear and visible (i.e. use the red-eye reduction option on your camera). A smile can light up your face, so make sure the photo is a happy one. And don’t crop out your neck… a woman’s narrow neck automatically makes her appear graceful and swanlike, a man’s thick neck makes him appear strong and masculine. These gender traits are appealing to the opposite sex.

The second photo, the full body photo, should let people see you. The body type options you’re given can be easily misconstrued so even if you’re overweight or out-of-shape, show yourself because everyone is someone’s type! You wouldn’t want to go out with a floating head, would you? Your body type isn’t super important, but be proud of what you got and flaunt it. Confidence is sexy.

Use that Halloween photo, beach photo, party photo or other photo showing you having fun for your third picture. This is not the place for your corporate business photo or the extra copies of your passport photo. Uptight photos are downright wrong for JDate.

If you want to use a photo of you with friends or family, the fourth photo option is the appropriate place for that.  JDate will use their magic powers to identify you and zoom in on you. Make sure you refer to the people in your photo later so people don’t think your brother is your ex-boyfriend or your nephew is your son. If you have a great circle of friends or are close to your family, then simply say so.

Changing your photos will also boost your JDate profile back to the top of list and get you that cool little “New” or “Updated” logo next to your name. Don’t retract your photos too often, but if you take a break or need a refresher online, take the time to scroll through the past year or two of your photos and pick some new ones to post.

And by all means, post more photos but I think more than six can make you look a bit narcissistic.

Lastly, if you don’t have photos you like or they’re outdated, then the next time you’re at a party ask your friends to snap a lot of photos. Even if you’re in the same outfit, new pictures are better than none at all.