By Gini (member)
I'll offer up a preemptive apology to the male members who read this.
As all of my experience here is based on reading and looking at men’s profiles, I can't attest to whether this problem manifests itself in women’s photos as well.
We're all adults here, right? We know that most, if not all, of the people on this site have had prior relationships. But when I'm on the site looking at a potential match's photos, I cringe when I run across a photo of a nice looking man that has obviously had another person cut out of it.
Nothing says you're recycling an old photo more than a disembodied females arm around your waist, or over your shoulders, or even a well-manicured female hand running fingers through your hair. The worst I've seen, though, was one of a man and woman with their arms around each other with her face blacked out by a big square. My response (after I stopped laughing)? "Next!"
Some of the best photos I have of myself were taken with my ex-husband, but I think they're completely inappropriate on a dating website. Using them here would be not only disrespectful to my ex-husband, but would show a certain level of laziness on my part. I want my photos to show me as available. I want them to show me as I am now. I'm not the same person I was when I was with my husband and I certainly don't want the same relationship I had with him, so why would I just recycle that old photo?
Photos of you with your kids are tricky. I don't advocate for or advise against it, but here are two things I don't think many people think about:
1. Many people recommend against posting photos of young children on the web at all. There are people who will steal and re-post children's photos in an inappropriate manner. Nothing would be worse for a parent than finding out your child's photo was used in a sexually explicit manner.
2. There may be legalities involved in posting a photo of a child on the internet by a non-custodial parent. Even if it isn't a legal issue, would your child's other parent think it appropriate that you used his or her photo on a dating website?
If you don't have any good, current, solo photos of yourself, take the time and effort to get some. You can have them done professionally, have a friend take them or use a tripod and take them yourself. It's not that difficult and doesn't have to cost you a dime. It shows that you care enough about yourself to present yourself in a positive manner.
While we're talking about your positive manner, let's talk about the mood you project in your photos. Sometimes your serious brooding look is your hottest, but you should try to get at least one photo of you smiling, looking like you're enjoying life.
I've seen many comments about men posting photos shirtless photos. I personally have no preference. It shows a certain confidence about your body, but many women view this as conceit or narcissistic. Use your own judgment in respect to the image you're trying to project. If your purpose is to attract conservative women, posting a photo of yourself shirtless may not be the best idea.
There's also been a minor debate about posting photos with your motorcycle or car. Apparently many women are turned off by this. I think that if a woman is turned off by something that the man found important enough to take a photo of and post, that's a good indication that these two people may not be compatible. I'd bet there are an equal number of women who would find the fact that he rides a motorcycle or drives a nice car attractive. I think it's fine to show photos that illustrate what you're passionate about, be it motorcycles, hobbies, your home, etc.
My last bit of advice when it comes to your photos is to post as many as this website will allow. At least one close-up is essential. When I see a person's photos and they're all taken from a long distance away, I wonder what they don't want us to see. No matter how much we all like to say that looks don't matter, we are visual beings.
Good luck to everyone in their search!