Choosing The Best Gay Dating Profile Pictures

Gay Dating

7 Tips for Choosing the Best Gay Dating Profile Pictures

Mason Glenn

Written by: Mason Glenn

Mason Glenn

Mason has had a long career in the matchmaking industry and has spent his time helping high-caliber clientele in Los Angeles select eligible matches. He specializes in working with gay men. Mason has the ability to read people based on their personality traits, relationship history, and biological thinking process. His training, personal experience in the field, and intuition play a key role in his making of lasting love connections. Currently, Mason is an acclaimed published author and is in the process of strengthening his career in content and brand strategy. His latest book, "Getting Ahead of the Gayme: Man First, Gay Second," can be purchased through Amazon, iBooks, or Google Play, and is available at select major book retailers.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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Creating an attractive gay dating profile starts with having good photos. Gay men are extremely visual (sometimes to a fault), so single men need to take the time to choose their pictures wisely.

How you present yourself online influences how attractive a person finds you. It isn’t just about judging your face, your abs, or your physical features. Online daters are getting a peek into your personality and your world. 

Here are the top seven ways to make sure you are sending out good vibes and showing who you are in your gay online dating profile

1. Crop Your Friends Out of Your Photos 

You should always be the focus of your online dating photos. What if the guy you swiped right on actually finds your friend more attractive than you? Do yourself a favor and crop your photos of other people in the shot.

Photo of a group selfie
Make sure you are the center of attention in all your dating profile photos.

I have found that group photos can often become blurry or by the time you crop yourself, you can barely be seen. If someone needs a magnifying glass to find you, chances are they’ve already made up their mind. You only have five seconds to grab someone’s attention, so use that time tactically and strategically. 

2. Be Aware of Distractions 

Take into consideration your surroundings in a photo, and keep unnecessary distractions out of the frame. It could be your new baby nephew or niece, the Vegas koozy cocktail in your hand, or the gorgeous mountain landscape behind you. These things can really draw the eye away from you. You then become the afterthought. Consider presenting yourself in more neutral and less busy backgrounds, so you are the center of attention. 

3. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Confident 

Some guys appear too casual looking in their photos, and that can be off-putting. It shows they clearly aren’t trying to make a good first impression. Guys can’t just roll out of bed in pajamas and expect to be the hottest guy on Grindr. There’s too much competition. If you want to get noticed, lose the sweatpants and up your photo game. This is especially important if you’re serious about finding a gay partner.

When it comes to choosing clothing for a photo, I try to avoid hats and sunglasses. You want your face to be clearly visible. The eyes are the window to the soul. If someone can’t get a sense of your energy, then that may turn them off before they even read your bio. I always felt suspicious of someone who seems to be hiding what they look like. It’s not a good way to impress a potential match. 

4. Know the Power of Your Smile 

Your smile is your secret weapon in the online dating scene. You don’t have to have a million dollar smile to attract a match. You just have to look friendly and approachable. It’s not about being a model — it’s about being comfortable and happy in your own skin. 

Years ago, I dated this guy who was self-conscious about his smile, so he didn’t smile much in photos. I actually thought he had a nice smile. However, this person suffered from a lack of self-confidence, and that was a complete turn-off to me.

5. Show Off The Facets of Your Personality 

Men can attract interesting and lively dates when they show off their hobbies and interests in photos. I know I was always attracted to such men. Photos of you on a hiking excursion or at a wedding are examples of great gay dating profile pictures.

Photo of gay men
You can add a burst of rainbow color to your photos to make them really pop.

When I was working as a professional matchmaker, my clients often told me they wanted to date a man who looked good in a suit but also felt comfortable in jeans and T-shirt.

The goal is to show a bit of variety. Are you in a gay sports league? Show us a photo of you in your cute uniform. Do you like to dance? Have a friend take a pic of you on the dance floor. Just be sure that you don’t have a drink in your hand in every single photo because that can be a red flag.

6. Avoid Too Many Shirtless Photos 

It’s important to distinguish between a dating profile on a relationship site and a sex ad on a hookup app. There is a time and place for both, but gay men need to be clear about their intentions so they know which photos to use. Remember, gay men can be very quick to judge, so be careful how you present yourself.

If your catalogue of photos are just a bunch of shameless shirtless selfies, most gay online daters aren’t going to take you seriously. They’re going to treat you as a sex object. Men who want to be taken seriously keep their shirts on for photos — maybe they add one bathing suit pic — and position themselves so their body shape is apparent, but it isn’t the only attractive part of the photo.

7. Keep Selfies to a Minimum 

A lot of selfies place the focus on your nose or forehead and don’t provide a lot of context for someone looking to get to know you. Selfies can be seen as contrived and narcissistic in the swiping scene. 

Think about how you would create a lasting first impression before the advent of mobile technology. You actually had to try! You couldn’t online date in your free time. You had to make a plan ahead of time. Selfies don’t take a lot of effort, so they communicate that you haven’t put much thought into the online dating process. It looks instead as if you took a photo just for the sake of having a photo. 

Choose Photos That Represent Your Style & Interests

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a man say “I don’t take too many photos,” I would be a rich man. Matchmakers like myself hear this excuse all the time.

It’s worth investing in making your photo collection the best it can be. Maybe that means hiring a professional photographer, though I would caution that such photos can make you look too staged. Be careful about using photo filters too. You want to wow a man with your photos — but you don’t want to seem too good to be true and set yourself up to disappoint your date when you actually meet.

My favorite dating profile photos are the ones where a guy is out and about with friends or appears in his own natural environment. They’re casual, and they offer a window into what life with him would be like.

Whenever I was actively single, I would ask my friends to give me their options on my dating profile photos. “Does this photo look like me?” I’d ask. Or “Is this photo too much?” Getting feedback from friends is a great way to figure out if your photos are doing the job you want them to do. That’s an important step if you want to make improvements and have the best gay dating profile pictures possible.

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