The Personal Ads Picture
In a personal ad, a picture can be important. In fact, statistics show that
personal ads with pictures are read eight times
more frequently than ads without pictures. So a picture is
important. That said, I’d like to offer some tips about the picture you
post in your personal ad.
For starters, assume nothing. I know an
extremely beautiful woman who likes overweight men with nice eyes. She
says that thin guys don’t look “rugged enough.”
Point is, you never know
what will turn a person on. So don’t assume that you’re too old, too ugly,
too fat, or too anything.
When we are bombarded with images of “beautiful” models, actors, and
actresses, we assume that this is what beautiful people look like.
Nonsense. Lighten up on yourself and be real. Look around.
Most people don’t look like Brad Pitt. Few do. But so what?
Most of these actors, actresses, and models are insecure, neurotic messes.
Sure, Julia Roberts is pretty. But would you
want to be the miserable, pathetically insecure, marriage wrecking human being she is? Do you want to be as
gorgeous and adored as someone like Elvis Pressley, only to be so unhappy that
you self-destruct and virtually kill yourself at age 42? Would you
want to be one of the fashion models who throws her meals up and looks
The world is littered with
“beautiful” people who are utterly miserable. Be happy with what
you have — no matter what you look like — and remember that happiness comes from
Okay, despite all that I just said, I am still
going to say that your picture is important and you want to look as good as you
can. I just don’t want you to be neurotic about it. In any case,
let’s discuss how to present the best looking you that we can. Here’s what
I do to get the best possible picture of myself …
I start by taking around twenty pictures of
myself. Sound crazy? It probably is. Anyway, I set up a tripod
with a 35mm or digital camera and take a bunch of pictures of myself. Digital
cameras are easier since you get instant results, although 35mm cameras produce
Either way, I take a lot of pictures. I
take them at different angles, too. Straight on, head tilted, looking a
bit to the side, etc. This vastly increases the chances of getting a
picture which best presents “your good side.” If none of the
pictures produce a result I like – – which has happened to me — then I do it all
again and take more
Once I find a picture I like, I’m not
done. The next step is photo touch-up. I don’t mean pasting someone
else’s head on your body, or altering your picture in any dramatic way. I
simply mean tinkering with things.
I use a photo editing program (they come as
free software on most PCs or can be downloaded online for free). I first try
altering contrast and brightness. This can often make a huge
difference. For instance, let’s say you have a large nose. By
increasing the brightness, the outline of your nose will lessen and your overall
picture will look better. I like to look at this as presenting yourself in
a better light.
I also try other things out. If I
increase the sharpness, do I end up looking better? What if I decrease the
sharpness by softening the picture up? Mess around with things — you can almost
always get yourself to look better. Also, when editing a picture always work on a copy of the
original picture. This way, if things end up worse, you still have the
Bottom line, you look the way you look.
But you can still take numerous shots to find the best representation of
you. And you can still fool around with your best picture to see if it can
look even better.
Oh, and do consider smiling. I talked a
lot thus far about selling a positive and/or happy image. And your picture
is no different. Studies show that people respond more frequently to
personal ads when the person in the personal is smiling in their picture. And they
should respond more — a smile conveys a fun, enjoyable person.
I realize all the effort I suggest might sound overboard. But your picture
and the contents of your ad are competing with other personal ads, and it’s
usually a lot of ads. Be willing to do
the work up front to produce a good picture and to create a great personal ad,
and you vastly increase your chances of success.