Worst Dating Profile Pics: Top 5 Worst Photo Choices

We’ve all seen them…terrible dating profile pics. Sadly, they’re all over popular dating apps like Tinder, RSVP, Match, Bumble or Silver Singles.

And they keep coming up again and again. And it leads you to contemplate…do people really not know what makes a GOOD vs BAD dating profile photo (dating pic)? Apparently, if you look at how many are good (about 10% max) vs bad photos (90% on average)…the answer is: NO. People get it wrong. Very wrong. And they miss their chances.

All of which COULD be remedied (or mostly remedied) by hiring a professional profile photographer for your dating site pics.

So what types of dating profile pics (dating photos) are the WORST photos you can add to your dating profile?

Which photos must online daters AVOID putting on their dating profiles?

In order, they are:

Fish Pics

Nothing worse than a d—p—–, than a fish pic.

The dating site Plenty of Fish (POF), for example, has plenty of people – and free access.

But it also has more fish pics than any other site I’ve seen.

It might be one of the sites you’re going to see photos on, that you really wish you didn’t. (Some images you can’t easily erase). And one of the main culprits (for men, mostly, but not exclusively)?


What is it about catching a big fish that (mostly) men think will attract a partner? Sure, some potential partners love fish. But they aren’t going to be impressed with you looking slobbish on a boat, and you could lose anyone who actually cares for animal welfare. They wouldn’t be your type anyway…but even so.

The only people interested in your fish pics – and even this might be a stretch – are your fishing mates. Not your potential dates.

What else does a “fish pic” reveal? You’re probably not overly attractive to the opposite sex (or same sex partner), as there are so few photos taken of you….by a person other than your fishing buddy/fishing buddies.

It’s a sporting brag photo that few others I know, of whatever gender identity they are or choose to go by, actually care to see. Sure, you were superbly proud of that fish specimen (or fish, plural) – but your date couldn’t give a flip. It makes you seem narrow.

Profile Photo Tip#1: Leave your fish pics on your den wall. Get a shot that shows you like the outdoors, or being on the water (a sailing shot, or at the helm of the boat, or swimming) but not one that reeks of being keen to maim or murder fish for sport. If you do like fishing, mention it – but leave the fish photos in your photo album, which by this stage – had better be digital or you’re probably also way behind the times in terms of your technology.

Gym Junkie Pics

Being fit, especially when you’re over 50 or over 60 and beyond, is a true bonus! Sure, you want to show off your abs, your arms, your pecs, chest or legs. That’s superb — but there are subtle ways to show your physique than the “I’m at the gym lifting weights” photo so many people have (or worse yet, topless in their mirror). These are NOT good photos for your dating site.

Forget about posting photos of you at the gym, on your dating site profile.

These photos don’t eek of virility and fitness. They eek of a possible obsessions with your own body, and potential vanity, in fitness realms.

Option? Instead of a gym photo where you’re lifting weights, have an action shot. No, not necessarily running a race or marathon (which might be a tad less exciting to your dates, and mostly only of interest to your closest friends and fellow runners).

Dating Profile Photographs – Tip #2:

Instead? A photo of you BEFORE the race, or next to your bike – that’s okay but don’t overdo it. And Lycra? That’s up to you, but not everyone looks as great in Lycra as they’d like to believe.

Why not post a close up #profilephoto of you in fitness gear, outdoors, looking great, smiling, natural and candid, but not trying too hard.

Ensure these types of athletic shots are tasteful, not a ‘look at me’ shot. Make it candid, talking to others at a cafe with the bike nearby. Climbing shots are okay, any specialty sports photos aren’t bad (the kayak, for example) but make sure you have one of you in action, and one of your near the action, looking relaxed, natural and smiling. If every photo on your dating profile is an action shot or gym pic, your conversation skills might come across as questionable. Brains count as much as brawn (or to some of your prospects, ,anyway). Especially as we age. You can show both — just don’t overdo either side.

Travel Photos

Everyone posts travel photos, for inexplicably common reasons, as if these reveal a sense of adventure or a genuine global outlook. The fact is, most people DO travel. It’s not unique. Also, when your touring, you’re apt to be dressed super comfortably. You might even dress like a dag. Or out of your normal, in colourful jungle print shirts (or no shirts). This can frighten off a fashion-conscious profiler.

Yep, let’s face it, when we’re traipsing around a new country, jet lagged and wearing tourist t-shirts, we’re unlikely to look our best. And everyone travels. 1 to 3 shots – fantastic. Every image a travel shot? Might lead to questions…

Do you actually have long term friends and stability? Do you have no other interests? (You need to show that you can handle local relationships also, not just travel-focused).

Dating Profile Photo Tip #3:  

If you want to indulge yourself, then post ONE (and only ONE) of your best travel photos – but make sure it tells a story. Okay, TWO max, but you’d better have a ratio of 5: 2 if you post 2 (five natural real life photos of the everyday and 2 travel photos, unless you’re a pilot, in which case those travel photos should be taken in the cockpit, when you’re NOT in the air)! The message? Real life, every day – not your jet-setting life when you probably only travel once every year to 5 years.

The Great Reveal

This one you’ll recognise as the Right Said Fred song version “too sexy for my shirt.” All genders can fall prey to this poor photo choice, revealing just a bit too much – skin! Or ink. Or both.

Tattoos, for example, aren’t everyone’s fare. But if you have them, you’ll need to note this in the profile (towards the bottom part, after you’ve been very clever and appealing).

That noted, if someone’s not fond of tattoos, they’ll skip over you, and you’ll both be the better for it.

Another example: if you show a lot of bust or chest or low cut shirts, or short-shorts, or really tight lycra cycling shorts, or worse yet – a speedo – it might be a bit too much for most viewers.

Leave some mystery for the fifth (or 50th) date!


Dating Profile Photos – Tip #4

Tattoos: If you wear a shirt (or other fashion item) that covers the tatts – but you mention you have them – you might stop prospective partners from SKIPPING over your profile just because you have a few tattoos (emphasis on the word FEW).

If you’re covered in tatts, let them show, but still keep your clothes on.

You’ll miss out on dating interest from people who don’t like ink — but it’s probably for the best. If you’re just overly proud of your body, sure — show it off — be proud. But do it respectfully and with dignity — show it off with full length photos, in proper clothing (modern fashions also count a lot)! Sadly, so many over 50s and over 60s/70s never update their wardrobe.
Go shopping, take your offspring or — better yet — an older grandchild with fashion sense. Don’t dress like someone older than you are, and not overly younger than you are, but modern! Too many people want to date younger people but they dress like someone much older than they are — and younger people notice what you wear (a lot). It’s a turn off if you’re out of style and wear beige, grays and other boring fashions that leave you blending in to the crowd.

Abundance of skin? Don’t fall for the ‘great’ reveal of too much skin on your profile photo, as it will turn off more viewers than it attracts. Including breasts/pecs, legs and midriffs….

Remember, there’s plenty of time for that once you establish a relationship, and won’t your new prospective partner be impressed by your humility and – surprise surprise – your superbly fit physique!

The 10 YEAR OLD photo of what you USED to look like…no one cares.

The worst dating profile photo offenders – yet most often used on internet dating profiles — is the photo that is 10 or 20 years older than you are now (extremely outdated).

So outdated, in fact, you’d not be recognisable at a coffee date.

Even if you post it alongside other recent dating profile pics, 10 year old photos on dating profiles are a definite NO NO (NO NO NO NO NO). I don’t care if you miss your hair, jawline, 6-pack, etc. How you used to look DOESN’T matter at all at the moment.

In fact, old photos show you have no confidence about yourself, e.g. low current self-esteem. People who read between the lines will see you as very likely to be difficult work in an actual relationship. Not to mention they won’t find you on a coffee date and will feel deceived, just as when you lie about your age, height and nearly anything else.

Plus, if you don’t have recent photos as well (we say INSTEAD of – skip the old ones!) — then you’re actually going to be very disappointed when your dating partner meets you in person — and disappointing.

Be who you are, be happy with that – or get fitter with a trainer — try hair regrowth or a toupee if your baldness bothers you a lot (but reveal that to your partner) — but overall, be real.

Be yourself. Be content with self or make the changes you need to make, to be who you WANT to be at this age, and to attract people you’d like to attract (So long as you’re actually realistic). But don’t post old photos.

Why? Firstly, what you USED to look like only matters to you and, perhaps, your family.

Secondly, you are NOT that today, so why delay the inevitable? The worst photos on a dating site are those more than 12 months old, if not 6 months, given we all age more rapidly in our 50s and 60s and 70s.

Dating Profile Photos – Tip #5:

Get a professional photo shoot done (or ask a friend with a really good eye for angles and softer lighting). You need someone who really has a good sense of how to take a flattering photo of you, and anyone else who is older, slightly more wrinkled and/or heavier or with less hair than before. A good photo portrays you in a flattering light, but it’ll keep you recognisable on a coffee date – and honest to your profile.

Those are the 5 worst dating profile photo mistakes you can make – avoid the at all costs, and send an email to request the PROFILE PHOTOS DOs and DON’Ts for online dating after the age of 50 or after 60 and beyond.

Or contact us for our e-newsletter and dating tips publications. (We can also help arrange a photo shoot for you in your area).

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