The key is that photos are VERY important. You need to include at least one photo, but you can't include a single bad one. A single bad one in a sea of amazing photos will sink you.
So here's a breakneck course in how to get a great photos. It's the secret that all pretty girls on the web use, and the secret that all professional photographers use, is what I like to call the "take a shitload of photos and only use the very best ones" technique. There's a couple ways you can play this out:
The Myspace Way (AKA: holding the camera out and aiming it back at yourself)
While 15 years ago this was the "I have no friends" camera angle, it's now a perfectly acceptable method to take photos on the web.
- Get your digital camera, download all the photos and wipe the card. Charge the battery.
- Fix up your appearance: check shirt for stains, fix your hair, shave.
- Don't forget suntan lotion. I shouldn't have to be saying that, but I do know more than a few Smart Guys who don't go out in the sun that often and may get burned with this.
- Go back and read all the rules of good photos on the First Step post. You'll want these fresh in your mind when taking photos.
- Wait until you have some free time during the day and go somewhere where you can take photos with good light. Daylight is key.
- Do the myspace thing: hold the camera out, slightly above, with the flash off.
- Take a couple photos then check them on your cam for light levels. make sure you're not backlit (sun behind you, shadows in face) or squinting (sun in your eyes or in direct sunlight).
- + if your test photos look good, take a dozen or so more photos from roughly the same angle without checking them. Do variations of the angle and your head (both vertical and horizontal).
- After a dozen of photos. Check a few for these possible pitfalls:
- Pig nose: Camera aimed low, looking up, can give you a pig nose. Avoid it.
- Double chins: Holding the camera above you and tipping your head to face it stretches out your face and reduces double-chins. This is why girls on Myspace do it all the time.
- Smile: Make sure you're smiling. Even a slight crack of a smile is better than nothing. Almost laughing in great too. Avoid cheesy grins
- Anything else bad: You know, boogers, donut cumbs, etc.
The goal of this process above is to take as many pics as possible with as little slowing you down as possible. check your photos only for the test shots (one or two shots) and then after you've shot a dozen or so. When you do check photos, you're just looking for what NOT to do for your next set of photos. You're not editing them now. Most of these photos no one other than you will ever see.
Random Tips for all around good photos
- You do not look badass when not smiling. You look like someone who is sad, bored, and boring. I learned this the hard way, with a barrage of "You look so sad" and "why are you not smiling?" emails to me. Smiles indicate a good time; having fun, and when girls are sizing you up in your photos they want to know they'll have a good time with you.
- Take your sunglasses off. Girls really want to see your eyes and it's just so much more inviting.
- I'd avoid baseball caps, too. Oh, and if you have a fedora or any other indicators that you wore a trench coat in high-school: for God sakes take that shit off for these photos.
- Never pose in front of your car. If it's a lame car, this makes you look lame. If it's a great car, it makes you look like a douche. Girls love nice cars, but don't like guys who look like they pay more attention to their car more than a girl.
- Flash warning: You can do the process at night and use a flash but it's a lot harder to get good photos of yourself. Flashes were designed by the beautiful supermodel scientists at Kodak with their flawless skin to make you look as horrible as you possibly can look. They flatten and fatten your face by removing all shadow and variation, especially when you're shooting close like you might when holding the camera yourself. If you get a good looking flash photo, by all means use it. I'm just warning you that it might be harder to do.
- Trim the fat. When you add a new photo to your profile, if you have more than, say, 6, go through and see if there's any that just aren't cuttin' it anymore and remove it. You don't need a ton of photos. 3 or 4 are great.
- Photos are like your profile text: the goal is to constantly be updating them and improving them. You'll only want to add the best, and as you get better at getting girls you'll have better photos to add.