A typical gay man may spend dozens of hours every week on his favorite dating apps and websites, yet few gay men put nearly as much time or thought into writing a compelling profile description or taking photos that really show off their best, um, assets.
At the MISTER app, our staff reviews millions of photos and profiles. We've learned that it takes skills and practice to create great profiles and great profile photos. We want everyone to have a great profile, no matter what app you choose, so below we would like to share some tips and tricks we've picked up over the years.
I consulted lifestyle and product photographer Andrew Giammarco. Andrew has shot underwear models for Amazon.com, MISTER models and porn stars for Falcon Studios. When it comes to shooting great profile photos, Andrew knows what works and what doesn't.
If you are lucky enough to still see your abdominal muscles, then most likely you'll be interested in showing them off in your profile. While we don't suggest posting a torso pic as a main picture (who wants to chat with a headless horseman?), you will undoubtedly want to show off that rippling stomach at some point. To do this effectively, make sure your light source comes from the side or above you. A single light source will create shadows that accentuate those abs and make you look fitter than a Olympic gymnast.
If, like the majority of us, your six pack is hiding beneath a thin layer (or two) of padding, then your light source should be from the side and in front. Place your body at roughly a 45 degree angle from the light. This will have the effect of flattening out your stomach.
For face pics, avoid direct overhead or under-lighting. For the best possible result, sit directly facing a window that is giving off a diffuse light with the camera between you and the window. Lean toward the camera and lift your chin slightly. Slightly. If you take the shot during an overcast day, be sure your camera's color balance is set to "cloudy" or "auto" to avoid a blue cast on your skin.
Remember to smile. Yes, you may want to come across as a tough, take-no-prisoners top-daddy, but smiles will generally get more attention. Even gay guys love a good set of pearly whites.
Everyone knows that if you want a trimmer waistline, you need to decrease your calorie intake (bye, bye, summer margarita) and increase your calorie burn (hello, treadmill!). If that's not in the cards for you, you can still look thinner online by learning one move: the twist. Place your body at a 10- to 20-degree angle and then twist from your waist so that your chest faces straight to the camera. This will have the wonderful effect of making your waist look small and your shoulders broad.
Be sure to also avoid pants or underwear that are too tight or those tighty-whities will give you a muffin top. If the latest tight-fitting brand-name jeans you bought are showing off your package nicely but digging into your waist, be sure to unbutton the top button first.
For the classic underwear shot, make sure to stretch out the elastic waistband and leg bands first. Do this several times to really loosen the elastic to that it doesn't dig into your waist or legs.
Let's be honest: Gay guys love sending pictures of their junk to strangers. While we think this is a somewhat unusual way to say hello, we also believe strongly that the human body is beautiful. We love all parts of the body, no matter how big or small.
That being said, not all of you share our philosophy, and you prefer to have your dirty bits float across the Interweb as large as possible. I'm talking megapixel-large.
If large is your goal and you are taking a photo of your banana with a hard-on, then never, ever shoot it head-on. Always shoot it from the side or at an angle.
If you want to give it a little more length, make a tight fist, and, with your hand placed on the opposite side from the camera, push down at the base of your penis with your thumb. That way your hand looks small and your dick looks big. You aren't doing anything misleading. You are just taking advantage of the fact that many people weren't paying attention in art perspective class in high school. (Objects that are closer to the lens appear bigger than objects that are farther away.)
Another trick to make your dick appear bigger is to trim or "thin-out" your pubes. Don't get me wrong, a full '70s bush is mantastic, but trim that forest for maximum length. Be sure not to go overboard and shave it all off! You're a man now, so show off your man stuff.
If you're letting your dick lie on your stomach during this intimate selfie, then lean up and forward a little. The closer your dick is to your belly button, the longer it will appear.
If you have the kind of bootylicious ass that is so big and perky that it deserves its own zip code, then you can skip this section. For the rest of us, never shoot your ass straight on. Andrew says that instead, you should place your trunk at a 45-degree angle to the camera. Next, shift your weight to the hip furthest from the camera and bend the knee on the opposite leg. This will tighten any looseness back there and give you a rounder looking butt.
Then you should arch your back slightly. Slightly. If you overdo it, you may end up looking like a naked duck or an overzealous stripper in Montreal. You'll know when it looks ridiculous. In most things online, but particularly ass shots, subtlety is everything.
When taking photos of yourself, make sure you are conscious of what is going on behind you. The focus of the photo should be on the main attraction: you. Your future husband might be scared off by that floral Afghan Nanna knit behind you, not to mention the giant butt-plug in the corner. Keep it simple. Keep it classy. Better yet, take a pic outdoors, in the sun, on a beautiful day. Let people imagine you out in real world. Now that's sexy.
In my next post, I'll explain the "80/20 rule" for a better profile description.