4 online dating photo secrets from the most-messaged woman on OkCupid

11:59AM, Nov 25, 2015
What if every photo you posted to your online dating profile led to a match? Here's how Lauren Urasek does it.

Lauren Urasek was just minding her own business when New York Magazine contacted her one day last year and told her that, according to some serious math, she was the most-messaged girl in New York City on OkCupid.

That's when her life kind of blew up — strangers would bombard Urasek with questions about her crazy dating stories. She had enough tales of meeting pervy and bizarro men that she just wrote a book about it, called Popular

But Urasek, a makeup artist by day, also gets a tonne of questions about how she looks as good as she does in her online dating pics. Here are a few of her tips:

1. Post a Realistic Yet Flattering Full-Body Photo
 

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This shot was taken at a networking event. A girl asked me to take a snap of her, and then offered to return the favour. (Note: If you're shy about asking people to take pics, this is a great way to get one without having to be the first one to ask). I like to pose with my stomach in, chest up, butt out, and arm not directly pressed against me. 

The lighting in the room was great — it was at eye level and not overhead, which creates weird shadows. I was wearing a new dress, so I was feeling good. I vignetted the border to take the focus away from the other people sitting around me, but I didn't crop them out entirely because it helps to show that I have a life and I'm out in the world doing things (i.e., not just a full body mirror pic). 

2. Make 1 Picture a Conversation Starter
 

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A snap of doing something interesting (like this pic of me hiking at Antelope Canyon) is an instant icebreaker. People who have been there are always excited to share their experience. People who haven't ask me if this is real, where it is, if I edited the background (I only upped the contrast, but for its 99.99999 percent real). 

Side note: I think it's good to have at least one shot with minimal makeup on so everyone can see the real you. 

3. Step Up Your Selfie Game

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One day, I was at a MAC store visiting my friend and I noticed that the lighting was amazing in there. Ever since, I can't pop in to see him without taking a few pics. When I was ready to snap this, there was a girl behind me who kept getting into my shot, so I (very politely, of course) asked her to move out of my selfie zone. I used this image as my profile pic for a while because it's a pretty good representation of what I look like every day (not super glammed up). 

Remember these selfie tips the next time you're posing for your phone:

1. Never zoom in. This will dilute the quality of the photo.

2. Don't be afraid to shoot your "bad side." Otherwise, you may end up with all your pics looking exactly the same.

3. Hold you arm just above eye level. Any higher and you get the MySpace look.

4. Do ​not use Instagram filters! They over- or underexpose your photos and make you look washed out. Use apps if you want to tweak things; my faves are VSCO Cam and Enlight
 

Raise your hand if you'd rather stay in on a Saturday night and drink hot toddy's 🙋🏻

Une photo publiée par Lauren Urasek (@loandthecosmos) le17 Oct. 2015 à 19h41 PDT

4. Make Your Mirror Pics Count
 

GO CAPS from the MSG bathroom. 🙄@washingtoncaps

Une photo publiée par Lauren Urasek (@loandthecosmos) le3 Nov. 2015 à 16h47 PST


I'm not usually pro-mirror selfies, but there are a few exceptions: When they're clean (no laundry or unmade bed in the background), when you look into the camera, not the mirror (which creates eye contact instead of that weird wandering eye look), and when they show you out doing something that reveals a hobby or piece of your personality. I get so many messages about hockey because of this pic!

​One last thing: I you still need help deciding which pics might lead you down lovers lane, download The Grade​. It's an app that rates photos to show which will get the best response. 

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Source: Cosmo US

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