Exploring the new trend of the self-photograph and advancements in tech, a New York Times article shared the findings of online dating site, OK Cupid. It seems photos that get the most action (and therefore the larger dating pool) have one thing in common: a smile.
While it seems obvious that a smiling face might draw in more potential mates, the other characteristics of profile pics were interesting in that "of course, that makes perfect sense, even though I've never thought about it" kind of way.
Women responded more often to pictures in which the man is looking off camera, not into it. Men were more likely to respond to pictures in which the woman is at home (and looking a little come-hither) rather than out with friends or on a trip. But for both sexes, pictures in which the subjects are smiling uniformly trounced the stone-faced ones.
Perhaps a straightforward stare from a man could be perceived as aggressive and a woman surrounded by friends and/or on a great adventure could seem fulfilled -- therefore negating the need for a mate. On a very primal level, it makes sense.
Also -- fun fact, those who look like they took the photo themselves get more winks.
Luckily technology is catching up to this online trend and you no longer have to hire a professional photographer to get a great shot. Your iPhone or laptop camera can help you take control of the image you put out there to perfect strangers.
I might even argue you're more relaxed and comfortable when taking your own picture. Therefore creating an image that is more authentically you. Which is always appealing -- online, or off.