Photo Verification Tricks: How To Insure What You See Is What You’ll Get

31. July 2010

So you’ve been chatting up a cute guy or girl you met on a personals site, and you’re thinking about meeting them in person. But how can you know if he or she looks as good in real life as they do on their profile page?

While it is easy to spot someone with caked-on makeup, too much spray tan, loose-fitting clothes that mask a pot belly, other tricks can be a little tougher to spot. Here are a few things to consider as you gaze at the profile pic of any guy or girl…

1. Examine the camera angle

A person can mask a double chin/being overweight by shooting their picture from above their head while they look up. A person could look 10 or 20 pounds lighter by using this trick.

2. Consider the close-up

If all the images on a profile page are taken at extremely close range, it is likely that they are masking their weight or less attractive body parts or physical assets.

Alternatively, it could also mean that they are trying to keep their identity private, and do not wish to show their whole face for some reason. While someone may have beautiful eyes, legs, and lips, that doesn’t mean that the whole package is appealing, so try to get a few pictures from them that aren’t shot at point blank range.

3. How’s the lighting?

Soft candlelight can mask age lines or skin conditions, so photos taken in bright, natural sunlight are often the best representation of a person’s appearance. Not all people who pose for a picture in a darkened room have something to hide, but it is an easy way to make one’s face look less severe.

4. Does the image itself show any signs of being old?

A person may attempt to look younger or thinner by using an old photo from several years ago. There are a couple of obvious ways to date a photo.

Obviously someone might be wearing a dated shirt, but the image can also be a giveaway. If the image appears to have been taken with a “real” camera, it may look a little grainy as compared with newer digital camera pics, which could be a sign that you are looking at an older picture.

Another way to date a picture is to look closely at the hairstyles and fashions worn by people in the picture. Take special note of the hair products used, the cut of the clothing, and the application of makeup. If the picture looks like a still from the first season of Friends, chances are it is quite old.

5. Look for signs of Photoshop manipulation.

Even a good-looking woman might Photoshop her image. Some women/models involved in adult industry sometimes touch up their pics to entice clients and make themselves more marketable. The image above shows you a couple of things to look for: lack of shadows, overly smooth skin tone, and a general airbrushed look.

The bottom line is this…if her profile photo seems like it could be in a glossy magazine, it could very well have been photoshopped. However, if she (or he) tells you upfront that they are an actress or model, they may just be using their head shots or portfolio images to fill out their profile page. It is common for people in the performing arts to have touched up photos, which means they may not be actively trying to deceive you.

6. Will the person send you more photos when you ask for them?

If they are unwilling to share more photos (assuming that you didn’t ask for naughty pics), it may mean that they only have a small number of photos that show them in a flattering light. Generally speaking, a confident, open-spirited person will send you plenty of pictures, as long as you are polite and respectful. Failure to do so can be a red flag.

Whether you are looking to meet a handsome guy or a knock-out woman, the bottom line is this: If the pics seem too good to be true, then they probably are.

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