A profile made from pictures is like a mood board of your life. But what kind of pictures should you use? Guest blogger Daniela Bowker of Photocritic gives some professional advice
All good pictures tell stories. It's what they're meant to do. Sometimes the story is obvious, like a flashing neon sign; sometimes it's more subtle. It's the difference between a photo of you splashing in the puddles with the Arc de Triomphe in the background, and one of the Eiffel Tower reflected in the damp pavement. Both of them tell the story of Paris in the rain. One's a scream, the other's a whisper.
Bad photos don't tell good stories. They leave you in squinty-eyed wonderment. At Photocritic, a website dedicated to photography which I edit, we see a lot of disappointing photos. Crowd scenes or uninspiring snapshots of tourist attractions are some of the worst offenders. The tell-tale sign of a photo without a story is when you don't know where to look; your eye wanders about the picture and you think, "What am I meant to be looking at here?"
You may have seen, or even answered, the “36 questions that lead to love”, a supposed formula for romance that has been doing the rounds on news sites and social media this week.
The idea is that answering a series of increasingly personal questions (and then staring into each other’s eyes) can fast-track two people into intimate feelings of romance. They start off easy enough: “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?” By the end, though, you’re in at the deep end. Consider no. 35: “Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing?” No hiding there.
The buzz around the 36 questions piqued our interest because on 21Pictures we also have a set of questions – 21 of course – which our members take as part of the sign-up process. They are designed not to foster intimacy, but as a compatibility filter.
Pictures carry a lot of subtle information that is hard to express in words: that's one of the basic ideas behind 21Pictures. But how much can pictures really tell us about someone?
To test that out, we asked one of our colleagues here at 21P HQ (Sam) to choose six photos that sum him up in some way. We then asked another colleague (Arianna) to comment on Sam's images and describe what each one says about him. This was a blind "date": even though they know each other, Arianna didn't realise she was looking at Sam's pictures, since none of them show his face.
Scroll down to see what happened, including Sam's reaction to Arianna's discerning analysis. You'll be glad to know they're still friends.
“Go with your gut!” We hear this exhortation often enough, but is it ever a good idea? The answer, most psychologists agree, is yes – sometimes. Intuition, the ability to respond intelligently and instantaneously to a change in your environment, can help us as much today as it did our early ancestors. But since the modern world hardly resembles the prehistoric one in which humans evolved, it can also lead us astray. Knowing when to use your instinct, and when to discard it in favour of a more rational approach, can mean the difference between a good decision and a bad one – and sometimes between life and death.
You're probably thinking, not another dating site! But if you sign up and have a look around, hopefully you'll notice that this one feels different. Instead of words, you describe yourself entirely in pictures – not just a few headshots, but pictures that give people a sense of what you're like. Imagine a noticeboard of your life and you're not far off.