If there’s one thing in this world that I am, it’s thirsty. And I have no shame about it.
But is there such a thing as too thirsty? We all know the unspoken rules of Tinder photo etiquette: don’t take mirror pics in your room if it’s dirty AF and kindly stop with the shirtless photos holding a dead fish. But in the spirit of going a little further and curating the most effective Tinder profile possible, I sought the consult of Austin Nunes, a professional photographer and videographer, photo producer Tarayn Sanders, and Clare Worsley, photographer and Holyrad Studios resident. I had no intention to abandon my thirsty ways, but I figured they could help me — and you — achieve the optimal level of thirst while still maintaining an artistic edge.
1. Get the angles right.
This is currently my first profile picture, because I like to get it all out there right away, bionic arm and all. Luckily, it garnered Nunes’ approval thanks to the shooter’s angle. “Low angles can be great for emphasizing your body shape. Stay out of direct sunlight — it flattens you. Instead, a single light source from an angle will wrap around your body and create shadows that make your best features look even better.”
I always thought that shooting from above was slimming and more flattering, but it turns out, I was dead wrong. Thanks to the lighting and angles of this photo, Worsley adds that, from a professional’s perspective, I come off as “super hot, mysterious, [and] sexy but not thirsty.” A thirst trap without being thirsty? I’ll take it.
2. Consider your location.
I use this picture to show my more bubbly and approachable side, as I think and hope I initially come off as pretty badass (it’s hard not to when you wear a bionic arm).
“You always have to consider your environment when taking a thirst trap,” says Nunes. “Being on the beach shows that you’re fun and down to earth. Add a dog and your Tinder match feels safe enough to meet you in person.” Because my opening photo was taken by a pro, Worsley notes that it’s important that my second was not. “If you have professional photos up on your Tinder, [also] include a selfie or something more low-key to show some duality,” she says.
3. Acknowledge that mirror pics are A-OK.
I thought mirror pictures were a dating-app no-no (some apps even ban them!), but I am a big fan. Much to my surprise and delight, Nunes agrees. “Mirror selfies are a guaranteed home run, because your potential matches see you as you see yourself,” he says. In fact, he deemed this my strongest picture and suggested I consider leading with it.
4. Show off your confidence.
“The perfect Tinder picture is different for everyone, and it depends on the kind of person you are looking to attract,” says Worsley. “A good photo shows your most confident self but also demonstrates you don’t take yourself too seriously.” Because of this, she approves of my double-middle-finger shot.
Nunes, however, isn’t crazy about this picture, thanks to the quality of the photo and its overall lack of thirst. Nonetheless, he agrees that there’s a place for it on my profile. “You’re sexy enough to not care that you’re not in focus, and the bionic middle finger screams that you could care less if someone Likes or Nopes,” he says. Worsley, too, appreciates my attitude. “It says, ‘I don’t really give a fuck.’ That’s hot and shows you don’t take anything too seriously, which is important!”
5. Highlight your friend(ly) side.
I personally don’t believe in group shots. We get it: You have friends. Everyone does, and you don’t need to prove it. Dating profiles are about YOU. That said, I think it’s important to feature pictures that show I love to be out, about, and around others. “This photo is a clear sign that you’re lit enough to have friends that you have to crop out. People like you and your matches should, too,” says Nunes.
6. Look around you.
“I have to highlight the no-nos here,” says Sanders. “Always curate your background.” I thought this was my strongest photo, but it turns out that I was so distracted by my own thirst that I didn’t realize the toilet bowl cleaner and garbage can smack in the middle of the frame. Womp, womp.
7. Let your personality shine.
I’d say this is my most wholesome picture, although it’s hard to be totally wholesome in Lolita socks. I chose it to show that I have a fun, cute side — and Worsley supports it. “I love when people post fun photos along with hot ones,” she says. “Nothing is too thirsty as long as you have a sense of humor.”
So, the million dollar question is, are my Tinder pictures *too* thirsty? “Overall, you show a lot of boob, but that’s just who you are as a person,” says Sanders. Me? I’m walking away with this: There is no such thing as “too thirsty,” as long as you’re being true to who you are — and your thirst level.