More and more often people are turning to the Internet for dating, and whether it's because things are just too grim in real life or that Match.com commercial that secretly makes you cry has finally broken you down, one thing is certain -- you need to have a good online dating photo representing you. Sorry, dude, your sparkling wit may not be enough to impress the ladies.

To try to figure out what makes a good profile pic, we asked seven guys to give us their for-realsies online dating profile pics for our panel of for-realsies women to critique.

The Panel:
Ladies Panel

Shot 1: Why Do I Gotta Be Mr. Pink?

He says:
So I recognize that it's pretty cheesy to use a Photoshop filter effect in a dating profile ad, [and] as for choosing to stage a shot, I've always known that I had a better chance of meeting women with my personality than my rippling physique, so I tried to create a picture that suggested something about that personality.

She says:
He looks cute, but he should show his whole face. I don't really get a feel for how he would look in person. Also you were right, that Photoshop filter effect is a little cheesy. Maybe if it were an actual screenshot from a video you made or something it could be cool, instead it just seems like you're totally into "Reservoir Dogs."


Shot 2: Get a Handlebar on It


He says: When choosing a picture, I try to pick one that defines me as a very nonjudgmental, creative and free-spirited guy. My style is hardly normal, and if a woman can't understand that the handlebar mustache is a very tongue-in-cheek statement, then there is no way we would get along. A serious relationship shouldn't have to be so serious, and this photo I feel is one way to describe that relationship goal.

She says: One of us had this to say: "I would never date a guy with a handlebar mustache. Ever. Never! It is such a disguise, and not very inventive in terms of style." The general sentiment, though, is that if you're going to have a stache like this you might want to smile in your picture so that we know you aren't a cop who lost a bet and had to wear a sweater vest out for the night.


Shot 3: Buddha and Me


He says: A photo of me in a suit with my bulldog, Buddha. What girl can resist a well-dressed man and an adorable dog?

She says: Nice try with the dog, Brosephine, but that suit makes it look like you're not much fun. It would probably help if you looked like you were having a good time playing with your (admittedly adorable) bulldog instead of picking him up so you could pose for a profile pic. We'd also like to add, in regards to Buddha: Awwwwwwwwwww.


Shot 4: The Big Blur


He says: I picked this picture simply because it is me. While surfing the multitudes of online dating sites, I realized that every profile picture, is either from a dance or fancy outing, and while they look beautiful it doesn't show whom they are in real life. I feel honesty is the key to a lasting relationship, so I took this picture of me wearing regular clothes on a regular day so you and every one else can see me for me.

She says: While some of us really liked the fact that this is probably a very honest portrayal of what this guy looks like, the bad lighting and focus kind of remind us of those crappy pictures "Dateline" is always using to show the criminal in real life when the only other shot they have is a mug shot. You don't have to have a picture of yourself jumping out of an airplane or shaking hands with a gorilla, but maybe borrowing a real camera from a friend instead of pointing your laptop at your couch and running across the room would yield much better results for such a small amount of effort.


Shot 5: Headshot Handicap


He says: I'm a 32-year-old writer/singer/actor living in Los Angeles. This is my current Match.com picture. For an L.A. actor, it's almost inevitable that I would choose a headshot. Still, I choose this picture mainly because I usually hate my baby-face grin ... [but] I feel like my smile and emotion in this picture is authentic -- and authenticity is the quality I most want a woman to find attractive in me.

She says: What is that, a headshot? Oh, God, it is a headshot. Hey is your little blurb about yourself your résumé? Let's try not to mix business and pleasure, OK? Seriously, it's really obvious that this is a headshot, which is supposed to represent you as an actor, not as a man looking for love. It's a good picture, but it's kind of like cheating.


Shot 6: The Big Blur, Part 2


He says: I like to think of myself as laid back, funny and open to what the present may bring. My true passion is writing and it's perhaps the best way to express how I feel about life's experiences and challenges. I chose this picture because it shows personal characteristics such as well-kept locs, the creativity I represent as shown in the tattoo that covers my left arm and a warm, welcoming smile.

She says: Hooray! Another picture of a guy looking like himself, but it's the same problem as the last one like this: Really bad lighting makes it look like a picture of a guy you've never met asking you to be his friend on MySpace. Just shine a lamp on half your face and you're good to go.


Shot 7: Everyone Plays the Game


He says: I submitted this to SeniorPeopleMeet.com. I got a few "hits," but as I met two women and chatted with another, it seemed the same "games" go on at any age with women. I'm a sincere and straight up man. I raised three sons for 10 years after my divorce. I think women just aren't honest. Could be because the men they met are the game players. So, you tell me, how do I appear to you?

She says: Speaking strictly about the photo, it's good. It's nice that you're smiling and we can tell what you look like, and it doesn't seem contrived or forced. In regards to your approach to dating, you might have better luck if you stop regarding women as dishonest game players. Seriously, that's not cool, and we can pick up on an attitude like that -- both the crazy, game-playing types and the regular ones. But the regular ones won't stick around.


Sounds like all the ladies want is a natural-looking photograph that makes it fairly obvious whether or not you've got a third eyeball somewhere on your person. It helps if you don't make a face like a serial killer and you don't look like you're trying too hard. Really. It couldn't be much simpler -- they'll save the really complicated stuff for once they start dating you, and then spring it on you unexpectedly.

What do you think? Did our panel give good advice?
Yes, dog-huggers and Dateline wannabes don't make for good photos432 (71.3%)
No, my poor lighting and blurry photo adds to my edgy, mysterious vibe174 (28.7%)