14/02/2017 12:11 GMT | Updated 15/02/2018 05:12 GMT

How To Take The Perfect Dating App Profile Photo

It's Valentine's Day and many of us will be looking to dating apps for a potential romance. But where to begin? Your profile photo is obviously the first thing people will look at - just like in real life, your first impression is usually from the way someone presents themselves.

The key is to make sure your profile photo is faithful to how you are in real life - not just in your appearance, but in the sort of personality you put across through the camera. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words!

So to help you craft your ideal snap, Happn have analysed the 100 most popular profiles to discover what makes for a perfect set of profile pictures - here's our insider tips.

Five is the magic number

The ideal number of pictures is five - enough for people to feel they have an idea of what sort of person you are and how you look. People tend to distrust profiles which only have one or two images, as it's difficult to tell both how you look and what your personality might be like. So be sure to give a range for people to look through and get to know what makes you tick.

Ditch the pets!

We all love our pets, and snuggling up to our furry friends for a profile snap might seem like you're onto a winner - aren't you cuter when showing your soft side? Surprisingly, pet shots don't actually make a difference to how much attention you'll receive - apparently people are more interested in you than your puppy!

Don't hide

Importantly, the most popular profiles make sure their first photo clearly shows their face - an obscure shot or full-body pic from your holiday turns people off. If someone can't see your face initially, it's much harder to make a connection. The most popular profiles have clear, face-on shots with good lighting - nothing to hide here folks! Black and white photos are also a no-no, with natural light coming out top.

It's key to make sure your first two or three photos are of yourself alone - it's great to show you're social, but save group shots for later pics: they're frustrating if you can't decipher who's who!

Variety is the spice of life

Although your first pic should be a close-up of you alone, do have a mixture of portrait and full-length pictures later on in your profile.

These should be in a mixture of settings too - a holiday under the sun, parties, at sporting events or out in the countryside - whatever best paints a picture of your lifestyle. Use your photos as a chance to show the sorts of hobbies you have, places you like to go and things you like to do.

Perfect that pout

Interestingly, while selfies are not very common, they aren't a turn-off this year. Happn's previous research found that 66% of people are put off by selfies, but this year they are more frequent and well-accepted. In the UK, men tend to take selfies in their car while women are more private, taking these pics in their homes.

There are plenty of ways you can improve your profile pictures, but most important is showing your personality. Good luck!