A German Explores...what could possibly go wrong?
A guide about what pictures to post on Bumble
Ladies, this article is for you.
Gents, although this guide is primarily meant for women who are on Bumble, all you guys should follow pretty much the same principles I talk about here, too, to be successful. Just disregard the parts where I talk about cleavage. Oh, and cut out the shirtless bathroom pics. Most women hate those!
If you’re in a hurry, don’t want to read this whole article, and just need a shortcut to see the best way to set up your images on Bumble, just go down a little to The perfect Bumble profile picture.
A note on the pictures used in this article: all Bumble profile pictures you see here are real pictures I found while being on Bumble myself. Since all users voluntarily put their images into the public domain, they can be reproduced. However, in order to ensure there’s no identifiable data on any of the images, I decided to blur all personal info. If you recognize yourself in any of the shots and would like me to remove your picture, please contact me and let me know. If you recognize yourself in any of the shots and would like to add your contact info so that visitors to this website can say hello to you, I’ll do that, too.
Automatic image cropping on Bumble
Before you even get started, it’s important to know that Bumble will crop and resize your images for you if they don’t fit the regular viewport of the app. Now, that viewport can have slightly different dimensions depending on your mobile device or if you’re using a tablet. Either way, parts of your picture will get cut off.
As a simple rule of thumb, use a rectangular image just the way your cell phone camera would take it, and make sure there’s some room between you and the edge of the image. That’s it.
If you don’t, your main image may just look like this.
This is not an appealing first impression.
If you’re serious about meeting someone on Bumble, always remember to present yourself in a way that another person would actually be enticed enough to want to ask you out. If I can’t even see your face, I won’t ask you out.
Sure, it’s easy to scroll/swipe through all the pictures in a given profile. Bumble even offers these nifty navigation dots in the upper right hand corner that show you how many pictures a person has in their profile and which one of these pictures you’re currently viewing (in my example we are on picture 1, the main profile photo).
Lesser known is the fact that by tapping any of the pictures, you see the actual picture in its original dimensions. This full-picture view let’s you scroll as well, just without the Bumble frame around it.
Here’s our girl from above after you tap on her profile pic.
I bet you would have figured out about tapping on the image in order to see the actual photo. But how long would it have taken you? Two or three profiles? Or more like two or three days?
So if you want to appeal to a man, preferably to one who’s still fresh on Bumble and has not scrolled through half the world’s women yet, make sure he sees you all the way and sees enough to consider you. If he’s new and doesn’t yet know about tapping, and all he sees is a hand or someone cut off just above the chin like the girl below, he’ll likely swipe left. Just because he didn’t know and didn’t see you. Ah, a chance of a lifetime blown!
A note on tapping into Bumble’s full-picture view
During early June of 2017, Bumble changed the behavior of tapping into the full-picture view and then tapping out of it again. While a tap on any picture still shows you the full picture now, another tap will not get you back to the regular Bumble view. Instead, you need to use your back button.
While it should go without saying – and as you can see, it doesn’t – make sure your pictures are not dark or out of focus. If they’re dark, use a flash. If they’re out of focus or totally pixelated, you either zoomed into an existing picture to crop yourself out or whoever took your picture is just a lousy picture taker.
If guys can’t make out your features, they’ll be highly suspicious of you from the start. Are you a fake profile? Do you have anything to hide? Or you just don’t give a damn? And if it’s the last one, why should I?
Something like this is not necessary. You can do better!
The perfect Bumble profile picture
For an effective Bumble profile you need 1 nice head shot and 1 full-body shot. Preferably in that order, too. Done.
It’s quite simple. Men will be interested in what you look like and what body shape you have. (For all my male readers, if you don’t retain a word I say in this article, remember at least this part here, please. It goes just as well for you!)
Here’s a great example of a nice profile setup:
Well done, Lovely!
Other pictures, slots 3-6
Now that you have your two essential core profile images posted, there are still four image slots open. You can either stop here, because less is more, right? If you choose to share more about you, your life, what you do and where you’ve been, additional pictures can really be anything you want.
However, keep a few things in mind:
Always represent your true self. Let’s say you post a skydiving picture like this one. Way cool!
Problem is, if in reality you’re a total chicken and five people had to talk you into jumping, you now give us the wrong impression of yourself.
Don’t pretend to be badass and a daredevil when you aren’t. Don’t post a pic of something you did once just to come across as “cool,” especially if whatever the picture portrays is something you would never ever do again. It will eventually backfire big time!
Pretending you’re oh so adventurous will attract guys who will be disappointed to find out you’re not actually up for adventure; either because they’re skydivers themselves and want to jump with you, or they want to take you bungee jumping or spelunking. (Yeah, that last one is a cool word! Look it up.)
Instead, post a picture of you in a corn field, sitting on a bench reading, fly fishing, etc… You get the point.
And don’t worry! It’s OK to be a chicken. Not everyone has to jump out of planes for fun, and not all guys are attracted to chicks who do. You may be an awesome cook or know how to mend socks, and there are plenty of guys who find that very sexy. Trust me.
Just represent yourself as best as you can.
General rule of thumb
Don’t post pictures of activities, even if they’re dear to you, if (A) you do not expressly expect the guys you meet to participate in them, or (B) if the activity does not actually constitute a big part of your regular life and routine.
You’ll see details of what I mean further down with my image examples for deep sea fishing, guns and yoga.
And here are a few more considerations about image choices…
Bad ideas for profile pictures
Browsing through Bumble, I saw a variety of pictures that ranged from unfortunate to plain gross and off-putting. So here’s a male’s point of view of what not to do, ladies.
You’re making it really hard for me to catch your eye, if I don’t know what set of eyes to look at!
Which one of these girls is looking for a guy now?
I’ve seen some profiles with group pictures for every image. Not a single individual shot. If I need to flip though your pics five times and reverse engineer which person is actually you, I much rather give up and move on. This swipe thing was done to work fast.
And another issue that’s even worse: your girl friends are cuter than you! I swiped left on many profiles because I liked a friend in the group picture much better, and then still swiping right for you would have just been rude. Good bye!
A similar problem occurs when you post pictures of you within groups. It’s perfectly fine to show us that you have a friends. Who would want to come across as alone and needy? However, the right picture can be tricky.
While these examples show me clearly which one you are, you’re also showing me chemistry with the people in the picture. Wait. Weren’t we here to find chemistry with each other?
Remember, a picture is a snapshot of a story, and I have no clue what happened before and after the picture was taken. But I will fill it in by myself. That’s just how the human brain works.
So while all of these gals are definitely showing me that they are capable of having a fun time, I can almost get a feeling of being a third wheel to their party. Not how you pick up a new guy.
You’re on Bumble to meet a guy. At least I’m assuming that. All you player ladies can ignore this part.
Some of us are overly and overtly jealous, others not so much. However, if you try to appeal to a man, it’s sure not gonna work if you’re presenting yourself in the arms of another dude. If you go on Bumble to find a man for your life, yet your pictures look like you already have one, why would any sane guy bother?
It doesn’t matter whether the person in the picture is your ex, your best gay friend, your brother-in-law, your dance partner, your daddy, or whoever. It’s another dude, and I didn’t come here to compete. You’re already making yourself unattractive.
Yes, I know, the background story of the picture may be perfectly harmless, beautiful even maybe, but I just “met” you, so I know nothing about that person, other than it’s someone already holding you.
How would you feel if you looked through the men’s profiles and see me holding a girl in each arm in my pictures? Left swipe, right?
Don’t look like a couple in your pictures!
And worse than showing yourself with a dude by your side is showing yourself with a whole bunch of naked dudes. What are you trying to tell me? What were you looking for on Bumble again?
Restrooms, public & private
Yes, the bathroom is where most of us have a full size mirror that lends itself to a full-body selfie. So far so good. However, there are bathroom pics, and there are bathroom pics, and seeing a stall behind you is just not very appealing, particularly when the door is wide open. And even if you avoid a commode photo bomb, I still know where you are and what you possibly did.
You just set yourself up for a bad mental image. Please, avoid this kind of first impression. Presenting yourself online like this is like farting on purpose throughout a first date.
Don’t wear sunglasses. Period. We want to see your eyes.
No image example for this one. It’s too self-explanatory. Just think of how you feel about all the guys staring at you out of the app wearing those sexy reflective glasses? Attractive, right?
These were too good to keep from you. Unless you really don’t give a shit and are just on Bumble to play, don’t do weird profile pictures.
The pictures in the following section aren’t bad per se. Actually, they’re perfectly fine if looked at individually. However, these poses, scenes, and backdrops are apparently so popular, that I keep seeing them over and over again.
While images like this may be great pictures and wonderful memories of yours, for the viewer it gets old to see certain Kodak moments constantly repeated.
The beauty of such pictures is also their downfall. The fact that most of the shots are from rather memorable locations or represent unique hobbies makes them stand out. They’re memorable. However, the moment I see 10 other girls do the same thing, it diminishes you individually because it’s just another Machu Picchu picture.
It seems like everyone is imitating each other, and that creates a negative feeling. (Yes, I know you don’t actually imitate, but that’s just how the psychology works. Again, remember that we just see a bunch of pictures flitting over the screen.)
It’s like the law of diminishing returns (basically, “Too much of a good thing…”): You eat one cookie, and it’s delicious. You eat 20 cookies, and you’re sick.
This ancient Inka city in the Peruvian mountains seems to be a big travel destination; at least one that a lot of Bumblers like to show off. I’ve seen more Machu Picchu images on Bumble than New York City skyline, Golden Gate Bridge and Grand Canyon combined.
Deep sea & sport fishing
Pulling big beautiful animals out of the water. No matter whether you do catch-and-release or cook your fish for dinner, showing off this activity can be contentious. If you’re really into it, there’s nothing wrong with showing it, because it helps you weed out those guys who would object to your hobby. However, those who are attracted, may be bored after the 10th deep sea fishing picture, or they just swipe right by default. Showing or not showing is a toss-up, and really depends on how badly you feel this represents you.
There are lots of the typical trophy shots.
And then there are some of the weirder fishing pictures.
Cute at first. After a while it’s just “another Santa Claus lady”; second only to “ah, another cat lady.”
Just like deep sea fishing, you’re definitely making sure to make all guys swipe left who are not into guns. So it’s a great sorting aid.
However, are you really a gun fanatic, or did you just happen to have a cool day out at the range? Choose wisely if this is really you. The majority of your hits will be from lifetime NRA members.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with you taking your picture in the car. Problem is that almost everyone has one like this because it’s so easy and convenient. After seeing 50 of these, it just smells like you didn’t give a damn about taking a picture in a nice location, but squeezed it in between lunch and your dental appointment.
Of all the examples in this section, this one has nothing unique about it. Let’s just be straight-out honest: this is a plain, boring pose/photo location.
Yep, love wines and vineyards, too. Seeing these images means you’re a drinker. Bam, another plus. But again, too many girls at the vineyard just makes each subsequent photo with a similar backdrop less exciting. And the chances that your “Mr. Right” will see your profile and your vineyard picture before he sees anybody else’s are just infinitesimal.
It’s nice to know that you’re bendy, relaxing your mind and are all about Zen and balance. However, how much of a role will or should yoga play in your desired relationship?
If yoga is something you would like to do privately or with your girls friends as a spiritual get-away once a week, it’ doesn’t matter whether or not the guy is into yoga (at least it shouldn’t).
By showing the image, it seems like an activity you wish to be part of the relationship, practicing it together, or making it part of your interaction in some other way. Is that what you want? If yes, keep posting. If not, save your yoga as a special nugget to talk about when you message or actually meet your match.
Miscellaneous picture considerations
Kids & pets
No other pictures are represented more on Bumble than those that have pets and/or kids in them, and both are fine to have. You immediately show the viewer what to expect if they’re interested and choose to get involved with you.
Just think about to what degree you showcase your children or pets. Is your pet in one picture, or licking you in all of them? Same with kids. If your pet snake really does go everywhere with you it’s OK to show it. If not, don’t create that impression.
Also, from a security perspective, protect your children, please! There’s a lot of crap happening online. You can read about it in the news every day. In my opinion, many ladies are way too open in presenting their children to the public on Bumble.
Maybe too cool.
(Child’s face blurred by me.)
Boobs & skin (mostly boobs)
To make one thing clear right away, I think it’s perfectly fine to show off your goods in your pictures. Cleavage never hurts. There you have it. A guy who tells you differently is a liar.
To make another thing clear right away, too, all men are pigs and think with their dicks. Shocker, right?
The only difference between a gentleman and a chauvinist jackass is that the gentleman knows how to control his mouth and behavior when sexual desire hits.
But let’s talk about profile pictures. Showing some skin is always sexy and attractive. It also shows immediately that you’re not all stiff and buttoned up.
The only question is, when is a little skin just that, and at what point may the viewer get the wrong impression? “Easy,” “slut,” and other crap like that comes fast to some people’s mind. Assumptions are made quickly, and I’m sure you’ve had to deal with it before.
I can’t (and don’t want to) give you a hard and fast rule. Do what you feel is right for you in this department. Here are a few examples of the Bumble skin spectrum, and I bet every one of you has a different tolerance level. (And yes, if it were up to the guys, you’d all be naked in the pictures anyway. Except, that’s against Bumble guidelines.)
There’s nothing wrong with being silly or goofy and showing it as long as that’s who you are. (Hey delicious lobster, why haven’t you liked me back yet and jumped into my pot…?)
Unfortunately, humor does not always come across right. Your image may show a scene that’s all in good fun, but nobody would know. Remember, we just “met” you and have no clue if you’re always sarcastic and a jokester, and whether or not the shit you say and present actually means a thing.
If you have the ever-so-slightest doubt, don’t post. I bet whatever you wanted to share will make a lovely story over drinks. This one here, for example, is just disconcerting and creepy.
Sport fans have two ways to jazz up their pictures: add team banners and logos through Bumble or wear their favorite team’s gear. Real sports fans do both!
If you’ve read my section above on Overused Poses, you know what’s coming now, right…?
Not only are there tons of sports profile pictures on Bumble, but it’s very easy to get the impression that you’re a sports fanatic; and I don’t just mean “fanatic” in the sense of “fan,” but in the sense of “bat-shit-crazy-about-sports-and-forgets-to-eat-over-it crazy.” This is especially true if you’re at the stadium or in fan gear in 5 out of 6 pictures.
Now, do you really live for the team with every fiber of your being, or do you just happen to enjoy the game and follow it? These are two very different attitudes towards sports. Make sure you portray correctly which side you stand on.
Again, if sports is truly your obsession in life, go for it and present yourself that way. Because if you are a fanatic, you need someone just like you or willing to put up with it.
Bumble/Snapchat picture decoration
Bumble provides a variety of cartoony images to add to your images and jazz them up. Many girls also use their decorated Snapchat selfies. This stuff doesn’t do anything for me, but if you feel it helps you express yourself, go for it.
Momma always said, don’t talk politics and religion when you first meet someone, it’s impolite.
Well, if you’re a person who is capable of dealing with someone who holds potentially different views or beliefs than you and, if on top of that, you think you could even fall in love with that person (everything else, of course, being perfect), then yes.
Otherwise, screw it!
Showing from the get-go where you stand is a great way to weed out non-candidates. Politics and religion probably fall squarely into the same dangerous territory, only religion might be harder to convey in an image than politics. That’s what the description is for…
Now that I think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen a single profile picture with a girl holding a cigarette. Last check of the Bumble image guidelines does not forbid it. So if you’re a smoker, I would add a cool pic of yourself with a cigarette dangling out of the corner of your mouth. Weed out all the guys who’d be turned off by that and save yourself a lot of time.
My all-time favorite profile pictures
My favorite Bumble profile picture 1: multi-image collage
Isn’t this beautiful? Not only do you see a face, but you see all sorts of angles, zoom levels, hairdos, that she wears glasses and likes to show off her bikini. Yum!
This type of profile picture gives you an immediate idea about the person in front of you. Brilliant!
Just in case you wonder, I swiped right faster than you can blink. Did she like me back, you might wonder next… Nope. 🙁
My favorite Bumble profile picture 2: inviting shrink couch
First, my title for this picture is totally meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
Secondly, I sadly don’t have a screenshot. I only realized how cool the picture was after I swiped right. And again, sad little me did not get a match out of it. But that’s beside the point.
So, let me describe the picture and what made it so great:
It was a full-body shot of a lady sitting on a small sofa. However, she did not just sit on the sofa and posed for the camera. She was positioned on one end of the loveseat with her arm slightly stretched out and her hand placed on the empty seat next to her. Her entire facial expression – head slightly tilted towards the empty spot, gleaming eyes, and gentle smile – was very inviting and basically said “Come on in and sit down, please.”
It was a fantastic visual presentation and a very direct invitation. Extremely well done and effective.
If you made it to this point, power to you! You’re definitely enthusiastic and determined enough to find the right guy.
Nonetheless, if you’re still unsure about what pictures to post, please pass on a few samples of your selection, and I’d be happy to help. And so is the rest of the community here, too, I hope. Reach out in the comment section below or send a private message. We’ll make sure you’ll be bumbling along in a jiffy.
Now, anything I missed? Do you have better advice? Please have at it in the comment section.