Whenever I get new one-on-one dating coaching clients, the first thing I do is pay for professional online dating photos. Believe me, nobody’s more of a profile snob than yours truly, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge that if people don’t find you attractive, it doesn’t matter if you write like Shakespeare.

When I work with companies like LookBetterOnline and DatingHeadshots, I do my best to ensure that in taking pro photos, they come out really naturally. Nobody wants to see your Star Search photo shoot, with your chin in your hand, or your 3 piece suit, or your blue marbled background. We want to see YOU.

Which is why this article, forwarded to me by superstar intern Cat, was so validating. People are finally learning to put their best foot forward, according to an OkCupid study.

Your photos tell your story. Interesting. Happy. Smiling. Active.

You don’t want to see the polished version of someone, airbrushed in flattering light. You want to see what he/she really looks like. When I was dating online, my primary photo was a professional shot (which looked like just a great natural snapshot), and the rest of my photos were from “real life”: a picture of me and my Mom dressed up in the back of a limo, a picture of my sister and friends out at the beach in the Hamptons, a picture of me, standing outside the Boathouse in Central Park, a picture of me and a buddy dressed up for Halloween. A cross-section of my life.

And in every single photo, I had a big, broad, smile. You couldn’t look at any of my photos and say “this one is better than this one.” They all showed me having fun, looking happy, spending time with a variety of people. This is what’s attractive to others. This is what’s attractive to YOU.

So today, check out your own online dating photos. Are there any photos where you’re not smiling? Toss ’em. Any photos where you’re not in them because you’ve featured your cat, dog, ocean or mountain view? Toss ’em. Any photos where it’s hard to see your face because you’re in a crowd of friends? Toss ’em. Any photos where your friends are appreciably better looking than you? Toss ’em. Any photos where you don’t look as good as you do in your main one? Toss ’em.

Your photos tell your story. Interesting. Happy. Smiling. Active. Consistent.

Get ’em in the door with a natural looking pro shot, seal the deal with a natural sounding one-of-a-kind profile, and you’ll be AMAZED at how much more fun online dating will become for you.