Do Photos Expire?

I had a weird dating experience.

The dude requested a photo, and, as usual, I didn’t provide one until I got one.

The photo I got was of a fellow who looked a lot like an accountant. Thin, glasses, many lines rippling out from his huge, endearingly dorky smile.

So when I opened the door to my date, I wasn’t entirely sure who was standing there. I stared for slightly longer than is normal. Could this possibly be the same guy? If he gained  weight, trimmed his hair different, took off the glasses… No way. It still couldn’t be.

After the date with Date Guy, I immediately fired up my laptop to compare him to Photo Guy. No resemblance to my forensically untrained eye. Was it possible that someone could change their appearance so drastically in a few years?

I emailed the shadchan, just in case she’d maybe mixed up the photos in her files. But she insisted that she’d forwarded the exact photo that Guy had sent her.

Naturally, I began wondering. Maybe Photo Guy hadn’t felt well, so he’d sent Date Guy in his place? Maybe Date Guy felt self-conscious about his appearance and preferred to use Photo Guy’s photo? Maybe they were twins, and didn’t realize how unidentical they were? Maybe Photo Guy had undergone an extreme makeover and become Date Guy? I had to discard the last one. I mean, they must give you an “After” photo for those things.

I let it slide because I didn’t go out with Date Guy (or Photo Guy) again, so, whatever, you know? But then he showed up as a SYAS suggestion. Photo Guy, I mean. With Date Guy’s biography in his profile. I stared at it again, trying to find some resemblance between Photo Guy and Date Guy. I might as well have had prosopagnosia.

So I did some cyberstalking. Of Date Guy. And although I found out that Spokeo thinks he is somewhat (a lot) older than his profile claims, I couldn’t find any picture of him that wasn’t Photo Guy.

Okay. So Photo Guy and Date Guy are one and the same. How old is the photo?

I’ve got photos of me that are five years old. I look pretty much the same. Even ten years ago, I was thinner, but basically me. Heck, we once had one of those baby-photo-on-a-paper-bag-over-your-head thingies at school, and the teacher didn’t even have to think about mine. I haven’t changed much since I was three, I guess. Just grew more hair.

Even so, I don’t use the five-year-old photo for shidduchim any more. Even though my face is more or less the same, I don’t have the same look. And by “look” I mean the combination of accessories, styles, and physical appearance that most immediately catches people’s eyes.

How often do you replace your photo? Is there a recommended replacement period, like every five years or 100,000 miles as recommended by your Dealership?
If there isn’t, can we create one?

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20 thoughts on “Do Photos Expire?

  1. People’s appearances do change drantically. At 23, I looked nothing like I did at 19, even though I was more or less the same weight. But I wouldn’t dream of sending my old pics to guys. They would never recognize me on the date.

  2. The problem is more when by some freak of lighting, posing, and mazal, one manages to capture THE picture of all pictures, but forgot to remove the date stamp feature.

    So I have got a magnificent photo, but it is now two years old, so no one wants it. I don’t look remotely different, but everyone gets hung up on the date glaring on the bottom.

    New photos were taken, but don’t quite have that “oomph.”

    Recently I sent two photos, as per the request of a shadchan (I no longer have the energy to fight.) She called back that the two photos don’t look remotely alike. OK, I am wearing more makeup in one photo compared to the other, but I thought my two versions looked pretty much the same.

    The camera can toy with the subject; do not accuse Date Guy and Photo Guy of a “Dorian Gray” pact with the devil. I just find all pictures to be red herrings.

  3. Funny story: I once got my shidduch bio pic taken in Target and the guy who was taking the pic kept on asking me what it was for Eventually, after he asked for the tenth time, I did tell him. He prob thought I was from the 1800s or something.

    @bad4shidduchim – at least you get a pic, even an outdated one. Usually you don’t even get a pic. Why do guys get pics of the girls but chas v’shalom we get a pic of the guy?

  4. I loved my shidduch photo- and any female who saw it agreed that it was a great shot! My hair, my makeup- it was all perfect. It turns out that hubbie didn’t see it until after the first date- and insisted that it didn’t even look like me and that I was WAY more attractive in real life. Go figure. Oh- and the picture was two years old- so maybe I also changed?:-)

  5. You should change photos every 1/10 of your age. If you are in your 20’s, change it every 2 years or so. In 30’s, every 3 years or so. Etc.

  6. B&N….Again: Just ask for a picture! If the guy asks for one of you, and declines to give one of himself, that should tell you something.

  7. I’m in my 30s and I replace my photo for dating sites, etc. every year or so. I think it’s only fair. But most guys don’t do so. I will get repeat profiles on SYAS that I got years ago and the guy still has the same photo, which was probably at least 2 years old at the time. I also try to keep my FB profile pic similar to my dating pic, because it’s a huge pet peeve of mine when I try to look up guys on FB and their photo on there is dramatically different than on SYAS.

  8. Slightly different, but in the old days the motor vehicles department insisted on taking a new picture every 5 years when I renewed my license. Last year, due to digital photo storage technology, they asked me if I wanted to have a new picture taken, or if I wanted to keep my old one. A no brainer! Especially at my age.

  9. My New Hashkafah of Shidduchim :-)

    My new hashkafah of shidduchim is thanking and praising HASHEM always :-)

    Even when my dating experiences are far from pleasant, I realize that HASHEM is guiding my life with His infinite wisdom and abundant love, and exact precision that only He is capable of :-)

    HASHEM always knows what is truly good for me, even when I do not :-)

    Often what I need most is atonement and humility, so G_d gives me those precious things through unpleasant dating experiences :-)

    I now realize that I must always thank HASHEM for ALL of my dating experiences, because even the worst dates are for my eternal benefit, because they provide me with precious atonement and humility :-)

    Tractate Avot teaches that the reward for a good deed is proportionate to its difficulty; by giving me difficult dating experiences, HASHEM is providing me with greater reward for Olam HaBa, in addition to precious atonement and humility :-)

    G_d loves me even more than I love myself, and He would never give me an unpleasant dating experience unless it was for my eternal benefit in both Olam HaZeh and Olam HaBa :-)

    THANK YOU HASHEM!!!!

    Thank you for all my dating experiences, whether pleasant or unpleasant or mediocre :-)
    You are always guiding me with endless wisdom and love; You always help me and give me everything I need :-)

    I regret all the times I complained;
    instead of complaining, I should have been busy thanking You.
    THANK YOU HASHEM!!!!

  10. Mr. Cohen –
    It is a sin to annoy other people. words of Torah and inspiration are like diamonds – but you do not have the right to stuff a diamond up someone’s nose. You surely realized people were having a conversation about photos when you decided to rudely interupt and start giving mussar about thanking God for shidduchim. Perhaps you didn’t realize this, but when you post a comment like this, people are annoyed by you. IF you don’t want to discuss the topic, don’t. But what you are doing is the opposite of Torah, and it makes people think that the last thing they would do is follow any advice or ideas you present.

  11. Sorry Former Blogger, the irony just kills me – with his rude comment inserts, he’s teaching blog readers the derech of the Torah? Kind of like those dudes who spit on girls in knee socks to inspire them to want to be like their daughters who wear tights….

  12. I completely agree with your point Orit but I still don’t think attacking is a good response. That’s all.

  13. Would the Blog Owner be willing to change the title from Bad for Shidduchim to Good for Shidduchim? Methinks It’s Time to Stop the Chronic Kvetching over what went wrong…

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