The saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Well, on Tinder, a picture is worth a hell of a lot more.

Tinder, at its core, is incredibly shallow – which is why I do so well with it, because I’ll openly admit that I am, too.

The first thing you do is judge someone based on a few photos. This is why the photos you choose are the most important part of your profile.

You want to have three to six pictures. Any less, and people will think you’re a spambot trying to lure them onto a “free sexy cam website.” I swear I’ve never fallen victim to that twice.

The more pictures, the better. You want to show as many different sides of you as possible: partier, athlete, family man/woman, pet friendly, model, etc.

First impressions are everything, so always lead with your best photo. Try very hard to have five or six best photos... but you know which one you look best in.

Don’t be the person that puts up photos from five years ago when you were 40 pounds lighter and didn’t have cigarette teeth – that’s not nice. No false advertising.

If I go on a date expecting Jessica Simpson circa 1999 and I get her 2012 version, I’m not going to be happy.

For all the guys out there, some girls say they hate men who have photos with their shirts off, but most girls love it (when you have the proper body to back it up). So ignore the few haters and don’t be afraid to post a shirtless shot. Just don’t be shirtless in every photo.

Men, no selfies, ever. Have some self-respect. Every girl will think you’re a tool, and rightfully so.

As for you ladies, selfie away, but not every single picture – then it looks like you have no friends.

And while I have your attention, ladies, if all of your pictures show you wearing skimpy clothing, making sexual gestures and drinking, don’t get angry when men start sending you inappropriate messages and pictures. You’re asking for it. If I walk into a hospital dressed up as a doctor and someone comes up to me to help with a medical emergency, I’m not going to say, “Oh, I’m not really a doctor.” Again, no false advertising.

One major rule that applies to both sexes: If you don’t have kids, then DON’T PUT KIDS IN YOUR PICTURES! There’s no quicker way to chase off members of the opposite sex than having a little tike running around in every picture. That’s not true with everyone, but for the most part, it is (sorry singles with kids … especially the mom I slept with on Mother’s Day weekend last year and never called back – I didn’t feel particularly good about that).

Another “do not” for both sexes: Don’t have friends in all of your photos. This isn’t "Where’s Waldo?" I’ve never met you before and I don’t know which person you are. If you’re not comfortable having a solo photo, why should I be comfortable swiping right on you? Have some confidence in the photos you’re posting.

Also, and this is directed at everyone: Have at least one picture with a smile. This is for two reasons: 1. You don’t want someone to think you’re a Satanist who’s constantly pissed off at the world, and 2. Most people would agree there’s nothing sexier than some nice, pearly whites.

At the end of the day, go with your gut. Choose pictures that say a lot about who you really are. Don’t go trying to be someone you’re not; it’s only going to backfire in the end … unless you’re looking for a one-night stand. Happy Tindering!

Stay tuned next week for a special Valentine’s Day column.

Head to amNY.com every Friday for Matthew's latest column. To inquire about NYC dating advice, email him at amnydating@gmail.com. Your question may appear in a future column, but no names will be used.