Egg Donation & Surrogacy

Facts, insights and opinions about egg donors, surrogates, and intended parents.

Want to Be an Egg Donor? Good Photos are Key!

by Katherine Benardo

I review about one hundred egg donor applications a week. Of those I receive, only about three or four get posted on our database. Some very good candidates never get posted because we don't have good photos of them. Even the best candidates cannot be matched without good photos.

We just added "Photo Submission Guidelines" to our Information for Egg Donors and Egg Donor Application pages so donors can have a better understanding of how the photos should look.

Photos are required to post on your profile for recipients to view. Photos are essential to attracting prospective recipients to your profile. Recipients use photos to evaluate the donor's resemblance to them, the donor's attractiveness, and the donor's demeanor, temperament, "vibe," "energy," or whatever you want to call it. So three important qualities are required of every photo: it needs to be clear, flattering, and show you with a pleasing expression.

I can't tell you how many photos I receive that show candidates carousing in a dark bar (with a beer in her hand!) among a crowd of people, taken on a cellphone with an unflattering view up the nostrils and out of focus, in a ski suit and goggles or Halloween costume that conceal all her features, taken inside a dark, messy room with a flash that makes the eyes red and the complexion washed out, taken so close-up it's scary, showing the donor with a funny face, a scowl, or her tongue sticking out, taken when she's just rolled out of bed and her hair's a mess and she looks half asleep, cropped out of a group shot with a resolution so low you can barely see a thing: the list goes on and on. Photos like these will never attract recipients to your profile, no matter how pretty and smart you are.

What we are looking for is not so difficult to provide. Both headshots and full body shots should show you alone in natural light. The resolution should be high; each shot should be well lit and in focus. The backdrops should be pleasant and not distracting. Expressions should be smiling and pleasant. Amateur photos are fine as long as they meet these criteria. Have a friend take some for you if necessary.

Egg donor photos are not so different from dating service photos: they serve to attract a match.