May 30, 2023
This topic has come up so often with clients and friends that I realized it was finally time to share some thoughts on online dating photos! Please note that this blog is 100% from my perspective only and I will be very open in sharing that online dating has worked for me twice. I had a beautiful ten year relationship with a partner with whom I’m still friends today and now, my current partner of two and a half years who is no doubt, my twin flame 😉.
Ok, ok, online dating is not just about photos, however they’re the ones that make that quick, first impression right? First impressions are key as prospectives move quickly swiping left and right through various profiles. I took a lot of care with what I wrote about myself on my profile, however when chatting or meeting with prospectives they firstly, always commented on my photos. Now, I didn’t only share professional photos. I didn’t want to look like I’m trying too hard or a wannabe aspiring model (that’s the common fear right?). It was 50/50, three professional portraits (including the two above) and three Iphone photos (see below). I also made sure to mention on my profile that all my photos were taken in the last year. This proved effective as prospectives always shared how relieved they were that I looked like my actual photos.
Many of my friends and clients have shown me their online dating photos and here is some of the honest feedback I’ve shared. Pixelated photos are a no-no. Either you’ve zoomed in and cropped too much or the photos are simply too old(!). Filtered photos (especially those glam filters) may give us more confidence in sharing, but they often ‘look’ filtered. For some prospectives that sends a red flag. You also don’t want to share the same type of image multiple times e.g. selfies with the same angle or pose or multiple pictures with your dog etc. We all have so many different layers, talents, interests etc. Why not show more of who you are? Hopefully they can ‘connect’ with you and ask questions like “where do you like to go hiking?”, “how did you like Venice?” Again, just sharing my personal opinions on what worked for me.
Yes, I hear this ALL the time! Many don’t start their dating profiles because they don’t like their photos or feel they never photograph well. I always preach to everyone that not being photogenic is not a gene that you’re missing. It’s just comfortability in front of the camera and that’s completely the photographer’s responsibility! It’s also not the camera that adds those pounds (most common concern), it’s the posing, trust me 😉.
If you need guidance capturing flattering portraits of yourself then perhaps consider working with a professional portrait photographer. Professional portrait photographers will guide you, pose you, artistically light you and capture you at your most flattering angles. Professional portrait photographers also offer additional services e.g. professional makeup application, hair styling, etc. This helps with the often stressful task of preparing for the photoshoot. It also allows clients time to ‘enjoy’ a little pampering while acclimating to the environment before the shoot begins. In addition, professional, high end retouching always cleans up an image, taking care of those temporary blemishes, flyaways etc. that don’t need to be seen in an image.
When clients call to inquire about online dating photos, they’re never sure what kind of photos they should capture. The most common request is to take and share one business portrait. Why else would people have professional portraits taken right? However, there are so many other reasons (will share in another blog) and other types of professional portraits you can take. Outdoor, lifestyle, hobbies, candids, I always encourage my clients to take photos that represent more of who they are.
This self portrait below is the last image that I shared on my profile. Yes, it’s more provocative and I’m certainly not encouraging to show some skin. However, this photo isn’t just about a flattering photo: 1) I love to dance, 2) being active is important to me, 3) I took this portrait at my home during the quarantine when my studio was closed, 4) black & white portraits are not only my favorite but my signature style with my photography business. Many people assume this type of portrait attracts the wrong type of prospectives, but there were honestly only a few questionable characters. (I used a great platform that allowed me to control and manage them all just fine, stress free.) However, these portraits also allowed me to connect with my current partner as he asked more in depth questions. We had meaningful discussions covering all four points above and more.
Many of us are still new to online dating and not sure how to build our profile. I would firstly recommend sharing your dating profile with people you trust and receiving their honest feedback. If you need some assistance in creating portraits that you feel confident and proud to share then consider working with a professional portrait photographer. Make sure you connect with the photographer’s portfolio and style, understand their process and discuss your goals. Your portrait session should be a fun and empowering experience and give you that extra boost of motivation and confidence.
When I met my current partner on our first date he told me “I loved your profile because I loved that your images matched what you shared about yourself”. This was the start of a fun five hour conversation and I only hope for the same and more for everyone pursing this experience. If you’d like to learn more about my portrait photography services contact me via my site. Connect with me also via instagram for updates on promotions or events.
Thank you for reading and I wish you all a fun and fulfilling experience with your online dating adventures!