Whether you’re on Tinder, Bumble, or Hinge, the first thing that a potential date sees is your photo. And it is often the subtle cues in that photo that tell them to swipe right and take a closer look at your profile. Dating photography is the art of ensuring that those subtle cues are seen in your best light.
While it may seem counterintuitive, dating photographers can be a huge asset to your online dating profile. Hiring a professional to capture you in your best light can give you the edge over other people’s mirror selfies and photos that have been heavily edited in post-production. A well-lit, classic headshot is your best option for a main photo in your dating profile, along with a full body shot of you wearing one of your favorite outfits. Photos that show you in the course of your day or doing something you love can also be a great addition to your profile.
Taking quality pictures of yourself for your dating profile shows that you care about who you are and how you’re presented to the world. It also lets people know that you’re a person who takes their time and puts effort into everything that they do. In a recent survey conducted by Hey Saturday, 77% of women said they are put off by poor quality photos on dating profiles. Photos that are blurry, out of focus, or poorly lit are just a few of the things that turn them off.
Professional dating photographer Kelly Weaver explains that “Dating photos are all about creating a relaxed, happy vibe that makes people feel like they’re hanging out with a friend.” Rather than being too posed or formal, dating photography strives to create natural images that make you look your best. Using natural lighting in outdoor settings is the best way to achieve this. The golden hour just before and after sunset is the perfect time to shoot dating photos because it produces soft, warm light that’s flattering on everyone.
Weaver adds that “a good dating photographer will understand your goals and help guide you to get the shots you want without overdoing it.” She says that most men want to appear confident in their photos, but too many of them end up looking over-serious or stiff. She also notes that many women try to hide their bodies in photos by holding their arms up or standing in a way that doesn’t flatter them.
For women, she says to look at your left side in a headshot to show off your face’s natural curve. For guys, she recommends a natural smile and looking straight into the camera. “If you can do that, you’ll be surprised how much more people respond to your profile,” she adds. For a full-body photo that conveys your personality, Weaver suggests aiming for one that showcases your favorite outfit and a shot of you doing a hobby or activity you enjoy.