My photography specialty is online dating photos. There is nothing more that I love than helping individuals build look their best, build confidence, take better photos, get more dates and ultimately find that special someone. As a regular contributor to The Good Men Project and PlentyofFish, my approach to online dating photos goes beyond just taking photos - it entails a holistic strategy including: Wardrobe Tip, Dating App Recommendations, Review of Existing Photos, Written Section, Tips for Taking Better Photos on your own, and Offline Strategy.
When you book with me, I build a custom photo shoot package that optimizes your hobbies, essence and style so that the photos come out looking natural, confident, happy, playful, authentic and candid - just like if your friends or family member took them. I shoot exclusively outdoors and indoor public places with natural light. The last thing you want are photos that are staged, overly photo-shopped, awkward, stiff and obvious that you paid someone to take your photos. A forced or overly retouched photo taken by a professional is just as bad as an amateur blurry or poorly lit photo. A photo-shoot might involve a bar, beer garden, hiking trail, park, coffee shop, street art murals, an event or more. I know where to go, when to shoot and what will inspire people to check out your profile and spark up conversation starters. Unlike other photographers I do not charge extra for outfit changes or number of locations.
I do not post online dating photos of clients online; your privacy is of utmost importance to me. I work with executives, high profile individuals, those new to dating as as well as shy individuals. Think you are not photogenic? Let's talk.
I primarily work with referrals, but I do occasionally work with others. If you are recently single, have changed your appearance, do not have any recent photos or are looking for help with online dating, contact me and I will review your request. I prioritize working with genuine, sincere individuals - those I would to introduce to friends, family and colleagues. My goal is to help improve the societal dating pool one person at a time. Please note there can be upward of a 4-8 week waiting period for scheduling a photoshoot currently but I do occasionally have a last minute openings during the week.
I accept Square Cash, Venmo, Personal Check and Cash.
ONLINE DATING FAQ's
Q: Can I use my Linkedin headshot?
A: No, I highly urge against that. Typically headshots are overly photoshopped, are stiff and do not offer any insight into who you are or what you are about. Leave the headshots for professional situations not online dating.
Q: Can I wear my Google Glass, bluetooth earpiece, or Apple AirPods in my photo?
A: No, I highly urge against that. Do not be that blue-douche, Glasshole or iTool.
Q: Are photos with sunglasses on ok in photos?
A: No, but if if you limit such photos to 1 only, ensure they are location appropriate i.e. beach, hiking trail etc., AND you have at least 3-4 other non-sunglass photos then you can let that slide.
Q: Are group photos ok to use?
A: Yes, but again only if you limit these types of photos, you label who you are and who else is in the photo or hide their identities (no one likes playing guessing games), and make sure others in the photos do not make you look short (especially for men) or make you look less attractive (men and women).
Q: How many apps should I use at one?
A: No more than two at a time. I generally recommend one matching / searching focus app i.e. Bumble, CoffeeMeetsBagel, OkCupid and one swiping app i.e. Tinder if you are on the younger side i.e. under 30.
Q: What are the absolute worst types of photos to use in an online dating site or app?
A: Photos with exes or people who could be mistaken as an ex, selfies unless in an epic situation i.e. celebrity or travels (not your gym, car or bathroom), dark photos, extremely small photos, blurry photos, photos more than 2-3 years old, photos where you have changed your appearance (weight loss or gain, hair color or length, facial hair, tatoos etc.), photos with fish you caught, photos in front of your car, photos without you in them (i.e. sunset photo, street sign, meme etc.), Snapchat photos and photos of you from your neck down.
Q: How many photos should I use in my online dating profile?
A: Definitely at least 3-4 photos but no more than 6. Typically, the more photos you post the more harshly you will be judged i.e. you are only as good looking as your worst photo.
Q: What kind of photos should I aim to use for online dating?
A: Use photos that illustrate passions and hobbies, highlight some activity that can be easily be shared with a future date, photos of you smiling, photos that are not overly photo-shopped i.e. portraits, modeling photos and headshots. Photos that invite questions, comments and intrigue are best (travels to international destinations, local small towns and iconic destinations work well). Also, photos that show a variety of looks are recommended (up close, full body, different types of attire i.e. casual, after-work, formal etc.)
Q: I feel and/or look younger than my age - is it ok to shave off a few years from my actual age?
A: Absolutely not. Being truthful is important in online dating. If you lie about age right off the bat, what else might you be lying about? If you are having trouble attracting someone younger or closer to your age, perhaps you should refine your age preferences or use another app where you are not bombarded.
Q: What are some podcasts and books I should check out?
A: Read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and then listen to the audiobook (in that order). Check out New York Magazine's Sex Lives, DTR (Gimlet Media), Why Oh Why (Panoply Media). Check out additional some tips on online dating photos on my Medium page and Good Men Project author page.
Q: When is the best time to go online? How often should I be swiping?
A: Typically around 6pm and 9pm during the week (Monday-Thursday). Although addictive, you should limit logging on to about 2-3 times a week. Avoid logging on between Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons - take some time off to enjoy your weekend and a take a break from swiping. As such do not be surprised if it takes a few days to get a reply from someone you messaged on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
Q: What words and phrases should never be used in online dating profiles?
A: Drama-free, no drama, no players, or list of adjectives to describe yourself i.e. I am sexy, fit, smart, funny, outgoing etc. Instead of listing deal-breakers, focus on things that you are attracted to, inspire you, make you curious, make you hungry etc. Guilty pleasures, random quirks and self-deprecating humor works well.
Q: Should I look away and not smile in my photos?
A: No, do not listen to the garbage advice online. Most of those statistics reference Tinder data which is primarily a younger, more immature profile of users. While those photos might solicit more likes, matches and messages, they don't necessarily result in quality dates. Be yourself, be candid. Smile naturally and don't force it - you are not trying to convince people on Instagram that you are a warm person who is having fun. Look at the camera, look interested. Looking away in your photos will give off the impression you might be self-absorbed, are trying to hide some facial feature or are unable to concentrate and look at a camera.
Q: Is there such a thing as being overly eager and aggressive?
A: Yes, absolutely. You should express excitement and enthusiasm but you should also avoid appearing overly eager slash stalker-ish or controlling. Be direct, be timely and be transparent. Do not reply to the first message in a string immediately ever time the other person initiates contact but also do not purposely make the person wait.
Q: Is there such a thing as over-swiping?
A: Yes, there is. First off, it is bad etiquette to swipe right on someone you are not interested in, secondly if you do it too often the dating apps could ding you which could affect your matches. If you are on the fence, that is fine but if you are swiping right on everyone with a pulse, re-think your strategy.
Q: What should I wear to the photo shoot?
A: You should wear outfits that you are confident it, would wear normally either everyday or for a special occasion. Be sure to represent yourself because if you don't it will show when you meet up for a date. Basically, you should treat a photoshoot with me like a date. Layering is good and focusing on the top half of the outfit is more important than the bottom half.
Q: What is hatfishing?
A: It is when a guy purposefully wears hats in his online dating photos and/or dates to conceal baldness. Guys should embrace their new look or research hair growth alternatives because 1) women do not want to play a guessing game (too many other men out there to swipe right on; 2) could be a sign for lack of confidence; 3) could be hiding other things in his life.
Q: What are the demographics for each online dating site and app?
Q: Do you have examples of online dating photos?
A: No, I do not. First and foremost, privacy is super important to me. Secondly, you can view my other photos (headshots, events, etc.) to get a sense of my composition, technique and style. You should not allow any photographer to use your online dating photos or any other personal photos online for their portfolio especially since people can conduct image searches on you with a click of the button.
Q: Where do you primarily shoot photos?
A: I primarily shoot in the Embarcadero, Financial District, Hayes Valley, Haight-Ashbury, Marina, Presidio, Mission District, Pacific Heights, Tiburon, Mill Valley, Downtown Oakland or Uptown Oakland neighborhoods.
Q: How long does it take to get matches and receive messages?
A: If you read enough articles, forums and blogs you will get a range of answers. With that said, it can take weeks if not months to find quality matches through dating sites and apps. Be sure you are using the most appropriate ones based on your age and location to maximize results. As for messaging, it can take 0-3 days for most people to respond to messages. People should not be glued to apps daily (take breaks on weekends). As such, if someone does not respond to your message, move on to the next person. Do not send follow-up messages.
Q: Should I use makeup? How much makeup should be applied?
A: If you never wear makeup nor plan to, then don't start for the purposes of the photos. Less is more. Don't overdo it with the makeup. People applying makeup for the first time are a bit more uncomfortable and uneasy in their new look. Focus on being confident and relaxed. Overly applying makeup will make it harder to create different looks in your photos because they will look the same vs being more subtle makes it easier to be more versatile.
For additional help, please talk to a friend or family member. Many folks never ask for feedback on their profile or matches.