Professional Dating Photos, Dating App Headshots, Dating App Photographer – Do You Need A Professional Photographer For Dating Photos? Online Dating Portraits?

Most people make a mistake and assume all photographers are the same or that engagement, wedding, portrait or similar staged/planned environment photographers can take good dating profile photos – this is not the case.

When outsourcing aspects of your dating life, it helps to know the limits of what so called dating app photographers can and cannot do. Professional dating app photos can actually result in fewer matches. Most professional dating photos can appear staged, still and awkward.

Professional profile pictures should be approached with caution. Very few photographers specialize in this field and the ones that do it regularly, full-time, well they often lack approach and awareness of what actually works on dating apps. Online dating headshots (dating app headshots) can feel to forced, try-hard (needy).

Most of their focus is getting photos that are modeling-esque, perfect portraits and a bit narcissistic rather than capturing personality, uniqueness, candidness and authenticity (best types of photos in my opinion). Ideal dating profile photos are in the moment, effortless and organic.

Related read: How To Take Your Own Dating Profile Photos


Dating Portrait Photos: Do Professional Dating Pictures Help? Dating App Portraits, Dating Photo Photographer

Online dating photographers certainly can but rarely do. Most photographers don’t know how to take good photos for dating profiles. They are often too stiff, staged.

Most photographers don’t analyze your age, lifestyle, wardrobe, dating history to understand you. Most photographers use boring environments without details, context and are afraid to take candid photos at bars, cafes, landmarks etc.

No photographers I know of (other than myself) ask to see existing photos so they know how to complement what you have, understand your appearance, tendencies or suggest using some good photos you already have.

Related read: How To Look Photogenic In Pictures


Should I Hire A Photographer For My Dating Profile? Professional Photos For Online Dating Worth It? 

Most photographers have never used dating apps or are single and struggle with dating themselves. Many assume blurred bokeh shots that are studio like in style are the best to use for a dating profile but this is poor advice.

Candid, natural photos are often the best photos to use in a dating profile yet professional photographer often have an ego or lack of awareness to produce such images.

Related reading: Dating Apps vs Matchmakers

Testimonial From A Client Who Hired Another Photographer Previously – Online Dating Photoshoot

How Important Are Photos On Dating Apps? Do I Need Online Dating Portraits? 

They are crucial. Great photos can make you more interesting, make it easier to message you and make you more attractive with the right lighting, confidence, style and body language. Similarly, bad dating photos can make attractive people less desirable and make them look cringy if done poorly.

Dating apps are competitive but you don’t need professional photos do have a great profile. Great photos aren’t everything, but you should give it some effort. Glamour photos or overly done photos can feel fake, photoshopped and leave people doubting your actual looks.

When I take photos for clients, I offer choice of DSLR camera or my mobile phone (Google Pixel 5). I approach taking photos like a friend took them but one that knows how to take good photos, in the moment, rather than posed.

Related read: What To Wear In Dating Profile Photos


Dating Profile Photographers: Hiring A Photographer For Online Dating Photos, Dating Portraits

Online dating photos are a unique style of photos that require patience, knowledge of dating apps, locations, audiences you are trying to attract, wardrobe styling and so much more.

Don’t hire another lifestyle photographer thinking you can get good photos. These are often staged, stiff and obvious you paid someone to take boring, cliche photos of you.

Most of my business comes from clients who made the mistake of hiring someone else only to have little to no success after. Photos take by other photographers often lack location, activities, conversation starters (all crucial elements in a dating profile).

Related read: How To Look More Attractive In Dating Photos

Natural, Organic Dating Photos

Avoid stiff, portrait-like images that feel forced, and obviously professional. My photos rely more on location scouting, natural environments/poses - like a friend took them.

I take photos on my camera or phone in a discreet manner. We will go to bars, cafes, hiking trails, rooftops, parks, restaurants, galas or your own home.

Online Dating Photo Example, Men's Dating Profile Picture Idea, Hinge, Bumble, Good Profile Pic

Professional Pictures For Online Dating Profiles: Dating Profile Pictures, Professional Dating Photos

If you stumbled across this blog post, you are likely researching ideas, options for improving your dating photos.

Yes, it’s important to have good, solid photos in your dating profile in order to improve your chances of getting more likes, better matches but be careful about how you go about getting new photos.

Before smartphones, people who typically pose for photos while out celebrating with family, attending social functions and hanging out with friends.

It was easy to get photos if you had a social life but these days, there is a growing segment of people who have a distaste for photos, social media and their appearance that they lack photos for dating profiles.

That need for photos has led to a niche market in photography – dating profile photographers.


Photography For Dating Profiles: Dating Profile Photographers, Professional Dating Profile Photographer

The best photos for dating profiles are often candid, natural and contain conversation starters in the background, environment and are not necessarily crisp, polished or perfectly lit.

Ones that convey authenticity, warmth, smiles and context are the ones that are the most revealing and insightful about people.

The rise of Instagram models, proliferation of social media photos and pressure to look one’s best even at the cost of manipulating photos via filters, photoshop and staged environment has created an unhealthy mindset around what makes for a good photo and as such, has led to an arms race of skin softening, slimming angles, weird poses and RBF across the faces of men and women alike.

Just because some people get lots of likes on IG doesn’t mean those photos do well on dating profiles or attract the type of people you want in your life.

Here are some considerations to make before investing in a portrait photographer to take your dating profile pictures.


Professional Pics For Dating Profiles (Dating App Photoshoot), Photographers For Dating Profile

There are photographers for everything these days: weddings, engagements, newborns, events, headshots, editorial, food, nature, fine art etc. but one of the newest specialties is online dating photographers for dating headshots and dating app photoshoots.

Not everyone who offers or even willing to take photos for dating profiles knows what they are doing. Many are overextending themselves and take stiff, portrait photos that are unusable.

A good portion of my clients come from those that made the mistake of hiring other photographers and didn’t see any improvements in their likes and matches – don’t be that person that has to pay twice.

Send me a note, bookmark my contact page or follow me on social media for my upcoming travel plans.

Should I Get Professional Photos For Online Dating? Should I Hire A Dating App Photographer?

Hiring a photographer to help fill out your dating profile is nothing new – most people have friends, family, strangers at events, event photographers take photos of them but for those that are recently single, have few recent photos, have photos of their ex and kids mostly, it’s important to have photos of yourself for dating apps.

As people get older, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to take photos in everyday situations and especially those while out traveling. Family, kids, work, commutes all factor into people having less time than ever before.

People change appearance (facial hair, hair loss, hair color, weight change, wardrobe updates) – all these changes require folks to update their profiles so that a date can see what the person looks like if he/she were to meet them on a first date.

Online dating is one of the most talked about topics in today’s world. More and more people are using dating apps (and those numbers are often underreported) and as a result, there is a growing trend of photographers looking to take advantage of this growing industry.

Unfortunately there are a lot of bad online dating photographers out there.

Most dating app photographers are wedding, modeling or portrait photographers overextending their branding to include online dating which has caused some bad experiences for many customers out there.

Generic Photos, Redundant Locations, Backgrounds – Online Dating Photoshoot Tips, Advice, Warnings

Most of these photographers will take portrait photos, stiff, staged photos, overly photoshopped images and headshot like photos – these are the worst type of photos to use on your dating profile.

Take a look for yourself, they use the same backgrounds for all their photos. I know because their clients come to me after not having success after their photoshoots.

Many clients I have worked with have made the mistake of working with an online dating photographer only to realize that their photos look nothing like themselves and are unable to secure second dates because their dates were misled with photos. Don’t let this happen to you.

There are only a handful of good to great photographers who know how to take natural, candid photos for dating profiles.

Very few photographers have the experience to know which photos are best for Tinder vs. Hinge/Bumble, which apps are best for your location, age and what you seek and know if dating apps are worth it for you given your unique situation.

I have seen plenty of online dating photographers, coaches etc. who have been single on dating sites for years.

Photos are the most important thing and often the first thing people notice on your profile but it is not the only thing they notice. Your app choice, bio, messages, date ideas, photo captions and swiping strategy are critical aspects of an online dating strategy that should not go ignored. Self-sabotage is one of the biggest reasons for poor performance on dating apps.

If you do decide to hire a photographer for your dating photos, test them on their knowledge of dating apps. Understand that you need photos in multiple locations and outfits not just places next to their studio.

Dating Coach Services - Men & Women

First date ideas, wardrobe styling, places to meet singles, body language, conversation/social skills, grooming, hygiene, hobbies, lifestyle choices, reducing biases, weeding out time-wasters and more. Let's chat!

-As seen in the NYT, Bumble & More-

Stiff, Boring Photos Obviously Taken By A Professional Photographer, Online Dating Profile Photographer

The most obvious and cringe worthy dating profiles are ones that are obvious that a professional portrait photographer took your photo – same location and outfits, excessive skin softening, generic walls and locations in proximity as well as perfectly cropped and center focused images.

Hire someone who is a people person. The biggest indicator for successful photos is technical aptitude, location scouting, wardrobe styling and chemistry with the subject.

Be careful hiring a photographer from a marketplace as most of those folks have little to no experience with dating photos or don’t do this full-time.

A good online dating photographer should review your existing photos to see which ones are good enough to use on a profile, see where you can improve and offer guidance on how to complement your existing photos.


Tinder Photographers & Professional Dating Photoshoots: Privacy, Public Photos, Dating Profile Photoshoot

Most photographers will post your dating photos on their portfolios as examples to get more clients – this is typical for new photographers, those with few reviews or those that don’t have an online reputation. Adding Tinder photographer to a website means nothing. In most cases it’s a marketing gimmick.

Read any contracts you have to make sure your photos are not being posted publicly on their site, stock photo marketplaces or sent to 3rd party editors.

These are your photos. You don’t want people to reverse image search you to see you hired a professional portrait photographer for your dating photos.


Do I Need Dating Headshots? Headshots On Dating Apps, Dating Profile Headshots

The answer is no. Most dating sites have a mobile app first approach and so as long as your photo is well lit and close up relatively speaking, you are fine.

Platforms that are desktop first may require a more cropped photos to be visible on a larger screen with more profiles visible i.e. OkCupid, or Plenty of Fish.

It’s fine to include one professional ‘obligatory’ headshot but don’t photoshop it or apply filters as people will assume you embellished your pictures. Keep in mind also that you will be judged by your worst photo.


Should I Use Selfies In My Dating Photos?

Selfies are not recommended for various reasons (distortion because of proximity, lack of social validation, unflattering backgrounds and bad expressions).

It’s one thing to take a selfie with a friend, celebrity or epic lookout, it’s another thing to take a selfie in the mirror, bathroom, bedroom or hallway. Knowing how to use a timer, take photos from a distance or utilize good lighting can help.


How Do I Get Good Photos For A Dating Profile Then? 

There are several methods to do this. Don’t rely on the photographer with the best SEO. That means nothing.

Look at reviews, ask friends for referrals, use a tripod, ask friends, ask strangers, attend social events with a photographer, offer to take photos of others (they often will reciprocate) or ask someone like myself for a profile critique and analysis.


Online Dating Coaching For Men, Women

Help w/ swiping, timing, app choice, messages, filters, deal-breakers, paid features, screening profiles, reading people, ID'ing red flags/liars/time-wasters, date planning, & using dating apps more effectively & efficiently.


Online Dating Success: More Than Just Photos

Even if you obtain good photos, you can still not see an improvement on your dating app efforts. A good score on a rating site only measures one photo and not entire profiles.

You need a combination of photos that are close up, full-body, candid, natural, have varied backgrounds and don’t seem forced, poised.

Once you do meet that minimum threshold, other items can sabotage your efforts including poor bios, lazy prompts, bad choice of apps, unfavorable timing for sending likes and messages, or inefficient use of filters and preferences.

Make sure you address all the areas to improve success rather than focusing on just photos.


Matchmaking Photos: Photos For Matchmaking Profiles

The style and approach I take on for such profiles is unique. I am familiar with the importance of profile for matchmaking and family introductions in Indian cultures and the like.

Contact me today to learn about me process for taking photos for these purposes.


Don’t Use Snappr For Online Dating Photos, Snappr Dating Photos

More and more I get clients who come to me who have used services like Snappr to get photos for their dating profile only to realize that they don’t help improve success on dating apps.

Services like this tend to attract more amateur photographers who don’t have much experience not only with taking photos but more so dating apps.

I have seen numerous photo sets from clients who used Snappr and they often appear staged, rigid and polished. The price can be attractive but most people don’t end up using any of the photos on their profile. 


What Are The Best Pictures For Online Dating? Dating Profile Picture Photography

Organic, candid, effortless ones that have the look and feel like a friend took them.


Dating App Headshots; Online Dating Portraits

Dating App Headshots; Online Dating Portraits



About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie is a dating coach for men & women in San Francisco (clients in NYC, LA, Chicago, & beyond ), as seen in the NYT & Bumble). 

He helps w/ profiles, photos, wardrobe, messaging, date ideas, red flags, lifestyle choices, hobbies, grooming/hygiene, communication, social skills & offline efforts.

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