Pros and Cons Of Hiring An Online Dating Photographer For Your Profile Photos: Best Profile Photo Tips From A Dating Coach, Consultant. Dating Portrait Photography FAQ’s.

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

Should I Get Professional Photos For Online Dating?

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

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 on 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. 

Stiff, Boring Photos Obviously Taken By A Professional 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.

Privacy, Public Photos

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. 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?

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, Match.com or Plenty of Fish.

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, asks 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

Additional Reading

Online Dating Photos Intro (which photos to use and which photos to avoid)

Should You Hire A Ghostwriter?

How To Take Your Own Dating Photos (technical aspects: angles, blurred backgrounds & more)

Worst Dating Photos To Avoid (staged, portrait photos, stock photos, modeling portraits & more)

Why You Shouldn’t Activate Tinder Smart Photos

About Eddie Hernandez 

Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas. https://eddie-hernandez.com/contact/

Dating Profile Critique

For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.

For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice: https://eddie-hernandez.com/blog/

Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More): https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/

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