Virtual Dating Help: Photo Analysis, Written Bio & Messaging Technique, Wardrobe Advice, Dating App Strategy

As an online dating photographer and consultant, I have spent more than 5 years helping folks locally, domestically and internationally with their dating profiles, app choice, bios, photos and appearance. My goal is to help relationship-focused individuals improve their chances of meeting that special someone online and offline.

Over 70% of clients, friends and strangers I have met randomly over the years have admitted that they have never sought out feedback on their dating app choices, photos, bios and messages. That is a startlingly high rate considering most people seek out feedback on their resumes, wardrobe, furniture, and even brunch options. Some folks are embarrassed, some don’t have friends they trust, while others don’t know people who have actually succeeded using dating apps to meet quality people.

There is a lot of bad advice and conflicting recommendations out there regarding dating profiles, bios, messages and dating app options. Many articles (like the apps themselves) are focused on engagement metrics (argument, discussions etc.) and not results (meeting quality people). Some of his advice is written by people who are or have been single for a while. Other advice comes from biased sources that either want to be sensitive to your feelings or come from different circumstances and demographics (looks, height, weight, energy, wardrobe, socioeconomic factors, location, outlook etc.). Very few people can be objective yet knowledgeable in the subject matter. This article on Photofeeler does a great job detailing some of these biases.

One example of this bias is advice from attractive friends. An attractive person who is in shape has much more wiggle room in terms of being judged with respect to self-deprecating photos than the average person. While self-deprecating photos show confidence, ability to laugh at oneself and ability to show a raw, candid side to you, if not done properly it can backfire. This coupled with a small sample size bias, is enough to set people down the wrong path. Alternatively, there are plenty of cliche photos out there on dating profiles that many people are unaware of (check out this Dating Photo Bingo Card to get a sense how original your profile is).

Is Photofeeler Accurate?

While I think Photofeeler is a good source for feedback on photos (especially when compared to getting no feedback at all), there are some things you want to be aware of before following advice blindly on those photo ratings.

  1. Limited to Photos Only. While there are different lenses you can narrow your focus on (professional i.e. Linkedin, dating profiles etc.) on Photofeeler, it does not offer personalized feedback on your app choices, bio, captions, messages etc. Good photos can only take you so far and plenty of folks self-sabotage their chances through app choice, photo order, bios, messaging etc.
  2. Location Bias. This can lead to inflated scores. There are more people in big cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and San Francisco etc. and your photos will be reviewed and scored by all including smaller towns with possibly lesser differentiating expectations. Not to say there are not attractive people outside of larger cities but you should be judging yourself against people you are interested in meeting.
  3. Selection Bias. Most people on Photofeeler are coming from a position of needing help themselves. Many are new to dating sites, others have been on dating sites for years without success. If you needed help with your 3pt shot would you ask Klay Thompson or would you ask people coming off the bench from the Knicks? Know your sources. Either way, there is more to you than just photos and you need to have context in terms of your lifestyle so you can not only get feedback on photos but understand where you can improve.
  4. Privacy. Anyone can view your photos on Photofeeler. While you will be showing your photos to people once you are on a dating site or app, you don’t want to expose bad photos of yourself right off the bat without some feedback.
  5. Context. Some photos will do better on an app like Tinder vs an app like Coffee Meets Bagel. Whether you are on the fast track for a long-term relationship or looking for something casual, it is important you know how to market yourself and understand what your photos signal.
  6. User Credibility. While some users might have experience or even success on dating apps or getting high scores, some folks are merely looking to get feedback themselves and will blast through scores as quickly as possible and not take the time to thoughtfully review each photo. There is little to gain from helping others on a platform like this when others are viewed as competition.
  7. Score. Reducing your looks, photos, appearance and date-ability to a single score can be misleading and dangerous. Assigning a score reverts society back to rating people ala the days of beauty competitions, and high school immaturity. Don’t let your self-worth be associated to a subjective score, you are more than that. Photofeeler attractiveness scores only consider existing photos, it cannot provide guidance on how to take photos going forward and how to round out your profile to complement existing photos (for help with choosing the right photos for your profile check out this intro guide).

For those seeking feedback on their profiles, are new to online dating and need help to create a profile or those that are unable to meet me here in San Francisco or during my travels to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle and Boston I offer online dating profile critiques virtually. (You can read more about me in the news as well as reviews here). Introductory rates start at $175 (up to two dating profiles) for a limited time (prices will go up on December 1st, 2019). FYI, all dating photo packages include this comprehensive review.

To get started I will need:

  1. Existing photos, snapshots of existing dating profiles.
  2. Demographics (location, age, height, ethnicity)
  3. Personality (hobbies, interests, guilty pleasures, school, locations traveled and lived, job, volunteer activities, favorite foods/dishes, local places to explore (hikes, restaurants, museums etc.)
  4. Preferences (what do you seek, deal-breakers).
  5. Dating history (where do you struggle? Likes, matches, 1st dates, getting 2nd dates). What apps have you used? For how long? Profile re-starts, duplicate account, paid subscriptions.

All this information is confidential. Contact me today for your online dating profile critique.

Critiques done over email, phone or voice chat.

For additional tips about dating apps, profile photos, bios, prompts, check out my blog.