ONLINE DATING PHOTOGRAPHER, CONSULTANT
DATING COACH & CONSULTANT: ONLINE DATING PROFILE REVIEW & PHOTOSHOOT OVERVIEW
As an online dating photographer and dating profile coach in San Francisco, I love helping people feel their best, build confidence, take better photos and get more quality dates. As a contributor to The Good Men Project, Plenty of Fish and Meddle, my approach to online dating photos goes beyond photos – it entails a holistic strategy: Wardrobe Tips, Dating App Recommendations, Review of Existing Photos, Bio Optimization, Prompts and Answers, and Offline Coaching i.e. date spots, good places to meet singles (all steps need to build social and dating fluency in the technology age). Latest press coverage here and reviews here.
As an expert in dating profiles, I have worked with CEO’s, widows, shy folks, those with anxiety, folks who are photophobic and cannot look at themselves in mirror, divorcees, widows, recently single, gay, straight, bisexual, furry and open-relationship folks as well as those new to online dating and those who think they are unphotogenic. My focus is on working with those that are relationship-minded folks. I view my work as a partnership with give and take. If you are looking to hook-up or looking for someone to do all the work for you, please look elsewhere.
TRAVEL INFO / DATING PROFILE CRITIQUE: For those that are not able to come to me or if I am not visiting your area check the contact page or my Instagram page for updates. I do offer profile critiques done remotely – for more information check out the service page here.
(For a comprehensive guide on dating apps and frequently asked questions, check out my guide here: https://eddie-hernandez.com/online-dating-frequently-asked-questions/)
A quick questionnaire will help me evaluate photos, social media presence and profiles. Next, I review answers and provide analysis on app choice, photo selection and bio optimization. I will use the info to plan a photo shoot that highlights your hobbies, essence and style so that the photos are natural, confident, playful and candid. I shoot outdoors and indoor public places with natural light.
A photoshoot might involve a cocktail bar, beer garden, hiking trail, park, coffee shop, street art, farmer’s market or more. I will observe your comfort level and check in with backgrounds and locations to make sure you are feeling good throughout the process.
My images are purposefully taken so that they come out looking organic, natural like if a friend took them. They are not overly sharp nor feature a bokeh effect similar to professional headshots. They are taken to to capture warmth, presence, attire, approachability, candidness, imperfections in a flattering light.
If you are looking merely to hook up, are looking to get sharp glossy staged photos, please seek another professional. My focus is on character not ego, prestige nor self-absorbed personalities. These photos are meant to attract strangers. They are not for yourself nor your friends who are often times biased.
Be sure to get plenty of rest the night before and stay hydrated. We will spend the first 10-15 minutes to sit down and get to know each other. I will observe posture, mannerisms, look for stray hair, uneven collars, untied shoes, make sure you glasses are clean, give you time to use the restroom to freshen up etc. Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on time – don’t add stress to your day by arriving late, finding parking etc. – TREAT THIS LIKE A FIRST DATE. After spending a few hours with me during the photo shoot, I will help you out with your bio, answers to Hinge Prompts / Coffee Meets Bagel questions / Bumble Bios and more etc.
During the photoshoot I will analyze you like no one else has but in a friendly, relaxed manner. My unbiased feedback on wardrobe choices, posture, conversation, energy and attitude will be helpful in your offline endeavors and transition from online to offline. It’s not just helpful to get good photos but getting a deep dive into your personal life will help me understand who you are, what you are about and where you can improve with respect to candid conversations, 1st impressions, eye contact, vocal tonality, appearance and more. Unlike friends and family, I will be honest, direct and unbiased. My goal is not to be your friend (although it does happen quite often in my line of work) but rather help you get more, quality dates.
I prioritize referrals but I do work with new clients too. If you are recently single, have changed your appearance, do not have any recent photos or are looking for help, contact me and I will review your request. I seek out genuine, sincere individuals – those I would introduce to friends, family & colleagues. My goal is to improve the societal dating pool. I schedule shoots ~1-14 days out depending on how quickly you respond to me.
REMOTE WORK, VIRTUAL DATING ASSISTANCE
For those who are remote, I offer online dating profile critique. More details about that offering here. Clients who work with me via the dating profile critique get advance notice and are prioritized when I travel to their city (visit the contact page for travel updates).
I accept Square Cash, Venmo, PayPal, Personal Check and Cash at the time of the photo shoot. I do not charge a deposit but if you cancel I cannot guarantee you will be able to reschedule with me. I expect both of us to approach our work together as a first date. It is nearly impossible to obtain a date after canceling the first time around.
I do not post photos online; your privacy is of utmost importance to me. I work with C-suite executives, high profile individuals, those new to dating as as well as extremely shy/introverted individuals. I have worked with dozens of of clients dealing with social anxiety, adult attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), photophobia etc. I am extremely discrete with my photo taking process. I have many places scouted ahead of time and will check in with you to make sure you are comfortable in the environments selected.
Read this guide on how to maintain your privacy when online dating. I also work with clients from a range of interests and orientations: straight women, gay men, bisexual women, furry fanatics and those who are currently exploring their sexuality.
For those of you who are looking for offline assistance when it comes to meeting other singles, I offer 1 on 1 coaching in the field as well as over the phone and video calls. This is typically recommended for folks looking to supplement their online dating efforts, are high profile individuals who prefer not to go the online dating route or those that live in remote areas where online dating options are scarce. This course goes over things like where to sit at a bar, how to create openings for others to engage in conversation with you, what places you should explore nearby to meet singles, body language analysis, topics of conversation to cover on a first date, communication best practices and wardrobe assessment.
WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE ME
I have done my fair share of online dating in the past and have been in long-term, healthy, successful relationships over the years. I have studied dating apps for over a dozen years across the major cities I have lived in (NYC, SF and Los Angeles) and am inspired by the movie Hitch to improve the dating field one individual at a time and help those that have a hard time revealing their true selves to others.
I come from an analytical, business background studying marketplaces, product features, marketing campaigns, customer segmentation, competitive intelligence, user behavior and analyzing profiles. As a frequent traveler, I have significant experience couchsurfing which requires strong people reading skills and quick, analytical deduction to trust folks when staying at the homes of complete strangers often within a few days or hours of notice.
Most photographers who claim to specialize in dating photos struggle with online dating themselves, don’t have much experience with dating apps or don’t have the years of experience closely following all the dating apps on the market to answer all your questions beyond just photos. Photos are definitely important but bios, inappropriate messaging, wrong app choices can sabotage your dating profile.
I grew up in the Bay Area and know the city inside out. People come to me when planning their trip, researching date spots or looking to meet people organically when new to the city. Most ‘dating’ profile photographers are simply overextending their portrait businesses to monetize on dating app popularity. I spend my early years capturing events all over the city and getting complete strangers to pose comfortably, candidly and willingly in a matters of seconds based on my appearance, approach and my words.
Lastly, I am naturally an introvert BUT I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera, know the struggles people have posing and smiling and I know how to put people at ease. I have extensive interviewing skills as well a strong ability to talk to anyone comfortably and enthusiastically which comes in handy when traveling in remote areas, not knowing local languages and not knowing anyone during my travels locally, domestically and abroad. I am a closet-fashion fanatic – I regularly help clients plan their outfits, adjust wardrobes mid-shoot and provide guidance around color theory based on hair color, skin tone and environments. Ask around, chances are someone you know has worked with me before or knows about me in some capacity.
ONLINE DATING PHOTO SHOOT FAQ’s
I don't want a profile review, help with my bio nor photo analysis, do you just offer photos?
I do not unfortunately. The review process is to help me plan a photoshoot, understand your past history with dating apps, and assess if you would benefit from new photos. It also helps me to assess whether you would benefit from new/updated online dating photos as online dating is not for everyone. Lastly while photos are important, a bad bio, poor prompts and answers, lackluster messages and using the wrong dating app can drastically hurt your chances for success.
How many photos should a dating profile have?
Bare minimum I recommend is 4 but 6 is an ideal number (6 is also required for dating apps like Hinge which I recommend to many clients). Just because a site like Match.com offers you the ability to upload 20+ photos, doesn’t mean you should. You are only attractive as your worst photo and too many photos can make you look vane.
Do you offer makeover or personal shopping services?
I am not a personal shopper nor stylist but I will help you with outfits for a shoot. Check out the Pinterest boards for inspiration on clothing, patterns and colors. Wear outfits that you are confident in, would wear normally either everyday or for a special occasion. Men’s Fashion Tips | Women’s Fashion Tips. Remember, styles shoot be unique to your personality, fit you well, and show some effort. You are dressing up for your future dates, not yourself.
Do you provide hair and makeup?
I do not unfortunately. I highly recommend coming as you are so that you are not running around frantically the day of the shoot nor altering your natural appearance. You need to be comfortable in your own skin to be successful with online dating but I will provide guidance on makeup, clothing style etc. You can drop by your local Sephora for some assistance with makeup but keep it light, don’t cake up makeup.
How do you conduct your photo shoots in public?
I am the most resourceful, knowledgeable and discreet photographers around. I carefully select areas to accommodate schedules as well as maintain privacy. Half the time you will not know I am taking photos and if you are super shy, I have methods to be unassuming (you can view my events and editorial work to get a glimpse of my style). I am not like other photographers who use flashes with big stands and umbrellas nor make people hold unnatural poses. I have extensive experience creating environments for those that are introverted, cannot smile or have social anxiety. I worked with engineers, PHD’s, statisticians, finance and accounting professionals for over 10 years in my previous career. With that said, you should approach the photoshoot as a first date, come dressed to impress, come with questions and come with a go with the flow mentality. I will use the session as a sounding board to provide feedback on first impressions, social queues, body language, eye contact and conversation flow so that you are better prepared on your dates going forward.
Do you Photoshop images i.e. eye brightening, teeth whitening, skin softening, etc ?
No, absolutely not. I don’t recommend you use such photos nor hire such a photographer. I focus on shooting in natural, flattering light. Photos should appear like how you appear naturally but with some guidance on posing, confidence, style etc. If you misrepresent yourself for date #1 it can significantly lower your chances of going from date #1 to date #2.
Do you have examples of online dating photos?
No, I do not. Privacy is super important to me. These are not meant to be portrait or glamour shots – these are meant to show a warm, candid side to you. The photos are less about what you want and more about what others want and are interested in seeing. I also do not publicize photos for competitive reasons. Most other photographers who dabble with online dating photos are portrait photographers who offer stiff, awkward headshot and modeling photos that are ineffective on dating apps.
Where do you primarily shoot photos?
How long does it take to see noticeable results after a photoshoot?
Do you provide offline or in the field coaching?
-Personal shopping sessions: where to shop, clothes to wear (size, cut, style, accessorising and color matching based on skin tones)
Do you ever travel to clients?
Yes, on occasion. I travel to cities all the time. Follow me on Instagram for updates or get a group of friends to see if they are interested in a photoshoot and I might come to your city (shoot me a note through my contact page). My favorite cities to visit: Los Angeles, New York (Brooklyn), Chicago, Boston, Seattle and Portland.
I do however virtual online dating profile assessments. For more information contact me for a review of your app choice, photos, bio, and more.
Do you offer matchmaking services?
Not upfront. I have introduced clients I have worked with to each other but that is after I have had a chance to work with them through a session in which I spend several hours getting to know them inside out and seeing if might match with someone I have worked with already. I also, will ask individuals if it is ok if I have their permission to share their information to someone I think could be a good match. If interested, I will make a note in my records and get back to you if/when I do begin this service.
What should I wear for my online dating photos?
Photos should reflect your style and who you want to attract. Clothing and wardrobe should match environments and not seem forced. Similarly they should show a range of looks (casual, athletic, stylish, professional, special event etc.). Read this guide for additional details: https://eddie-hernandez.com/what-to-wear-in-your-dating-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/