When it comes to online dating, recent research from OK Cupid confirms what I think we all secretly know – that people decide to date you based almost entirely on your dating profile photos alone. With that thought in mind, it’s worth investing a little bit of time to get your photos right. Ideally, hire a pro portrait photographer or ask that talented friend who’s obsessed with photography to help you out, then check out these top tips to rock your dating profile photos so you can start attracting more, and better quality, dates.
1. Put in the effort
Just as you make the effort to look good on a first date, you’ll need to do the same when getting ready to create some dating photos. Getting your make up done is a real boost in terms of confidence and has you looking camera-ready. Roots and split ends look terrible on camera and are a hard fix in Photoshop, so if your hair isn’t at its best, I’d recommend booking an appointment to get it in good shape. Finally, choose some outfits that make you feel great. Guys should trim their facial hair and moisturise for a few days before their shoot to get camera-ready.
2. Fake it ‘til you make it
It’s hard to summon up high levels of self-confidence when you have a camera lens in your face, but confidence is what you need to rock your shots, and the one thing your photographer can’t control. I always recommend falling back on the old classic “fake it ‘til you make it” trick. The camera can rarely tell if you’re faking or not.
Put your game-face on and head out to your shoot telling yourself you’re going to own it. Remember why you’re doing it – to find the love of your life. Put on your killer boots, play some Jay Z on your headphones, wear your sexiest lipstick, just do what it takes to get in the zone.
3. Have a laugh with your photographer
Don’t worry too much about posing for the camera, the best photos are the natural, relaxed, happy ones. To get these kind of shots, just aim to lark around and have a laugh with your photographer (or that talented photographer friend).
4. Embrace colour
Injecting some bright colour into your shots will really help your photo stand out from the crowd. Red is a winner for women as it represents love and passion, which men love apparently! Not into wearing bright colours? Don’t worry, head somewhere where there are some colourful backgrounds instead. Street art, a colourful wall, some flowers in a garden will all work instead. Colour is everywhere if you look around.
If you feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, then just keep moving and experimenting. Spin round, take a look around you, sit down, lean, stand up, walk, dance, enjoy your surroundings and keep moving. Your photographer will be able to capture some lovely relaxed, candid shots as you wander around.
6. Grab a prop
Props are great as they not only give you something to do with your hands, but they also help tell people a little more about who you are depending on what you choose. Some cool props I’ve seen include cameras, clutch bags, headphones, newspapers, books, 99 ice cream cones etc. Have fun telling your story.
7. Do what you love
Finally, if there’s something you love doing that can be captured quite easily in a photograph, then head out and do it. Not only will it help you to relax in front of the camera but, as with the props, it’ll help give people visual clues as to who you are and what you’re into. I’ve captured people browsing market stalls, roller blading, cycling, reading, listening to music, enjoying café life.
Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Hey Saturday, the UK’s coolest dating photography business, specialising in creating dating photos that kick ass and win dates for 100s of single people.