What does he person look like? What is he about? Can I trust him?

An Online Dating Photographer’s Guide to Maximizing Your Right Swipe Potential

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Are you posting your best photos on Tinder and still getting zero results? As a photographer for online dating profiles, there are three questions I answer for my client’s audience:

  1. What does this person look like?
  2. What is this person about?
  3. Can I trust this person?

1. Maximize attractiveness

Answering the first question is all about the opportunity to maximize attractiveness. This involves making decisions about facial hair, attire, lighting and angles. There are studies on what amount of facial hair is attractive to most women, and while there is validity to changing preferences with trends that come and go, you should base your decision on whether it enhances or hurts your own appearance. If you don’t have a strong jawbone or full lips, facial hair can be a great way to add shape to your face.

Ok, so your face has shape, and we’re going to highlight this shape using the right lighting and angles. Many of my clients reference an OkCupid blog post about what kinds of angles work best for what sex. According to the study, men do better when looking away from the camera, so I always make sure to include plenty of candids. If he complains about having a big nose or puffy cheeks, I experiment with straight-on looks and sometimes ditch the side angles all together. If my client has dreamy eyes, I have him look into the camera and bring out the sparkle with special lighting like a beauty dish. Photographing faces is an art form; there are no hard-and-fast rules. What works well with one person might not work on another.

In deciding what to wear for Tinder photos, my advice is you do you; just do it really well. Pick clothes that fit properly and flatter your shape and skin tone. I ask guys to bring plenty of options and make decisions based on color, texture and what goes well with what setting. A nice watch is never a bad idea. I want you to look smart and well-put together.

2. Maximize interestingness

Whoever said Tinder is superficial because it’s based on pictures isn’t using their imagination. Tinder is just an app; people are superficial. And photographs – aren’t they supposed to be worth like a thousand words or something? If yours aren’t, you’re seriously missing out on the power and potential images can bring to your profile.

I ask my clients about their personality, interests and hobbies to determine the setting. If they play sports or an instrument, I suggest an activity photo. If they’re the strong, silent type, we might go to a bookstore or coffee shop and capture something mysterious and compelling.

If you can get her imagination going, you’re doing something right.

I had one client that was throwing away a couch, so we used it as an attention-grabbing prop and placed it in the middle of a quiet, tree-lined suburban street for him to sit on. The unusual set up successfully communicated his quirky personality and persuaded women of equal eccentricity to give him a chance. Some women asked if he was some kind of artist, with one wondering if it was some kind of album cover.

Who is this guy and why is he sitting on a couch in the middle of the street? Better swipe right to find out.

Who is this guy and why is he sitting on a couch in the middle of the street? Better swipe right to find out.

3. Maximize trustworthiness

Ok, so you look pretty good – check.  Your life looks interesting – check. But are you going to cut me up in little pieces and store me in your freezer? Hey, it’s a valid question when meeting strangers using your phone. This is especially important if you don’t have mutual friends with your matches or Instagram connected to your account.

This is where social proof comes in, and those cute pet photos. Clients don’t usually bring friends to shoots, but if they have a pet, I always suggest capitalizing on it. It’s not controversial to say that pet photos work. They make you look warm and trustworthy, and if they’re really super adorable and you clearly have a connection with them, some of the cuteness spills over to you.

We’d like to hear from you; what’s your online dating photo strategy?

RightSwipePics.com does lifestyle photography for dating profiles and social media. Tested and shown to *more than double* matches on Tinder and vastly improve response rates. RightSwipePics.com currently serves South Florida, NYC, Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Francisco. To book your photo session or for more information, visit www.rightswipepics.com.




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On March 10, 2017

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