Sometimes, I get to do personal photos for people to use for their dating site profiles. Having these photos done well is certainly not a bad idea. I love creating images that express people in a positive light.
I’ve browsed dating sites myself (just researching, of course) and many of the photos I’ve seen are pretty awful (and some are just plain scary). I’ve been tempted to send a message with photo tips, but figure that would just be insulting. I guess that when people decide to go on-line they root around for recent photos they may have and post the best ones. Or maybe they get out the ol’ cell phone and try a few selfies.
I’m sure that this approach is convenient but it is really not optimal. Dating sites are advertisements and you are your brand. Whether it’s a website, magazine ad or a dating profile, the first thing that people see are photos. If they are compelling then they will read the text. The whole intent is to send a positive message.
When I do shoots for dating sites, we do our best to keep it relaxed, playful and fun. That’s when personalities emerge. One of my clients told me he got so many interested responses he had to take down his profile. Another client reported she almost immediately began dating someone. (Makes me feel like I’m a match maker.)
So here are a few tips if you know someone doing the dating site thing.
- Make sure the photos are fun, happy and real. Use a mix of portraits and semi-candids.
- Make sure you have good quality images. Dark photos, blurry photos or photos that are too far away are essentially useless and subtract from your message.
- Don’t hide behind sunglasses or bury yourself in a crowd. You aren’t on a dating site to hide.
- Show your whole self in at least one photo. If you are body conscious, that’s alright. There are ways to de-accentuate anything you may think is unflattering.
- Remember, this is your brand. You are the product. Do it right.