I’m not a photographer, but I do have the shitty job of being the bearer of bad news when guys who spent $300+ on professional photos ask for my help.
In short, professional photos ≠ automatically great dating app pics. Don’t misunderstand me, I’ve seen some great professionally taken photos for dating profiles… but I’ve seen a SHIT-TON of bad ones. So before you spend an egregious amount of money on a photographer, spend a few minutes reading this. I don’t claim to be an expert in photography, but I’m pretty damn good at getting dudes dates.
Beware of pretentious staging. You aren’t trying to impress executives to trust you with their millions, you’re trying to get a girl to go out with you. If you pose in front of expensive cars, motorcycles, at the top of an elaborate staircase, or on a gold-rimmed desk, you are going to look like a prick. A rich prick, sure… but a prick nonetheless. Unless she’s interested in being your sugar baby, she will probably assume that you’ll spend 2 hours talking about yourself, 2 minutes pumping your dick in her, and 2 seconds later she’ll leave sticky, sweaty, and thoroughly unsatisfied.
Don’t let them pose you. You probably aren’t a model. You don’t know how to relax your body and look natural in posed positions. If it isn’t how you naturally stand, you’re going to look stiff and awkward. If they place your arms/legs in a specific position, you will look unnatural. This isn’t about looking professional. This is about looking attractive and approachable. Instead, ask the photographer to take photos of you doing activities you actually enjoy. They should capture your natural movement, not pose you in unnatural positions.
Be wary of makeup. A little bit of foundation/concealer is fine to even out your skin tone. Blush and lip-gloss are not. I have seen so many photos ruined by photographers going crazy on the makeup. If it’s obvious that you’re wearing makeup when you look in the mirror, it will probably be obvious in the photo. * This is in no way a criticism of men who wear makeup. If you enjoy wearing makeup in your everyday life, that’s totally fine, keep rocking your look. My point is that if you wear makeup in these photos the women who see your profile will assume you wear makeup in your daily life. If that isn’t an accurate assessment, it creates a misunderstanding that will have an impact on your match rates.
Photoshop with caution. Looking like an Instagram model is great, but we know damn well you have forehead wrinkles. Everyone does. Because you’re human. Most women can recognize a photo-shopped image. She will wonder what you’re trying to hide, and will be less likely to swipe on you. It’s fine to smooth out a blemish or edit out a dog that’s popping a squat in the background- but you need to look like a real live person.
Highlight the Goods. Your shoulders are the widest part of your body, so make sure that both can be seen in all of your photos. If only one shoulder is visible in the pic you’re probably going to look more narrow than you are. Don’t get fucked by bad photos: Standing next to a huge statue will shrink you down by a few inches, sunglasses will make you less approachable, rocking a short-sleeved shirt is A+ if you’ve got some thicc daddy arms, etc… These are things that a lot of photographers don’t consider when they take photos, but they’re SUPER important when taking photos for your dating profile.
Use your words. They’re the professional, but you’re paying them to perform a service for you. Tell them what you’re looking for. Be as specific as possible. Speak up if the photo shoot is going in a direction that concerns you. It isn’t rude; it’s helpful. As someone who relies on word-of-mouth and good reviews to maintain my business, I would MUCH rather a client redirect me if they aren’t finding our session helpful than to leave unsatisfied.
Lots of photographers, even photographers who advertise themselves as “Dating App Photographers”, don’t understand what attracts and repels women. The goal of dating app photos is different than that of most professional photos. You aren’t trying to look elite, professional, or like photo-shop perfection. You need her to believe your photos, see the person underneath, and be attracted to him. Be picky about who you hire, have a solid idea of what you’re looking for, and form a plan together.