Simple photography tricks pros use to create stand-out dating photos


Hey Saturday dating photos

One easy way to attract up to 10 times more views on your dating profile is to use good quality, colourful photos of you looking relaxed, happy and attractive. In fact, a time is coming, in the near future where using selfies and badly-lit, blurry holiday snaps is just not going to cut it anymore

People’s eyes are naturally drawn to good quality images, which is why images are such a huge part of marketing campaigns. Evidence shows that people are drawn to images over text. And, in dating, there is evidence to suggest that your dating profile photo counts for 90% of the decision to date you compared to your written profile. Imagine how popular you would be if you used strong, colourful photos instead of blurry, bland, dark shots? People report a huge uplift in clickthrough rates when they use good photos.

If you want to get ahead of the game and attract more and better dates, read on for some top pro tips to help you create a good quality set of photos that are in focus, well-lit and which showcase you as the most interesting thing in the photo.

1. Head outdoors

Natural light is more flattering and kind to the face and works well for the carefree, relaxed vibe that you need for dating profile photos. Indoor photos can work well too i.e. sitting in cafes but do be aware that flash, in amateur hands, can actually add 7 years to the face. Flash, if not used properly, can create very unflattering light.

If it’s a sunny day, the best light for profile photos appears first thing in the morning or the last hour before sunset, so aim for that if possible, and you’ll get some beautiful shots. The most unflattering light on a sunny day is when the sun is directly overhead as it causes unflattering shadows on your face so find the shade.

2. Relax and have a laugh

Hey saturday dating photography

When you have your photos taken, make sure it’s not in your lunch break right before that presentation to the CEO. You need to feel relaxed and carefree so that you get the right vibe for your dating photos. Remember back to your last relaxing holiday and imagine yourself back there. Think of some carefree scenarios, like walking along an empty beach and channel that vibe.

3. Listen to music

If you’re struggling to relax, put a favourite track on, on your iPhone and let that help you relax. Music is the easiest way to put a smile on your face.

4. Start off leaning or sitting

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Leaning and sitting are good ways to start off your shoot, as they make it easy to relax your body. Leaning also tends to make you look laidback, so even if you are nervous, you won’t look it.

5. Grab a prop

Having something to hold with your hands, can help relax you and distract you from the fact you’re in front of the camera. If you can find something to hold that showcases your personality even better. Books, hats, headphones, ice-creams are all good examples of this.

6. Keep moving

Once you’re feeling fairly relaxed in front of the camera, start moving. Walk around, swing your arms, look up and down, move from side to side, look away and look at the camera. If you keep moving, your photographer, pro or not, will capture some lovely shots of you. Aim to get some lovely smiling headshots – genuine smiling ones – and some more candid style laughing ones. They get the best results on dating sites. Avoids shots that are too posed and stiff. Experiment with angles, poses, lighting, outfits and props. If your photographer just keeps shooting, you’re bound to have some great ones to choose from.

7. Choose your backgrounds carefully

In a lot of dating photos, the background often detracts from power of the image, taking people’s attention away from you. A really easy way to ensure you’re the most important and interesting thing in the shot is to choose a background that adds value. A clean, simple, fuss-free background is ideal. Or try and choose a background that adds colour or says something about your personality.

8. Inject some personality into the shots

Hey Saturday photography dating profile picture

The best photos are the ones where you can get a feel for someone’s personality. Wear clothes that are very you, hold something meaningful, go somewhere that you like, do something you enjoy and you’ll find that elements of your personality shine through.

9. Think about something funny, relaxing or sexy

It’s really hard to smile on demand when you’re in front of the camera, so a good trick instead, is to think about the last time your friend made you properly belly-laugh or perhaps think about that person you have a secret crush on. You can’t help but smile to yourself.

10. Angle your body to the camera

Hey Saturday photography dating profile picture

If you’re a woman, the most flattering way to look on camera is to have your shoulders angled towards it rather than stand with them facing the camera straight on. This is good for guys though as it makes them look bigger and more masculine but for girls who want to make themselves look a little slimmer, try having one shoulder towards the camera and angle your head round to look at the lens. It’s the classic Oscar red carpet look.

11. Get lower than your photographer

For your close-ups, it’s great if you can be slightly lower than your photographer for some of the shots. Either sit down so they can shoot down on you or get them to stand on something. Shooting down is the most flattering angle as it minimises double chins and all kinds of sins. Shooting upwards is the most unflattering angle, beware double chins and up-the-nose shots.

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.  She is also the co-founder of Irresistible Dating.

She’s been credited by Time magazine for creating the genre of dating photography and is recognised as the leading industry expert in the UK & US on all things dating photo related. She also puts her extensive online dating experiences to good use by sharing her experiences and wisdom on her blog.

All photo credits: Hey Saturday


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