Don’t underestimate how important your online dating photos are. If you are serious about attracting a wonderful partner, you must be willing to show yourself in the best possible light. For my clients, this used to mean having professional pictures taken.
Now suddenly, we’re all quarantined and that’s no longer an option.
So, we need to move to Plan B. Not THAT Plan B. Plan B to Hiring a Professional Photographer (at least for now).
You don’t have to resort to posting selfies just because of social distancing. Besides, unless you’re an Instagram celebrity, you probably haven’t mastered the art of taking post-worthy selfies.
I was a professional fashion photographer for 15 years, so I know a thing or two about taking photos. As a dating coach, I use my photography skills on a daily basis to shoot flattering videos and pictures of myself. This got me thinking.
Covid-19 or no Covid-19, many of you know you could use better online dating photos. As long as you can go outside in a park, a garden or your own backyard, I can show you how to shoot your own professional quality photos just like I do! All you need is a $24 tripod and some tips from me!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- A camera with a timer
Most smartphones have great cameras and great editing software. If you have a digital camera with a timer that’s great too. If you’re using a digital camera, make sure it can attach to a tripod mount.
- A tripod
You’ll need a standard tripod, ideally with a reticulating arm so that you can move the camera around. If you’re using a phone camera, make sure you have a tripod mount that fits your phone. All of these things are easy to find online and not too expensive. https://www.amazon.com/Fugetek-Integrated-Professional-Lightweight-Bluetooth/dp/B075WQYN3B/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1LCLAWABJ28HE&dchild=1&keywords=iphone+camera+tripod+with+remote&qid=1585932693&sprefix=iphone+camera+tri%2Cstripbooks%2C201&sr=8-3
Choosing the Right Clothes
Remember, the camera adds 10 pounds, so you want to be careful in choosing the right outfit. This is not the time to hide behind a loose t-shirt or a flowy frock. Wear something form-fitting that shows off your curves, no matter how curvy they are. Love your stuff, and show it off!! It’s YOU. Don’t be afraid to show who you are, it’s all beautiful!!
You’ll want to choose a few different looks to give you plenty of options. Choose colors that you know you look good in, and stay away from really busy prints. Don’t be afraid to put on a little black dress. In my 12-week Emotionally Naked Dating course I always tell women to get a shot in something red. A portrait shot in red is like a stop sign. If a guy is cruising through photos on a dating site, a lady in red will make him stop and look.
You’ll need to find the right shade of red for your skin tone. If you have a red lipstick that looks good on you, that’s the right shade. But don’t wear a red lipstick in the photo, you want to keep it natural.
Hair and Makeup
Again, you want to be your most beaming, beautiful, true self in these photos. Keep your makeup soft, natural, and light. Choose a sheer foundation (if any), and just a well-matched concealer as needed. I do a bit of natural shadow on my eyes, a light liner, a bit of blush and a neutral lip. You might keep a translucent powder handy if you tend to be very shiny in photos. Resist the urge to get dramatic with heavy makeup or false eyelashes. Keep it light, fresh, and natural.
The same goes for your hair. You want to do your best version of your everyday look. Whether that’s a few waves with a curling iron or a soft updo to dress it up, keep it real. Don’t overdo it with styling or product, just do your best dressed natural.
SETTING THE SCENE
You want to choose a relatively simple background, without anything busy or distracting behind you. A cool textured wall or the plants and flowers in your yard make great backdrops. If you have access to an open space that allows for social distancing, beaches and scenic vistas are great open backgrounds.
A simple background with no distractions will help insure that you are the focus of the photo.
One advantage to shooting outside is that there is plenty of natural light. You want soft, even lighting that doesn’t bring out harsh shadows on your face. Early morning or late afternoon sunlight is the best. What you don’t want is a lot of light coming from behind you.
Try to find shade behind and above you, and soft, directional light coming towards you. Watch thevideo above to see me demonstrate this technique.
If you need to shoot indoors, try standing facing a window where soft, directional light is coming in.
You’ll need to play around with this a bit, but be patient. Once you find a lighting technique that works for you, you’ll be able to use it every time.
GETTING THE SHOT
Okay, your background and lighting is set, your hair and makeup is radiant and your outfit is bangin’…
…let’s shoot this thing!
Rule # 1: Throw out your stock photo pose. I know you already have a “photo face.” We all do. Some are better than others. Get rid of it. There’s nothing natural about it and there’s nothing interesting about looking at five different photos of you making the same face.
When you’re ready to shoot, you’ll hit the button to start the timer on your camera, and then strike a pose. If your timer is set to 3 seconds, it’ll be button..2..3..pose…button..2..3..pose..and so on. If you have an iPhone, you can try setting it to “burst” and it will take a series of several photos. This allows you to move around a bit and get variations on the angle.
You can also play with taking a video, and then choosing a still frame from the video that you like. The more you understand what your camera can do, the more options you will have. But it’s also fine to just take one photo at a time.
IMPORTANT: have fun with this!
Put on some music. Show your personality. After you’ve taken a few test shots, have a party. Get lots of different poses, change the lighting, change the background, change your clothes. Get different moods. Get playful, sensual, silly. Try all of your smiles and all of your laughs.
Imagine that your soul mate is in the room with you. Imagine that you are already in love.
Make sure to get a variety of portrait (or close-up), mid-length, and full body shots. Don’t worry about looking perfect in every single photo. Remember, even a professional photoshoot of 200 shots turns out about 10 winners. Get a lot of variety and you can pick the winners out later.
CHOOSING YOUR SHOTS
After your shoot, you’ll want a good variety of looks to choose from. Make sure you pick a close-up portrait, mid-length shot, and full-length shot. Narrow down your faves, and then get a second opinion from a close friend or two.
Your photos are your siren call when dating online. So make sure you put the time in to really get it right. Then sit back and watch the ships roll in!
This should be more than enough to get you started. Now go have yourself a photo party and send me your photos when you’re done, I’d love to see them!
Make sure to watch the video above to see the technique that I use. It will help you put it all together. Here are some examples of photos I took:
And you will never have to take your own photos again.
Stay tuned for more dating tips that will take you from surviving to thriving.
In the meantime, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.
Yours in Nakedness,