Thoughts, stories and tips from Team Perfocal.

The world has changed a lot recently, and we must adapt to keep up with these changes. Amid the pandemic, online dating has surged in popularity, and according to Business Insider, the number of dating app users increased by 20% in 2020. Whether we wish to admit it or not, the most important part of your dating profile is undoubtedly your photos. It's the primary way our brains form an opinion of someone. In fact, a survey in EliteSingles highlights the fact that 58% of British singles said they would not open a profile that did not include photos. With this in mind, Perfocal asked dating photographers to give us their tips on how to choose the best possible collection of pictures for your dating profile. So before choosing your Tinder dating photos, take note of the 5 must-have dating pics that will make your Tinder profile stand out.

Personal Portrait photos by Perfocal (Lifestyle)

Photo 1: A classic headshot. Put on a happy face and smile

Classic headshot example - Personal Portrait Image by Perfocal (Classic headshot)

The classic headshot is usually the first photo that people see in your tinder pictures. First impressions matter, so it's important to choose a photo that gives the best reflection of who you are. Firstly, this is a headshot, not a close-up, so try to frame the picture from the chest up. It also helps to remember it is not a passport photo, so try not to be too serious. A smile goes a long way to set someone at ease. The background should be blurred or work to frame you, and make sure it's not too busy or distracting. As with all photos, lighting is critical, so try to avoid strong overhead light that make your features appear harsh. Ideally, the main light source should be at eye level to accentuate your facial features and look professional. You want perfect balance of being lit from the front, but still getting some side-lighting to accentuate your features and not produce a flat-looking portrait.

Photo 2: A candid portrait, don't pose for it, live it

Candid portrait example, photo by Perfocal (Lifestyle)

Candid photos are a great way to show your personality and impress people looking to match profile pictures with someone fun. A true candid shot is taken when you are unaware that you are being photographed. In saying that, most candid shots are faked, and the person in the photo just tries their best to appear natural. The best way to achieve this is to plan your shot well and position yourself in the optimal spot. Although not always practical, shoot from a low angle if possible to further add an impromptu feeling. It helps if you are in the middle of an activity or doing something that is making you smile or laugh. Try to relax and move freely, so you get the most natural-looking pose. Remember, you didn't know there was a camera there, and the photographer just snapped a photo of you while you were doing something interesting.

Photo 3: Shots that can express your hobbies

It is hard to learn a lot about a person from their Tinder profile photos, but take every opportunity you can to highlight your likes and hobbies in this shot. One of the best tinder tips for women is to include a photo of yourself in your natural habitat. If you like reading, then why not include a photo while doing precisely that. Or if you love playing sports, perhaps a sporty look will help you match profile pictures with someone else who likes the same sport. Most Tinder profile photos focus just on the person themselves, but every picture tells a story, so try to convey as much information as you can with this shot. If you want to get a message across about the kind of activities you like, what better way to do that than to include a photo of you actually doing it. Most tinder photos are repetitive, and we want to stand out from the crowd, so showing your hobbies or activities is a great way to match profile pictures with a like-minded person.

Photo 4: Full-body shot to compliment your profile pictures

To avoid any misunderstandings, it is always wise to include a full-body shot that shows your physique. These can be some of the hardest to get right in dating photography because now you need to find the right pose, the best lighting, the optimum angle, and of course, the right look. One of the best tinder tips for women is to take this shot outdoors about an hour before sunset. We want the main light source to be around eye-level, so this is the optimum time to achieve the shot with natural light. The same tip applies if you shoot indoors, set up the light source around eye-level, and use a wide aperture to blur the background. Shooting from the waist is a good idea so that the overall shot is balanced and you fill the frame with your full body. Make sure to get everything in the frame, and check that your background is not distracting or taking away from you.

Photo 5: The selfie. All dating profiles should include one

Girl taking a selfie with a DSLR camera
You can use cameras for your selfies too!

Yes we are a photography company and we can deliver professional dating profile photo shoots to you on-demand... but we are NOT saying no to selfies! While it is never a good idea to use a phone selfie as a professional portrait, it's a great shot to include in your Tinder photos.

The key here is to try not to hide the fact that you're taking a selfie but rather to embrace it. Selfies are fun, they're personal, and they tell the other person a little bit more about you and your personality. Unlike your other dating pics, this shot is all about the eyes. Try to angle your phone until it is pointing slightly up or down. We don't want a selfie that looks like a headshot, we want to look playful and free. The camera is literally an arm's length away from you, so bear in mind that perspective can be deceiving at this short distance. That's why angling the phone or tilting your head can lead to much more interesting shots.

Having said so, it's not a bad idea to take your selfies with an actual camera, instead of just your smart phone. Cameras have physically larger and better sensors that produces images in much higher quality that modern phones still can't compete with. You might even want someone else (like a friend or a photographer) to help you mimick a "selfie-like" professional portrait!

Portrait photo of a girl taking a selfie
Portrait of a girl taking a selfie - but shot with a professional camera! PC@apostolosv/Unsplash

Big no-nos. The photos we would not recommend to use

No set of Tinder tips for women would be complete without pointing out the photos you should avoid using. Firstly, no matter what you think at the time, duckface photos are never an attractive look. Avoid looking the same in every photo, so maybe add sunglasses in one, but make sure to show your eyes in the others, after all, they are the window to the soul ;)

Most importantly, if there are other people in the shot, make sure it's obvious which one is you. Group shots are okay as a candid shot or one that expresses your interests, but remember that you're trying to promote yourself as much as possible, so you need to be the focus of the shot.

Ultimately, your selection of photos are how you wish to be represented and you're going to have better quality matches if you are in fact providing a truthful representation. You are not one-dimensional and neither should your photos be!

Hopefully, our tips help you achieve the perfect dating profile pictures. If you really want to get the perfect set of photos, considering booking a professional photographer to help you capture all your best angles and really get the most out of your pictures. Perfocal have deals from as little as £99, so you can focus on relaxing and looking good while your professional photographer captures you in the best light. You receive edited versions of your photos that are ready to be downloaded and shared on your profile page, all within 48 hours after shoot!

Don't have any shots ready for your dating profile? Try out a Perfocal photographer today! We'll help you get those matches :)


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