I’ve been shooting photos for online dating websites for almost 10 years now. Started when online dating was still taboo among most people. I always relied on my ability to pose people well, to get great results. That, of course, still applies, but I had a customer the other day that may have given me a little bit of an idea.
He was a good looking man in his 30s. Came with a bag full of clothes to wear. A few different tops, a couple of pants, and some gym gear. Nothing unusual about that. What struck me as unusual was his behavior in front of the camera. I asked him if he worked as a model, but he said no… Then I asked him whether he practiced posing before he came to the session. He said… “I’m not going to spend over 600$ on something I’m not prepared to do”… Actually, I wouldn’t either.
He watched a few youTube videos to get the hang of posing for male models, and I have to say that he nailed it. If he said that he worked as a model, I would not doubt. The way he worked his body. The facial expressions, the direction his eyes were pointing made it clear to me that he studied modeling. It was actually more like shooting for a commercial client with a professional model than a portrait session. I still directed, and I still showed him a few things, but he did most of the work, and he was killing the session. I simply made sure that I found good light to put him in, and the rest he did himself. That session got us 3 times as many good photos as a normal session that I do.
So my new idea now is simply to find a suitable video on YouTube, or better still, make my own video that explains posing for portraits. With a few simple tips, pretty much anyone can improve their posing skills. I mean, I will still direct and show them during the session, but some people may benefit from a quick video, and get better results during their photo session. This way I may be able to get them a lot more usable pictures, and better variety. And ultimately make them happier about spending all this money on a professional online dating photographer.
I will try that next time I get a booking. And see if that actually helps. My online dating photography Sydney sessions go from 30min to over 3 hours. I spend at least 15 minutes showing my clients the posing, expressions. Basically, give them a quick course on how to look good in pictures. If they came prepared, I would be able to spend more time shooting good photos, and less time explaining myself.
I found a really good YouTube video that I now recommend to my male customers. Tips on how to pose men. There are many good videos out there that will teach male modeling, but for online dating photos to look authentic, they need to be more natural. It is clear in that video that the photographer is actually shooting a professional model. He just knows what to do, and it’s actually quite difficult for him to pose badly.
I have a page dedicated to online dating here on this blog. I use that page mainly when I’m overseas. In Poland, and I used it in Vietnam last year. Here is the main online dating photography page. You can see more samples of my work there, and you can reach me on both pages if you’re looking for a good portrait and online dating photographer.