Four Secrets to Showcasing Your Personality in Dating Photos

How to make sure your pictures say a thousand words

Imagine if there was a way that you could significantly increase the number of visitors to your dating profile – and not only that, but those visitors would be more likely to be a good match for you. It would be a complete win-win, wouldn’t it? Well, imagine no more. I’m going to let you into a little secret – four secrets, actually – that will help you showcase your personality in your dating photos and make them work for you, not against you, significantly increasing the number of visitors to your profile.

Your profile photos are a fantastic way to start telling the story of who you are. If done well, they can give people lots of insight into what kind of person you are and start to attract more of the right kind of people. First things first: grab a friend who is into photography – you will have one, just ask on Facebook – and flatter them into volunteering to take some shots for you. You can tell them you’re overhauling your digital profile.

Wear something you love

The easiest way to showcase your personality in your dating photos is through your clothes, makeup and jewellery. The clothes people choose to wear give people so many clues as to their personality, so make sure you take a bit of time to figure out what message you’re giving people about yourself.

Take a couple of minutes to ask yourself the following questions:
• What three adjectives would you choose to describe your personal style?
• What clothes do you feel great wearing?
• Who are your current style icons?

Go through your wardrobe and choose a variety of outfits that show off the different parts of your personality if possible. Are you more relaxed in jeans and a T-shirt, or do you prefer to dress up as often as you can?

If you’re a woman, you also have lots of options around hair and makeup, which can make things easier. Change your hairstyle and lipstick, just as you change your clothes, and you’ll have a set of different-looking images that look as though they were taken at different times.

Go somewhere you love

A great way to showcase your personality is by choosing a location that is meaningful to you in some way. If you’re struggling to come up with some ideas, ask yourself: where do you like to spend your time? Are you happiest relaxing in the garden, chilling out down by the canal, mooching round markets, checking out the street art in the urban part of town or taking the kids to the park? Have a think about where you enjoy hanging out and then use that to help showcase your personality. No matter where you live, you’ll be able to find a good location nearby for your shoot, but try to ensure it adds value to your photos. If you’re a bit more urban and edgy, you might want to head to the part of town with the quirky street art and use that as a backdrop for your images. Try out three or four different locations if possible so that you get a range of different photos to choose from and they won’t all look like they were taken on the same day (this is what I do for my clients). Be careful not to choose anything too messy or busy in the background behind you. The background is meant to enhance your photo, helping you to stand out, not take over the shot.

Do something you love

Another way to showcase your personality in your photos is to be featured doing something you love. Have a think about what you are doing when you are at your happiest. I’ve captured clients browsing market stalls, rollerblading, cycling, reading, or sitting in cafes. If you’re doing something you love, you will come across as happy and relaxed in the shot, which is exactly what you’re aiming for.

Carry or hold something you love

Props are great as they not only give people a bit more of a clue about who you are but also give you something to do with your hands – not knowing what to do with your hands can often make you look awkward in photos if you’re not feeling totally relaxed in front of the camera. If you’re struggling to think about what props you might use to give clues about yourself, ask yourself what things you would find it hardest to live without. For me, it would be my camera, of course, but for other people it might be their favourite hat, or big headphones if they love music, or a copy of their favourite book, or a 99 ice cream if they love desserts. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Props can also add value as a conversation starter in emails, which is always a bonus.

Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning Saturday Night’s Alright, the UK’s only dedicated dating photography business. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook

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