Seattle isn’t the only place to shoot fantastic dating profile photos in Washington! This here is a round-up of some of my favorite dating photography locations in the Bellevue area, just a 10 minute drive from Seattle.

Bellevue is a wonderful location for a dating profile photoshoot because it’s got a little bit of everything, from upscale, modern high-rise cityscapes to small-town vibes, to beautiful natural areas and parks.

Full disclosure, I’m using the phrase “Bellevue area” loosely here. Here’s a map with some splotches so you know what you’re in for:

Red splotches mean juicy locations for dating app photoshoots! And juicy means that, within a relatively small area, you can capture online dating photography with great variety – different environments, dating photos with date vibes, indoor dating app shots, outdoor dating pics, etc..

Let’s start with dating photography locations in Bellevue proper. 

My favorite locations for dating photography in Bellevue, WA

Bellevue Downtown Park has lots of grass, benches all around, and gorgeous city backdrops for dating photos with sweeping views right in the heart of the city. Third Culture Coffee is just across the street and has big windows and leather chairs for cozy coffeeshop dating photos.

If skyscrapers and high-end urban settings are your jam, we could do your online dating photoshoot in Bellevue near the Bravern. A favorite rendezvous spot for coffeeshop dating photos is Story Coffee Bellevue (big windows, classic PNW coffeeshop atmosphere, and parking nearby (I’m a practical woman)).

For cute, small-town vibes I love old Bellevue, along Main street. Gilberts on Main serves up basic breakfast fare and has outdoor seating that is perfect for cafe dating photos.

If you love to be near water, why not shoot some of your dating app photos on Lake Washington!

A little-known treasure of a dating photography spot in Bellevue is Meydenbauer Bay Park. There’s a legit sandy beach (rare in the Pacific Northwest), a beautiful curved dock (and a floating dock that’s usually covered in goose poo but nevermind), and lovely paved walking paths, park benches, and tables. My client Bijan loves cold plunges so he straight-up walked into Lake Washington in the dead of winter at the end of our Bellevue dating profile photoshoot! 🥶

Plus, Bellevue Marina is right there and you can rent Kayaks and paddleboards from the REI boathouse! Rumor has it there’s a house on Lake Washington with a real T-Rex skeleton on full display that can sometimes be spotted through the window from the water (seeing this T-Rex is on my summer kayak creeper bucket list, lol!)

There’s also a newer part of Bellevue that I have yet to properly explore called the Spring District. Bellevue Brewing Company is a perfect spot to snap some date-vibes online dating profile photos.

Mercer Island dating photography spots 

Mercer Island is just a short drive from Bellevue and, although small and mostly residential, it’s got a couple of real treasures in terms of places to shoot photos for your online dating profile.

First up, my absolute favorite bookstore on the eastside, Island Books. If you’re a big reader and want to show that in your online dating photos, one way to do it is to get a picture of you reading (choose a title you’re ready to talk about! Dating photos with books can be great conversation starters). 

Another way to feature reading in, say, one of your Hinge profile photos, is to have a dating photo taken at a bookstore. Plus, a bookstore is a  great spot to take a date! So much to talk about as you browse the aisles (and dating photos in settings you might take a date are extra good because they invite matches to imagine being on a date with you!). Island Books on Mercer Island has the perfect mix of nostalgia, and classic rom-com bookstore vibes, trust me you’ll love it.

Another favorite spot for dating photography on Mercer Island is Luther Burbank Park. It’s a huge, gorgeous park with multiple Lake Washington access points. Dreammmyyyy. Plus it has courts for tennis dating photos and pickle-ball dating shots!

If you’re a foodie and love to cook (both super appealing qualities in a lover!), hit up the Metropolitan Market on Mercer Island for some dating photos of you gathering ingredients to make your favorite home-cooked meal.

Places to take dating photos in Issaquah, WA 

There are two main things I love about shooting dating app photos in Issaquah: small town aesthetics and allll the outdoorsy vibes, close at hand: mountains, woods, parks, trails, creeks, and Lake Sammamish. Plus I live in Issaquah so I extra love this place. Here are some of my favorite spots for online dating photos in Issaquah:

Front Street is the original main drag through Issaquah and is lined with cute shops and restaurants for dating photos with charming small town vibes and mountains in the background. El 42 Cantina is one of my favorite local watering holes and a great spot for casual dating photos in Issaquah. They have cute outdoor seating (red stools! String lights!) and fantastic margaritas and Mexican food. 

For my outdoorsy folks, Issaquah is wonderful for online dating photos because there are woods and mountains just a short drive from Front Street (in fact, you can walk from El 42 Cantina to the Sunset trail head on Tiger Mountain). Park in the little parking lot, throw on your hiking books, and we can get some fabulous hiking dating photos just a little ways up the trail! Squawk Mountain also has some great trails for hiking dating photos in Issaquah. 

If parks are more your jam, Confluence Park has rolling lawns, walking paths, willow trees, and lots of spots to hang up your hammock near the creek. {liz & mac]

. . .

And there you have it! Give me a shout if you’re ready to plan your Bellevue dating photoshoot with a professional dating photographer (me!).

And if you’re going to improve your online dating photos yourself, don’t get stuck thinking the only good dating photography spots are in Seattle! Check out Bellevue, Mercer Island, and Issaquah! 

Don’t worry, it’s not just you.

Turns out nobody is good at choosing their own dating profile photos.

One thing most folks know without being told – choosing photos for your online dating profile is HARD. Like, really really hard. 

Whether you’re using Hinge, Bumble, Match.com, or any of the other dating apps, your online dating profile is a marketing project. Let me say that again:

Your online dating profile is a marketing project.

The product you are marketing happens to be a person, who happens to be you. 

Now, right off the bat that’s tricky – marketing is an entire industry, people go to school for that shit! But then add in the fact that the product is…YOU?

The stakes are high (wasting your time on bad matches when you could be falling in love), your expertise level is low (you’re no online marketer), and that’s just the start.

There are four key reasons why we are each the worst person to choose our own dating profile photos:

REASON #1

Here’s something obvious but that you may never have thought of: 

You’ve been looking at yourself in the mirror your whole life.

Guess what’s weird about the version of you that you see in the mirror? It’s a flipped version of what everybody else sees – it’s your mirror image. 

If your face isn’t completely symmetrical (most aren’t) you look different in the mirror than you do in person. It might seem subtle but it matters. 

A study about profile photo selection was done that showed that people tend to prefer photos of themselves that have been “flipped” to show their mirror image, but when looking at photos of others, people prefer the “actual” image, the way that person looks when face-to-face in real life. 

The photos of yourself that you think are the best? They’re different from the photos of you that other people think are the best.

The whole point of your dating profile is to attract * other people * so…this is a problem. As I like to say, “you are not your target audience”.

Which brings me to…

REASON #2

This is the tender subject of what I’ll gently refer to as warped self-image. It’s that thing where how you think you look does not totally line up with how you actually look.

You are unreasonably critical of your appearance.

In my decade+ experience as a photographer (and my many decades as a human), I’ve noticed that just about everybody experiences at least a smidge of this, and some folks have it pretty bad. If you literally hate how you look in almost every photo, you definitely have it. 

If you look at a photo of yourself and immediately zero in on all the parts of your appearance that bother you (ugh, my nose is too big, one of my eyes is smaller than the other, my teeth aren’t perfect…), you are not seeing clearly. Because here’s the thing:

>> NOBODY LOOKS AT US THE WAY WE LOOK AT OURSELVES.

Most of us are critical of how we look and can easily slice and dice our appearance into separate parts, but do we do this when we look at other people? When we meet someone fun at a bar or pass a stranger on the street? No, we don’t. 

When we look at other people we are naturally drawn toward a warm, genuine smile, body language that feels relaxed and in-the-moment. We respond to someone’s poise and attitude and energy, not the fact that their teeth are slightly crooked or their hair isn’t perfect. In fact, often the things we read as imperfections in ourselves can come across as endearing and relatable to others. 

If you are looking at photos of yourself for your online dating profile, and you feel yourself dissecting your appearance, stop, regroup, and remind yourself that nobody else is looking at you this way.

REASON #3

You know too much (about yourself and the story behind each photo).

You know yourself better than anybody. And, your own photos are naturally filled with meaning and context – you know when they were taken, how you felt, what was going on around you. 

You might be really drawn to a photo of yourself that was taken in a situation where you felt happy and in-the-moment. But does your facial expression and body language (*without having any other context*) effectively communicate happy and in-the-moment? Maybe not!

When strangers look at photos of you all they have to react to is the raw visual material in the photo; they don’t know you, they’re not familiar with your sense of humor or quirks or the story behind the photo. 

It is crucial when choosing dating profile photos that they be chosen as if looking at you through a stranger’s eyes. 

Most of us find this way of looking at ourselves (objectively, from an unfamiliar stance) difficult if not downright impossible.

This is also the reason why your friends (siblings, co-workers, parents) are also not great people to help you choose your best online dating profile photos –they know you already. 

[ If you haven’t heard of Photofeeler, it’s worth a look. It’s an attempt to solve this problem by essentially crowd-sourcing profile photo selection ].

REASON #4

Last but not least is the most straight-forward, practical obstacle to choosing your best dating profile photos:

It’s impossible to choose great dating profile photos if you hardly have any to choose from in the first place.

via GIPHY

I won’t say much about this other than it’s the boat most people are in, especially if you are old enough to not have grown up with a smartphone and social media.

Unless you’re into instagram or a shameless selfie queen or happen to have a friend or family member who loves taking your picture, most adults (myself included) simply don’t have much in the way of suitable dating photos in their camera roll. So…you lack material. 

No amount of skillful dating photo choosing can compensate for the fact of slim pickins in the raw materials department.


To sum it up…

If it feels super hard to choose your own online dating profiles, it’s because you are human.

Just by being aware of this fact, and the reasons why, will give you a giant leg-up toward becoming a better judge of your own profile photos. 

Wanna know what’s even better than trying to overcome your own human instincts? Outsource that shit! Bring in an expert (me me me!) to solve the problem for you.

When you book a Whole 9 dating photography package it includes dating profile photo curation: I strategically hand-pick and sequence your dating photos for a profile that kicks maximum ass.


Dating profile photo curation can also be added to a Level-Up dating photography package!  I’ll blend your best existing profile photos with your new dating photos in the best possible order.

Meet Kyle!

When Kyle reached out he told me he was about to move to Japan for work and had semi-recently gotten out of a long term relationship. So he was about to get back into online dating and wanted to be intentional about it. He said,

“I’m ready to meet my future wife.”

Kyle sent me nine of his current dating photos. Some of them he had used on his Hinge profile, some he had used on Bumble, some were just sitting in his camera roll.

Kyle told me he already had some pretty solid dating photos. He was right!

Here are the dating photos Kyle shared:

Kyle's before dating photos

3 of Kyle’s dating photos stood out to me as definite keepers:

Here’s the run-down of Kyle’s best dating photos from left to right:

The Level-Up Dating Photography Package was perfect for Kyle.

Kyle already had some great online dating photos, he just needed some new ones to mix in to make his dating profile irresistible.

To round out his current dating photos and make his Bumble and Hinge profiles kick maximum ass, I made a plan. The kinds of dating photos Kyle needed were:

Kyle changing his shoes during his dating photo shoot

Dating Photography Package: Level Up

Photoshoot Location: Bellevue, WA

Upgrades: Zoom Style Session + Dating Profile Photo Curation

Here’s what we did for Kyle’s Level-Up dating photography session

Kyle is a die-hard pour-over coffee fan so starting his dating photoshoot at a coffeeshop was a no-brainer. On his photoshoot planning questionnaire he shared that he lives in Issaquah and generally likes suburban vibes; he also loves being near water and especially around marinas.

We settled on Bellevue for Kyle’s dating profile photoshoot location — not the swanky high-risey part of Bellevue, old Bellevue, along Main St. with those suburban vibes and lots of visual variety — shops, restaurants, the park, and a marina just a few blocks away!

Kyle liked the clothes he had in his wardrobe but wanted help planning outfits for his dating photoshoot, so he added a Zoom Style Session to his Level-Up dating photo package. We went through his closet and put together a variety of outfits for his dating photography session. 

We wanted a semi-dressy date-night look for Kyle but couldn’t find one he felt great in (he had an old suit jacket that we liked but it didn’t work with jeans and a full suit felt too formal). I recommended the brand Rodd & Gunn and Kyle made a quick run to Nordstrom over the weekend to pick up a beautiful, casual blazer to wear with jeans:

Kyle sent me a quick pic from the dressing room at Nordstrom in Bellevue Square

Kyle was scheduled to fly to Japan right after his dating photoshoot so we crossed our fingers for good weather (in October…in the PNW…). Miraculously we got it! We had a beautiful sunny day for Kyle’s photoshoot and we had a great time exploring Bellevue together (including coffee, date vibes, the marina (we saw turtles!), and reading at the park).

After his dating photo shoot Kyle told me,

I really enjoyed the shoot! I was surprised at how fun it was. Thanks for making it a good experience. I fly out tomorrow morning so thanks for squeezing me into the schedule and making this work out.

Kyle’s dating photography gallery included over 100 new online dating photos!

Here’s a sneak peek at a few of my favorite shots:

After Kyle’s photoshoot, Kyle was overwhelmed by the number of new dating photos he had to choose from and wanted help choosing which photos (and in what order) to use for his new Hinge profile so he added dating profile photo curation to his Level-Up package.

I hand-picked photos for Kyle’s new Hinge profile — choosing the best dating photos and placing them in strategic order for maximum swooning 🥰.

Kyle’s new Hinge profile blended 3 of the best dating photos he already had, with 3 new dating photos from his professional dating photo shoot.

Check out Kyle’s new Hinge profile:

Kyle looks handsome, he looks real, he looks totally genuine and approachable, and he looks FUN. 

Total hubby material! 😍😍😍

. . .

If Kyle’s experience sounds like something that could work for you, to take your online dating profile from so-so to SO GOOD, hit me up!

And don’t wait until you’re not nervous (nerves are normal) — once you’re just a little more excited than you are nervous, now is the time. I’m ready when you are!

>>>BOOK YOU DATING PHOTO SESSION

OMG one of my dating photography clients got married! 😭😭😭

I’m all sorts of choked up about this for so many reasons — first, Vinicio is just a gem of a human being and one of my first online dating photography clients (before I had any sort of a plan or a system and was just winging it trying to help people find love).

Vinicio is kind, creative, he’s hilarious, and he has a smile so big and bright it melts glass.

If you’ve ever visited my sister site for professional headshot photos (Icon Photo), you’ve seen Vinicio– he’s been the cover man on my homepage for a long time. Plus he’s in my new BTS video on the the dating photography packages page!

online dating photo Belltown

Vinicio booked a Level-Up dating photography package and we did his photoshoot around Belltown and at the Olympic Sculpture Park. After the photo shoot we stayed in touch and became bona-fide friends. After a while Vinicio tells me he’s met someone really special — Whitney (coincidentally, also a photographer!). He tells me she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and he’s completely head over heels. Time passes, I keep hearing about Whitney, and then Vinicio tells me he’s going to ask her to marry him!

She said yes (!!) and after hearing so many wonderful things about Whitney I finally got to meet her! We did an engagement photography session at Rattlesnake Lake and Whitney is indeed as special as Vinicio described. Plus, she’s got a smile that’s as contagious and high-voltage as Vinicio’s (something I did not think was possible).

Below are some highlights from our engagement photo shoot, a little Q&A with Whitney, and a wedding snapshot at the very end 💍🥂

Andrea: So, which dating app did you and Vinicio first match on? And, when you first encountered his online dating profile how did Vinicio come across to you? What drew you to him?

Whitney: We matched on Hinge! The first thing I noticed about Vinicio was that he had a beautiful & kind smile. His photos gave me butterflies 🦋. 

Andrea: Was there a particular photo on his dating profile that captured your attention? What vibes did you get from his online dating photos? 

Whitney: My favorite photo of him was the one where he was in his purple shirt. Purple is my favorite color. I felt like the fact that he chose to wear purple showed his confidence & ability to be himself. I also liked the photo of him where he almost looked like he was laughing, with his origami shirt.

Andrea: Yesssss! When I’m helping my dating photography clients decide what to wear for dating profile photos I always encourage them to include a shirt in a bold color — color is eye catching and says “I’m not trying to blend in with the background”. I love that Vinicio’s purple shirt captured your attention.

Whitney: He looked so warm and inviting, like he had a kind soul. Since I’m a professional photographer, I tend to be more drawn to professional dating photos.

Vinicio’s photos made me feel he cared about how he was perceived and wanted to put his best foot forward and invest in dating photos that highlight him in the best way. 

Andrea: Right?! So you’re saying Vinicio’s dating photos didn’t just make him look good, they gave you a sense that he was self aware and he was making an effort to present himself well. Some men are concerned that professional dating photos will make them look like they’re trying too hard when in reality, most women see professional dating photos as a very good thing.

Alright, so when you met up in person, where was your first date? Did Vinicio come across in person like he did in his photos? (in other words, was he how you expected/hoped he would be based on his dating profile?) 

Whitney: Vinicio and I met up in person 2 days after matching on the Hinge. We couldn’t wait to meet! We had long, deep conversations over text and were excited to see if the connection continued in person. We met at the Olympic Sculpture Park for a walking date, and then went to Umi Sake House for dinner.

Vinicio was everything I thought he would be and more. He was handsome, a gentleman, kind, and so easy to talk to. 

Andrea: I love that — he is definitely all of those things! So, what has happened since that first date? 

Whitney: Since our first date we couldn’t get enough of each other! We quickly set up follow up dates, and continued to talk endlessly over text. We fell hard and fast for each other. We spent a lot of time really getting to know each other. We talked about our pasts and what made us who we are today, as well as what we see for our future. We were so aligned!

We became exclusive within the first week of dating, and also told each other we were in love. Before the end of the first month we were officially together and a year and 3 months later we got married.

They say “when you know you know!” and I think that is entirely true with Vinicio and I.

I knew right away I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him! I know he’ll continue to be a partner in life and we’ll always work hard to make each other happy, and feel supported and loved.

Our wedding was a simple ceremony on Alki Beach and we plan to having a 2nd destination wedding ceremony with our families in 2024.

Andrea: Ok I’m in a full-blown swoon 🥰. You look So beautiful (and happy!) in your wedding photos. So, what’s next for the two of you?

Whitney: Our next adventure is buying a home and moving to Spokane and then starting our family! 

Alright folks, there you have it! My first officially blogged professional dating photography client success story 😭. Cheers to Vinicio and Whitney and stay tuned for more dating photo happy endings on the blog.

Ready to set yourself up for your own happy ending? Let’s get you some new dating profile photos so you can meet your future spouse too.

There’s a popular bit of data that says dating photos with dogs get positive responses on dating apps. Which leads some people (mostly dudes, bless their hearts) to think they *should* have a photo with a dog on their dating profile.

More matches, right?

Well, maybe. But there’s a potential pitfall here that I want to help you avoid.

TLDR:

If you have a dog:

100% YES your dog should appear in one of your dating profile photos (just one! You don’t need to oversample on your dog; use your other dating app photos to highlight other parts of your life).

If you don’t have a dog:

Then typically no, you should not have a dog in your dating profile photos. I’ll explain.

Should you include a dog photo in your dating profile?

Let’s break things down and get some clarity on dog dating photos so you don’t accidentally do something dumb on your dating profile.

Question one is: do you have a dog? 

If the answer is no, I would caution you against having a dating photo with a dog. Why? Because people will (reasonably) assume that the dog in the photo is…your dog.  

Thinking about renting a dog for your dating profile pics?

I’ve actually had multiple dating photography clients ask me variations of “should I rent a dog for my dating photoshoot?”.

Definitely do not rent a dog! (is this even a service? I had to google it. YES, you really can rent a dog in Seattle.) Don’t even borrow your friend’s dog for your dating profile photoshoot.

Think about it like this – would it be a good idea to rent a Ferrari (or borrow your buddy’s) to stand next to in one of your dating app photos? 

No! Because people will assume that it’s your Ferrari and (this is the important part), they will factor it into the mental picture they’re forming about you and your lifestyle and what it might be like to date you. 

Your dating photos aren’t just about showing people what you look like, they’re about giving people clues and glimpses into your life. 

If the clues you give about yourself in your dating profile photos are misleading (even if by accident), you might get some good matches and first dates, but it’s likely going to be hard to get second dates. *People HATE being misled, especially on dating apps*.

Ok, circling back to the dog situation.

Who responds positively to dog photos on dating apps?

The simple answer is: people who like dogs.

Most likely, when you match with one of these dog people they will ask about your dog fairly early in your interactions (whether that’s in a message or in person on a first date). Dogs are great conversation starters!

If the dog was borrowed (or rented, lol!) when asked about your dog you will have to reply something like “oh, it’s actually not my dog…” and then: 

So, for your matches who love dogs, you’re starting off by disappointing them. 

The drawbacks of including a dog in your dating profile photos…

But there’s another invisible downside here in the form of the people you *don’t* match with.

Like, what about that beautiful woman with the cat who is looking for a long-term live-in lover? She just swiped left on you because she (again, reasonably) assumed that it was your dog in your dating photo and dogs are a no-go with her cat. 

Or what about the babe who loves international travel? She just passed you by because she wants a travel companion and a dog is typically not compatible with that kind of lifestyle. 

See what I’m getting at here?

If you DON’T have a dog, having a dog in one of your dating photos will attract people who will assume it’s your dog (and that you have a lifestyle that involves living with a dog). It will also filter out people for whom a dog is a deal-breaker. DOUBLE NEGATIVE 👎🏼👎🏼!  

I have a dog! Should I include my dog in my dating profile photos?

If you DO have a dog, then YES! 100% yes you should show your dog in one of your dating photos. You will attract people who love dogs, and you’ll filter out the ones who don’t. DOUBLE POSITIVE 👍🏼👍🏼!  

How to choose a photo of you and your dog for your online dating profile:

A couple notes on implementation:

If you really want your dog photo to work for you on your dating profile, choose one that shows you having a moment of genuine connection and interaction with your dog! Pick a photo where not only do you look good, but your dog looks happy and relaxed (a dating photo of you looking attractive next to a stressed out animal is baaaaad. I don’t care what kind of animal it is, don’t do it).

And it is ok if your dog is the focus of the photo! Just make sure that if your dog it the center of attention you put the photo at the end of your dating profile, after you’ve already shared some great photos where you are the star.

Alright, let’s wrap it up with a couple of edge cases:

Q: What if my dog died recently, do I have to get rid of the photo on my dating profile of me and my dog? 

A: No, as long you’re okay with being asked about the dog and being honest about no longer having him/her in your life. If you’re ok with fielding those kinds of questions I could see it being a positive (you’re being honest and vulnerable, sharing your sense of loss, these could be attractive to some potential mates), OR negative (this could be pretty heavy/sad for when you’re first getting to know someone, especially if you’re likely to burst into tears when you talk about it). Your call.

Q: What if it’s not my dog but it’s a dog that I know and am close with.

A: If it’s a dog that is in your life in a consistent way, that you have a relationship with (like, your best friend’s dog or your parent’s dog or a dog you babysit semi-regularly), this is not as bad as just a rando dog. But you’ll still risk missing matches with people for whom living with a dog is a deal breaker. Again, your call.

dating photography with cat

Q: What if I have a cat?

A: If you’re a cat person, the same logic applies to you!

If you live with a cat (and especially if that cat is part of a package deal for anybody who dates you) it will benefit you to show that cat in one of your dating profile photos!

You’ll attract babes who also like cats and avoid wasting your time on ones who don’t (or who are allergic to cats).

online dating profile photo with cat

Alright friend! Hopefully this gives you some clarity on dating photos with dog (and cats!). It’s not as simple as “dog photos = more matches on dating apps”, but it is pretty damn simple!

A dating photo with YOUR dog (or cat)? >> 👍🏼 YES, put that puppy on your dating profile!

A dating photo with NOT your dog (or cat)? >> 👎🏼 NO, don’t put on your online dating profile.

For more real-talk, common-sense dating app photography advice, check out 3 Rules for Group Photos on Dating Apps and Remove These 5 Photos from Your Dating Profile ASAP.

And for my full attention applying all this good advice to create and curate a set of kick-ass, super intentional dating photos for yourself, hit me up!

In my last post I introduced Tannya, my favorite personal stylist and game-changer for anybody needing help choosing clothes for their online dating photography session (and for their life in general).

I’m a huge fan of Tannya’s and basically adopting her onto my previously one-woman professional dating photography dream team. The dozens of clients who have combined Tannya’s styling with my professional dating photography have all reported not only ridiculously great results (more matches with people they’re excited about dating!), but also a more holistic experience of boosted confidence and positive self image.

To make it a little easier for you to imagine how it might go if you hire Tannya to style you for your online dating photography session, here’s a look at how it went for Harsh.

When Harsh and I first spoke about dating photography he confessed that he did not feel great about his wardrobe in general, let alone putting together 9+ killer outfits for his new dating app photos.

I told Harsh what I tell everybody who needs help with their wardrobe– “don’t worry, I know someone who can help!” and then I introduced him to Tannya. I caught up with the two of them after Harsh’s photoshoot to get the scoop on the styling process. Here’s what they had to say…

Andrea: Harsh, what was the main reason you wanted help shopping? What were you struggling with when it came to your personal style in general and prepping for your dating photography session specifically?

Harsh: Oh, I just didn’t know where to begin. Over the years, I had a collected a few pieces of clothing which looked nice at the store, but once I brought them home, I had no idea how to wear them. This caused me to put on the traditional Software Engineer look of wearing an oversized hoodie with washed out jeans. Co-ordinating outfits always felt overwhelming, be it wearing the correct fit, or arranging different pieces together.

The biggest thing holding me back from arranging the online dating photoshoot was my wardrobe. After finding your website, I felt confident enough to just approach you. Then you pointed me to Tannya, and things just started to look a lot easier.

These were some of the dating photos Harsh had been using on his Hinge and Bumble profiles before hiring me:

Andrea: Tannya, you told me Harsh was pretty typical in terms of what he had in his closet to start and what wasn’t working. Tell me about that.

Tannya: When I work with new clients, I always start in their closet. The shopping process is not about ignoring your past and wiping the slate clean, it’s about learning from your past to make better decisions moving forward. Your closet is key to identifying what your style is right now, and what you need to update to take it to the next level.

With men, there’s usually a similar style story. Their clothing is either way too casual with a lot of old graphic tees, levis jeans and overly worn athletic tennis shoes or they try to dress up way too much with dated button downs that are overflowing on their body and using an old suit jacket as a blazer to pair with jeans.

That sweet spot, the in-between style of knowing how to dress up your casual wear or feel put together for an evening date without wearing a suit is the common problem.

After our initial Zoom call, I met Harsh at his condo in Seattle for an in-person Closet Edit. He had a walk-in closet with a few go-to button downs and a mix of polos and tees. He had some clothes from Armani, Express, and Ralph Lauren but they didn’t really mix together well. Harsh loves color so his casual wear looked like summer clothes with yellows, pinks, and bright blue. In contrast, his evening wear was very dark and mysterious. He really didn’t have much he could mix and match.

Harsh also had a total lack of layering pieces (think jackets, blazers, hoodies, etc.) which is important for men to create more depth in their wardrobe and be able to pull together a variety of looks. 

Andrea: Ok I have to interject here on the topic of layering. During a dating photoshoot, I work to get photos of my client in as many different outfits as possible so it feels like their dating photos were shot on different days and so we can give off a sense of them as a dynamic, multi-dimensional person. 

Layering is clutch during a dating photoshoot because it lets us get what feels like multiple outfits out of the same basic outfit – throwing on a jacket takes just a second and turns one outfit into two! People who incorporate layering into their dating photoshoot wardrobe end up with more variety in their new online dating photos than people who don’t layer. 

Ok back to you, Tannya! Harsh needed to step up his layer game…

Tannya: Yes! Layering is a wonderful thing. Harsh did actually have one blazer he never wore because it was an old suit blazer. This is super common– a lot of my male clients hold onto an old suit blazer that they haven’t worn for years. It’s too dressy to wear with jeans and more often than not, it’s not a great fit.

PSA for the men out there–if you ever interview for a new job again, you’ll want a new modern jacket, shirt, or suit to reflect the times right now and not when you last bought that piece. It’s ok to let go of an expensive suit and get an up to date version when you need it.

Andrea: Love it! Harsh, what was the most helpful thing during this part of the styling experience for you?

Harsh: The whole process of working with Tannya was amazing. During the first Zoom call, it was easy to express my concerns and Tannya’s immense experience was obvious not only in her answers to my questions but in the questions she asked me.

When the time came to sort out what was already in my wardrobe, Tannya patiently explained why some pieces needed to go. A lot of clutter in my closet was cleaned up in one afternoon, Clothes which did not fit well. Pants which were too short. Pants which were too square. Colors which did not suit me. Patterns which did nothing for my style. They all went into the donation bin.

Andrea: Ok so first, figure out what’s working and purge what’s not. Tannya, what happened next?

Tannya: Next came shopping for new items! My shopping list for Harsh looked like this:

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the outfits we put together for Harsh- notice that everything can be mixed and matched for multiple outfits from the same pieces.

Our plan was to build upon the items that were already working in Harsh’s current wardrobe by adding pieces to round out a versatile and super easy-to-wear spring/summer wardrobe. You’d be surprised that you only need about 15 – 20 pieces including shoes to create 30+ unique head-to-toe looks. When I’m shopping for a client I make sure sure everything they purchase:

For Harsh’s shopping trip we had two hours together at Bellevue Square. I showed up to the mall an hour before Harsh and put clothing on hold at 4 stores: Nordstrom, Ted Baker, Seattle Thread Company, and Banana Republic. At that point, Harsh showed up and we went to each store where a dressing room was waiting for him with all of the items I had picked out for him. Harsh picked out his favorite pieces at each store and took them home to blend with his existing wardrobe.

Andrea: Harsh, how was the shopping trip for you?

Harsh: I loved how Tannya was able to pick out clothes which fit perfectly no matter which store we were at. My shirt size varies from Medium to Large depending on the brand, and for the most part, she knew which brand’s medium and which brand’s large would fit me best.

One highlight is that now I have a sports jacket which fits so well and goes with jeans so it’s really easy to dress up or dress down throughout the day or night.

Overall, the most amazing thing about the shopping experience was how easy putting together outfits and matching things became. Tannya provided an initial list of outfits, but as time went on, I’ve been able to mix and match without much thought.

Andrea: I love this–Tannya for the mix-and-match win! 🙌🏻 So, how did you feel wearing your new outfits (during your dating photography session but also in your day-to-day life after the photoshoot)? What’s changed in how you feel when you get dressed and go out (whether it’s with your friends or on a date or just to grab a bite to eat)?

Harsh: The most amazing part of having the outfits styled to my needs is how my body language has changed. My posture has drastically improved, and has given me motivation to work out more.

It’s also amazing that Tannya was able to pick outfits which worked so well for the shoot. I never felt uncomfortable during the process, and Andrea made it feel natural with her conversation style. At one point, I even forgot that there’s a camera in front of me.

To sum up the experience, it felt like it was just me being comfortable in an amazing city, on a brilliant day, in company of an excellent photographer while wearing wonderful outfits, which were picked out by an outstanding stylist.

Andrea: At this point if Tannya were here in person we would be attempting a jumping double high-five, lol! This makes me so happy 🥰

Folks, if you’re like Harsh and your wardrobe is getting in the way of you having a kick-ass high-converting set of super authentic, intentional dating profile photos, hit me up and get Tannya in the mix–we’ve got you covered.

I’ll leave you with a couple sporty shots of Harsh because he’s just too cute and handsome and he looks great in workout clothes too. Thanks for sharing your experience Harsh! And for being completely delightful in general 💕

To learn more about Tannya and her process, check out this blog post and head over to her website myclosetedit.com.


Ready to hire my as your online daring photographer? Schedule a call!

This post is for folks who need some help figuring out what to wear for their online dating photography session (and maybe just… in general). 

Your dating profile photoshoot isn’t *about* your clothes, not by a long stretch. But what you wear will definitely have a big impact on your new online dating photos.

Clothes are one of several tools we’ll use in your dating photography session to give potential partners on dating apps more information about you and your life.

The effect of what you wear in your online dating photos is a lot like the effect of what you wear for an actual date.

The downside: If you show up to a date wearing clothing that doesn’t fit you well or that you don’t feel like yourself in, your date will probably notice because you’ll be giving off subtle (or maybe not so subtle) nonverbal cues that project hesitance and uncertainty (not attractive) rather than confidence and presence (ridiculously attractive). The same thing can happen with your online dating photos – people are amazing at picking up nonverbal signals even from a split-second glance at a photo. 

The upside: If your online dating photos show you rocking quality, well-fitted clothes in a range of styles from casual to dressy…

If you’re nodding along like “yeah, this all makes sense and sounds true”, good! If you need some help putting it into actual practice, don’t worry— help is here:

Enter Tannya– personal stylist for everyday folks like me and you.

Tannya gets it. Like, really gets it. She has the same ethos as me: we don’t need to transform you to fit some sort of standard or mold–what we’re going to do instead is tease out the authentic you and get you looking and feeling like the best version of yourself for your real, actual life. She’s not about telling you what you “should” wear or educating you about what’s trending or dressing you up in things you wouldn’t actually wear on the daily.

As a personal stylist, Tannya basically comes in and does the wardrobe version of what I do with online dating photography.

In other words:

Tannya has come to the rescue of so many of my dating photography clients who are struggling with what to wear for their new dating app photos and, now that you mention it, are not stoked about their wardrobe in general (a problem not only for the dating photography session but also when it comes time to go on dates). They know they need some new clothes, but they don’t know what to buy and aren’t excited about shopping. Now that they’ve got a dating photoshoot on the calendar, it’s the perfect nudge to finally update their wardrobe.

It was actually one of my dating photography clients who originally introduced me to Tannya (shoutout to Hrik!). 

During his online dating photoshoot Hrik just kept pulling out one bangin’ outfit after another (Hrik is only 20 so this level of style and swagger was really notable). The pivotal moment went something like this

Me to Hrik after about the 3rd killer outfit: “Damn, Hrik, every outfit you put on is fresh AF. Your style game is on POINT!”

Hrik: “Thanks, it’s basically all new clothes! I hired this person Tannya to shop for me.”

Me: “OMG Tannya-who?! I NEED TO KNOW HER!”

I reached out to Tannya that same afternoon and have pretty much been obsessed ever since. At this point, not only have I hired Tannya for myself, my dear friend, and my partner, I’ve also referred dozens of my dating photography clients to her and every damn one shows up to their dating photoshoot looking fantastic, and also looking like they’re wearing clothes they’ve always owned (in other words, everybody looks relaxed authentic and not at all like somebody else dressed them). 

Tannya doesn’t have one set style or or narrow wheelhouse–she can style ANYBODY (whether your style has some urban hip-hop flavors like Hrik’s, or whether you’ve got more of a classic gentleman or feminine girl-next door situation style).

Tannya’s goal is to help you give off confident, feel-good vibes in your dating photos (and your everyday life) by setting you up with clothes you (wait for it…) actually feel confident and good in!

She’s not about formulas or hacks (neither am I). She’s about what’s real, what’s practical, and what’s authentically YOU.

If you’re curious about working with Tannya check out her website myclosetedit.com and schedule your Closet Edit asap! You can thank me later 😘


For more tips on dating photography wardrobe check out these other posts:

What to wear in your dating profile photos and,

Why dress up for dating photos

[This post is written for the fellas but it can apply to ladies as well]

If you’re thinking about putting some thought and intention into upgrading your dating profile photos, wardrobe will definitely come into play. In fact one of the questions I get most often from people hiring me to be their dating photographer is “what should I wear?”.

For general tips on dating photo wardrobe, check out my posts: What to Wear in Your Dating Profile Photos and Men’s Style Tips from an Image Consultant.

But this post isn’t about what to wear for dating photos in general; it’s specifically about why you should dress up for at least one of the photos in your dating profile.  

Let’s start with the premise that “dressed up” is a spectrum. I’m gonna go ahead and put TUXEDO at the far end of that spectrum for men– maximum dressed up. Relax, I’m not asking you to wear a tuxedo for your dating photos, lol!  Although it might not be a bad idea, but we’ll get to that.

On the other end of the spectrum…well, that’s a little more subject to personal interpretation. Depending on where you grew up and your current budget and lifestyle, the other end of the “dressed up” spectrum could very well be anything that’s not sweatpants. I’m kidding but also kind of not kidding #PNWstyle

But let’s get a little more clear. When I say I want you to choose at least one outfit that is “dressed up” for your new dating profile photos, I mean I want you to choose something that you could respectably wear into an expensive restaurant or as a guest at a semi-formal wedding. At the very least, something that wouldn’t embarrass your mom or your date, but ideally something you look and feel really handsome and put-together in. 

Because here’s the thing:

women love a man who dresses sharp when an occasion calls for it.

Even the chillest, most casual woman doesn’t want to show up to a nice event with a scrub as her date. 

It’s totally okay if 99% of the time you wear jeans and a T-shirt. Notice I did not say sweatpants and a T shirt? In my opinion, sweatpants should be reserved for home and the gym but that can be a topic for another conversation (and yes I’m aware they make “fancy” sweatpants now, in fact I own some myself) But I digress.

It’s okay if 99% of the time you dress super casually. It’s even okay if you wear casual clothes in most of your dating photos (although I don’t advise it– hitting multiple points along the dressed-up spectrum is a better strategy–you’ll come across as more multi-dimensional). 

However casually you typically dress, I strongly advise that one of the outfits you wear in your dating profile photos is at the far end of *your* dressed-up spectrum. 


If, when you dig deep, the best you can muster is jeans and a polo shirt– hit it! That’s better than nothing. But if you can take it a step further and upgrade to a well-fitted button-down shirt with a collar–even better!

Things start getting really good when you take that polo or button-down collared shirt up another notch and pair it with a jacket, whether that’s a blazer or sport coat, a nice wool coat, etc.

In fact, there is one recipe that women across the board seem to love on men (and it’s the reason tuxedos have been so iconic for so many generations): 

A light-colored or white shirt underneath a dark jacket is a slam-dunk.

Something about the contrast of the light and dark, and the structure of the jacket just…works. Its classic, timeless, masculine. Women dig it. It could be a full-on matching suit but it could also be slacks or dark denim and that combo up top, even a white T-shirt + blazer. You can play with the details but the light/white shirt + dark tailored jacket is always good.

I’ve even heard it said that a (well-tailored) suit is like lingerie for a man. Mmmhmm. 

Let me say that part again for the folks in the back– a suit is a slam dunk but it needs to be WELL TAILORED (this means–it fits you just right). Matter of fact, all of the clothes you wear in your dating profile photos should fit you just right.

Bottom line: don’t make women guess whether you clean up well when the occasion calls for it; *show* them with at least one dating profile photo where you’re looking dressy and polished. 


For more real-talk one-on-one advice about what you should wear in your dating profile photos, hit me up! It comes free when you hire me as your professional dating photographer 😉

If you do some searching you can find a lot of different answers and opinions on the questions of whether and when to include a group photo in your online dating profile. You know, a photo of you and your buddies, an “everybody get together for a pic!” pic. 

I’ve even heard it called a “social proof” dating photo–I guess the presumption being that potential dating app matches need cold hard visual evidence that you…have friends? 

I can see some logic to this I guess, since having at least one friend is important to overall health and longevity and also just part of a good life. But I also know that a dating profile is not meant to be a comprehensive survey of a person (how could it be?) and that some things can (and should) be left to assumption, interpretation, and the first date. 

For example, if your Hinge profile is filled with dating photos of you looking healthy, engaging, and active, it’s probably safe to assume you have at least a couple of friends.

I also get that you might want to throw a group photo in your dating profile because it’s one of the only decent photos you have of yourself. If you’re sifting through your camera roll for something, anything to throw on your dating profile, I’m talking to you. 

My goal here is not to tell you that you should or shouldn’t have a group photo on your dating app, but rather give you criteria so you can evaluate particular group photos and avoid accidentally putting one on your dating profile that ends up working against you.

A group photo, unless it satisfies 3 important criteria, can actually be a net-negative on your online dating profile by annoying, distracting, and confusing potential matches. 

Here’s what I mean:

Dating profile group shots can be annoying…

If I’m looking at a group photo on your dating profile and I can’t tell within a split second which person is you; if I have to scan each individual face like, “is that him…?” I’m annoyed. 

My time (and the time of anybody worth your time) is precious and you just made me waste several seconds “where’s Waldo-ing” one of your dating profiles photos.

Dating profile group shots can be distracting…

Here’s the scenario– I’m a straight woman looking at your (straight male) dating profile. There’s a shot on there of you and a few buddies and one of them is… hella fine.

Only problem is–it’s not you. It’s your hot friend Carl. 

Now, for most people (especially women), looks aren’t the most important quality when evaluating a potential partner but they are meaningful. You don’t want to give potential matches an unfavorable side-by-side of you with someone (or multiple someones) who are more attractive than you. 

Imagine I’m selling you a new Honda (I love Hondas and the one I’m selling you is a good one). I wouldn’t show you a picture of the Honda parked right next to a Ferrari. That just doesn’t make any sense. You might really love that Honda but now I’ve reminded you super directly that the Ferrari exists, is better than the Honda on some important metrics, and is not available to you. It just introduces an unnecessary and unhelpful variable into the scenario.

(for the record I’m not comparing people to cars but sometimes a good analogy is in order to make a point, lol!)

Dating profile group shots can be confusing…

Alright here’s another scenario and it’s not a good one– I’m a straight female looking at your dating profile and you’ve got a group shot on there and as I’m looking at the photo it kiiiiiinda seems like that one woman with the brown hair is (or was) your girlfriend. 

She may seem a little bit extra cozy with you in the photo, maybe you’ve actually got your arm around her (no matter that your other arm is around Carl), it could even be the subtle way she’s looking at you.

People have spidey-senses for this kind of thing. Their impression may not be correct but you still don’t want to activate those spidey senses because now instead of vibing on how cute you are and how you might be as my boyfriend, there’s a part of my mind that’s wondering about your previous relationship and/or whether you’re not being honest about being single etc. 


So, how do you decide whether to spend valuable dating profile photo real estate on a group photo?

Only include a group photo if all 3 of these criteria are met:

(swap in the gender pronouns that make sense for you & the people you like to date)

1. it is obvious at-a-glance which person in the photo is you AND

2. you are the most attractive man in the photo AND

3. there is not a woman in the photo who appears as though she may be your (ex) girlfriend

I get that this may cut way down on the number of eligible group photos you have but I promise you, it would be better to have one less photo than an annoying, distracting, or confusing group photo.

For more tips on keeping your dating profile free of photos that could be hurting your chances, check out my post on 5 photos to remove from your dating profile ASAP

And if you find you’re just not able to rustle up enough decent photos of yourself to put together a dating profile without including a net-negative group shot, maybe it’s time to consider hiring a dating photographer (psssst– me!)

>> Book professional dating profile photography

Black and white photos have that timeless, classic look that is hard not to love. But is putting a black and white photo on your dating profile a good idea? 

Here are 3 reasons the answer might be “YES”.

1. Black and white photos get more likes. 

According to a Hinge report, black and white photos are 106% more likely to receive a like and make up only 3% of photos on dating apps. [ Here’s the report if you’re curious ]

If I had to speculate about why this is the case, I’d guess that they stand out because there are so few of them! As Sesame Street fans will recall, when “one of these things is not like the other…” it’s pretty damn attention-grabbing 🙂

2. If there is something distracting in the background of a photo (like a big blue recycle bin), converting it to BW is a quick and easy fix. 

You don’t want things in your dating profile photos that are competing for attention with you. Bright colored objects are notorious for stealing visual bandwidth. 

A photo that may otherwise be dicey or unusable is now ready to rock in black and white.

3. If you have two great photos of you in the same outfit, making one of them black & white can make it feel different enough to use in the same dating profile.

Ideally you’re wearing different clothes in all of your dating profile pics–along with being in different environments, wearing diff clothes in each of your dating profile photos is a way of showing some range and making it easy for your ideal matches to imagine spending time with you in a variety of contexts. 

But sometimes, as luck would have it, you end up with multiple great photos in the same outfit–maybe they were both shot on the same super fun night in Vegas or maybe they were a few frames from your professional dating profile photo shoot.

An easy solution to this two-photos-one-outfit pickle is to chose one of the photos and make it black and white.

**I suggest giving the two same-outfit photos a little buffer from each other by not having them appear next to each other in your dating profile.


>> One final reason to include black and white dating photos on your profile (which isn’t really a reason so much as it is permission) is just because you like them 🙂

For more tips on building your dating profile, check out my interview with Dating Coach Blaine Anderson.

And while you’re fine-tuning your dating photos, make sure to remove these 5 photos from your dating profile!

Sick of trying to piece all of this together on your own?

>> Hire me as your dating photographer!

If you’ve never gotten any direct feedback on your dating profile photos it can be hard to know which photos are working for you and which photos are working against you. 

For many people, finding enough good photos of themselves to put together a decent dating profile is a real challenge (if it were easy, professional dating photography wouldn’t be a thing). 

This leads a lot of folks to go digging through their camera roll looking for something (anything!) to put on their dating profile. And this is how people end up throwing photos on dating apps that really shouldn’t have made the cut.

Yes, it’s a photo, but is it helping you meet people you’d be excited about dating? No; in fact it may be actively repelling them. I call these types of photos “neg-negative”.

But how do you know which photos are a net-negative?

This is a quick and dirty list of the kinds of photos that are most likely working against you on dating apps. If it seems like common sense, it is. I suggest you nix them from your dating profile right away. 

Look at your dating profile pics with a critical eye and delete the following:

1. Purge any photos where you look significantly different than you currently look.

Maybe you look older now or have less hair or more hair or are more fit or heavier or bearded or… the point is, you look different now. 

People HATE when a first date shows up looking different than they do in photos. You’ve started off by failing to meet expectations (aka violating trust) and if the person is willing to consider a second date with you (they’re probably not), you’re digging out of a hole right from the start.  

“But wait!”, you say, “I have some current photos in my profile also!” Okay–so now you’re asking people to try and guess which photos are *current* you? Nah. Making people work before they’ve even met you and sowing doubts about what you actually look like is not good no matter how you slice it.

ONLY USE PHOTOS AS DATING PROFILE PICS THAT LOOK LIKE YOU CURRENTLY LOOK. 

2. Drop photos where you look [ insert unflattering energy/attitude/state here ].

Tired, bored, disinterested, unwell, awkward, uncomfortable, pompous, guarded, inauthentic, etc.. 

Photos that make it onto your dating profile NEED TO BE FLATTERING. They need to show you looking the kinds of ways that are universally attractive: engaged, healthy, well-rested, vivacious, interested, fit, etc.. 

IF THE ENERGY/ATTITUDE/STATE YOU ARE EXUDING IN A PHOTO IS NOT UNEQUIVOCALLY POSITIVE, DO NOT USE IT ON YOUR DATING PROFILE.

3. Nix any photos that are shot from an awkward or unflattering camera angle.

Certain camera angles can be really unflattering, particularly shooting up from below someone and shooting down from above someone. If the angle is severe enough you can even get distortion–if your head or your lower body look too big or too small, you’ve probably got distortion.

ONLY USE PHOTOS SHOT FROM FLATTERING AND REALISTIC CAMERA ANGLES.

4. Lose the group photo.

Now, different sources will tell you different things here, like “include a group photo so it shows you have friends”. Lol! IMO, of all the things you are showing and telling on a dating profile “I have friends” just doesn’t seem universally necessary UNLESS you’re super extroverted and run with a tight-knit posse that’s a defining feature of your life, and it’s still a hesitant “maybe”.

[ this Quora thread about group photos on dating profiles is pretty entertaining ]

Group dating profile photos can be problematic for a number of reasons. DROP A GROUP PHOTO IF:

— If it’s hard to tell which person is you, nix it (that’s just annoying)

— If you’re straight, nix any photos of you with attractive members of the opposite sex (think of it like this–if you’re a straight guy hanging out at a bar with a beautiful woman or two, you’re not sending out “I’m available” signals to other women)

— If you’re a dude, nix any group photos that include other dudes who are equally or more attractive than you (same thing but vice versa for ladies)

5. Leave out any photos where you’re wearing a face mask.

Whatever your stance is on masks, a photo of you wearing a mask is wasted real estate.

As we’ve all discovered during the pandemic, you cannot tell what a person looks like when they’re wearing a mask. And let’s be real here–the main purpose of your dating profile photos is to show people what you look like and give them a glimpse into your personality. 

Most of the time, mask photos on dating profiles are deeply unsatisfying.

UNLESS YOU’RE ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A SOCIAL/POLITICAL STATEMENT *which you feel is more effectively made specifically as a photo* DON’T WASTE DATING PROFILE PHOTO REAL ESTATE ON A MASK PIC.


RECAP

Ditch the following photos from your dating profiles:

  1. Photos that don’t look like you currently look
  2. Photos where your energy/attitude/vibe is unappealing
  3. Photos with unflattering camera angles / distortion
  4. Group shots
  5. Mask photos

Alright folks! Hopefully this helps with a little dating profile photo clean-up. 

Check out this post on the 4 photos everyone needs in their dating profile.

And if you’ve cleaned up your dating profile and need to fill some gaps with new and improved dating photos–maybe it’s time to hire a professional dating photographer!

Check out what Phil had to say about the experience and if you’re ready to transform your online dating experience >> give me a shout!

Meet Rick!

I had the pleasure of meeting Rick just before Fathers Day which felt extra special because Rick is a single dad entering the dating game for the first time since the end of his marriage.

I liked Rick from the very start.

He’s kind, he’s disarmingly relaxed and funny, and he was up-front with me from our very first conversation that this (not just hiring a dating photographer but *dating*) felt pretty out-on-a-limb for him.

Rick had taken the last couple years to focus on being a dad and creating a stable and loving environment for his kids post-divorce. Plus, he wanted some time to work on himself and get re-oriented after the end of a marriage (this is a step that is so easy to skip but so worth it, as someone who has been through a painful divorce myself).

When Rick and I spoke on the phone, first we talked through some of the nerves and uncertainty–Rick wasn’t sure he was ready to start dating yet but he knew when he was ready he’d need better photos. We agreed that having new dating profile photos didn’t mean he had to immediately get on dating apps, it just meant he could when he was ready.

When it felt clear to both of us that this was a good fit–that my way of approaching dating photography lined up well with Rick’s values and goals, we got to work planning his shoot.

We decided to do most of Rick’s dating profile photography session within walking distance of his home.

Here’s where we landed…

Dating Photo Session: Level Up + Zoom Style Consult

Photoshoot Location: Bellevue + Meydenbauer Bay Park

Here’s what Rick had to say about his dating profile photography experience about a month after his photo session…


Andrea: What made you decide to hire a professional dating profile photographer? 

Rick: I separated from my ex wife 3 years ago. Since then I have been focusing on myself and my kids. When I started to seriously look for a relationship, I didn’t have any good photos to use for a dating profile–the only photos I had were with my kids. I know nothing about taking photos of myself, so the only option was to find help.

Andrea: Yeah…that’s a tough one and a common situation for single dads–no pics without the kiddos. Ok so, what was it about me that made you trust me to be your dating photographer?

Rick: I looked at several professional photographers and out of many, you were the most authentic, trustable and therefore obvious choice. It’s probably your middle school yearbook photos, or your big smile, or the witty way you write, or maybe the quality of your portfolio. Easy choice! 

Andrea: Lol! Those middle school pics though. Who knew they’d eventually be working in my favor?! And now I’m blushing….

What was it like for you, once you reached out to me about dating photography?

Rick: We started with a phone call. You asked about my motivation, why I needed new dating photos, which I thought was very smart, professional and considerate.

Then we had a Zoom Session to do a style consult because my wardrobe is a disaster.

Then it was a bunch of texts and emails, planning for the big day.

Andrea: That is so funny to me that you thought your wardrobe was a disaster–it totally wasn’t! You have great style and I loved everything you showed me, it was just a matter of sorting through it and combining things into outfits for your dating photos.

[Also, in case I didn’t say so at the time, you get a giant gold star for the best Zoom Style Consult set-up– great lighting AND a clothing rack?! I wish every client was as organized and on-it as you!]

Alright so, fast-forward to your dating photoshoot. What was it like for you?

Rick: Honestly it felt more like hanging out with a good friend. The conversation never stopped during the entire session.

Most of the time I didn’t feel like I was having my picture taken or that I was posing.

It was actually very relaxing.

Andrea: Lol, like I said! Nobody quite believes me when I say the photoshoot will be fun and chill and like hanging with a friend. [folks, listen to Rick! I promise getting your picture taken doesn’t have to be painful or awkward]

I need to pause here for another gold-star moment:

Rick showed up to his photo session with his clothes more neatly organized than anyone I’ve ever worked with. I was so thrilled when he opened his trunk (this makes the shoot run so much more smoothly) I just kept muttering “bless your heart!”. I even had to take a picture:

How did you feel when you first opened your gallery and saw your new dating profile photos?

Rick: At first it was a bit weird to look at such a polished and well-put-together version of me and I felt vulnerable.

The more I looked at the photos though, the more comfortable I got and I appreciate how handsome you made me look. 

Andrea: You look HANDSOME AF, Rick! I told you during the shoot that you are ridiculously handsome, I’m glad that now you can see what I was talking about, lol!

Ok I’m dying to hear, especially since I know this was your first time using dating apps. What happened when you created a dating profile using your new pics?

Rick:  As soon as I went live with my online dating profile equipped with your pictures, I became the proverbial chick magnet.

I got dozens of likes in the first hour!

Here are quotes from a couple of pretty ladies: 

>>>“Hello handsome Rick, I like your professional photos. Your dad joke made me smile.”

>>>“You are a really handsome guy!”

Andrea: AMEN to that! Those are some smart ladies. I love that you got immediate results and I’m also not at all surprised. You’re a total catch Rick, and I’m so thrilled that your new dating profile photos are working for you.

Last question–any advice for other guys who are thinking about hiring me to shoot their online dating photos?

Rick: The search is over my friend. What are you waiting for?

. . .

Hey, he said it! What are you waiting for?

>>>BOOK YOU DATING PHOTO SESSION

I don’t throw the term guru around lightly. This woman is the REAL DEAL.

If you haven’t heard of Logan Ury, you can thank me later.

Behavioral scientist turned dating coach, Logan’s content is the best I’ve encountered about navigating the modern dating landscape.

I first heard of Logan from my client Sarah, who heard her interviewed about her book:

How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love“.

Since then I’ve worked my way through loads of her content and find her approach and advice to be the most lovely balance of

–scientifically compelling (she’s all about that data)

–good common sense wisdom

–tough love

And I find it all so very…reassuring.

I joined Logan’s email list (weekly dating and relationship advice delivered to your inbox!) and suggest you do the same.

And if you end up loving her you and need more 1-on-1 help, you can hire Logan for everything from dating coaching to a 90-minute (relationship) decision-making convo, to breakup planning << I’m not making this up!

Alright, I’m done fan-girling. Logan is the bomb. If you don’t know, now you know.

[ psssst….a dangerously effective combo would be to work your way through Logan’s content *and* hire me as your dating photographer so you can put all that relationship knowledge to good use! ]

If you’ve had a dating profile up on one or more dating apps for a while, and you finally pulled the trigger on hiring a dating app photographer, this hack could be the difference between getting a small bump in likes and matches, and a HUGE one. 

Doesn’t matter if you do this before you upload your new dating profile photos, or after, but I recommend before so you can really get that clean slate.

>>shoutout to my Client Seth who shared this insight with me so I could pass it along. Here’s the scoop…

After our dating photo session, Seth uploaded his new dating pics to his old Bumble profile, and left his written bio pretty much the same. 

Seth’s Bumble profile photos before he hired me were…not good.

In his new dating profile photos Seth looks HELLA FINE. To be fair, Seth *is* hella fine. But he also hired a great dating profile photographer (I’m not even attempting to be modest anymore, lol!). 

Anyhow, after his dating photo session Seth uploaded his new hella fine dating photos to Bumble. He told me “I saw a slight increase in likes and matches but it didn’t feel right considering the giant leap in the quality of my new photos…”

He marinated on it for a week or too and then he tried something…and it worked. Here’s what Seth did: 

He deleted his Bumble account, unlinked the Facebook app, waited a day, and then signed up again (same phone number, same bio, new pics). 

>>>Seth’s likes “skyrocketed to 100 in ONE DAY”.  

Seth said he had been on Bumble for “too long” so maybe that has something to do with it. I like to speculate on all manner of things and I feel like this might be a dating app algorithm situation (I have zero technical expertise here but a handful of software developer dating photo clients tell me there may be something to this theory PLUS, there’s pretty much no downside to trying).

My theory is that if you’ve had a profile up on a particular dating app and haven’t been getting much action, the dating app’s algorithm stops surfacing your profile as much so fewer people lay eyes on you. Delete the app, wait a few days, then start again, and the app’s algorithm might see you as fresh meat. And in this case–the meat is fuckin FRESSSSHHHHH because your new dating photos look amazing!

If you’ve massively improved the quality of your dating profile photos and aren’t seeing what you’d expect in terms of increased likes and matches, try this…

DATING APP RESEP 

  1. Copy your written profile (or take screenshots) so you can recreate it later
  2. Delete your account for that dating app
  3. Unlink any social media (not sure how necessary this is but why not)
  4. Wait 24+ hours
  5. Sign up for the dating app again (same phone number is fine)
  6. *optional* pay for premium (some clients tell me this helps if you do it as a fresh start)
  7. Recreate your bio and upload your new & improved dating profile photos

I’m not an official hacker, nor am I a dating app algorithms expert so take this with a grain of salt. What I do know is that dating apps use complex algorithms to determine which profiles to surface and to whom, and it makes sense to me that a “new” profile might get preferential treatment (like, “ladies! Check out this new stud!”), plus I bet they want to get a “new” user stoked about all the hotties they’re meeting so they spend a lot of time on the app.

At this point, this little reset has worked for Seth and a number of my other clients so, maybe it could work for you! Plus, it’s pretty damn easy so what do you have to lose?

Good luck! Let me know how it goes for you — email a dating profile photographer.

Meet Phil!

Phil reached out to me after the end of a long term relationship. He had profiles on a couple of dating apps but they weren’t turning up many matches. So, he did some introspecting (I love this about Phil, he’s super curious and self-aware), and decided the problem wasn’t him, it was his dating profile pictures. When he took a critical look at his dating app photos he realized “my photos suck”, lol!

Phil hired me to be his dating photographer well before he had clarity on exactly how he wanted to present himself in the dating world. He knew he needed better dating profile photos, and he needed someone to help him sort out what that meant for him–what that would look like. So we rolled up our sleeves and started scheming.

A long-ish phone call and several emails later it was clear to me that Phil is a ridiculously interesting, complex and multi-passionate guy. We had LOTS to work with but needed focus. Physicians assistant by day, NYC in his blood, avid climber, parkour enthusiast, playful with his wardrobe, theatre nerd… and the list goes on.

As Phil and I got to know each other a plan for his photoshoot emerged. We crafted a dating photo session custom-tailored to show him off in his favorite types of environments, doing some of things that he loves most.

Here’s where we landed…

Dating Photo Session: Whole 9 + Zoom Style Consult

Photoshoot Location: Capitol Hill + Seattle Bouldering Project

We started Phil’s dating photo shoot at Capitol Coffee Works and did some last-minute wardrobe sorting in the back of his car (this outfit will be second, same pair of pants, then we’ll switch to the jeans and work our way through these three shirts, etc..)

We kept ourselves busy exploring Capitol Hill for the first 3-ish hours (near Neumos, Chophouse Row, around Cal Anderson Park, on Broadway). Phil feels most at home and most himself in NYC so we were drawn to places with gritty urban vibes– alleys, entries and hidden nooks bursting with color, texture, and graffiti.

Then we hopped in the car and made the 10-ish minute drive to the Seattle Bouldering Project on Poplar so Phil could show off some of his climbing prowess. The moment he put his climbing shoes on it was clear that this man *loves* to climb. He turned into a kid in a candy shop!

The sun was out for us, there was never a dull moment in the conversation, and the shoot was just really really FUN.

I caught up with Phil about a week after delivering his new dating photos. Here’s what he had to say…


Andrea: Why did you decide to hire a professional dating photographer? 

Phil: I’m recently single and when I decided to jump back into the dating world I realized I didn’t have recent pictures of myself. I wanted photos for my dating profiles that really captured who I am, my interests, style and are an accurate reflection of who I am. 

Andrea: Dude, that’s a situation I hear from a lot of my clients–newly single and all of your recent photos have your ex in them. Ok so, what made you decide to hire me in particular as your dating photographer?

Phil: Well, I found you through a google search. The minute I looked through your website and your portfolio I knew you were the dating photographer for me. Man, your portfolio is amazing!

It was clear you’re an incredibly talented photographer; I knew you could capture my personality and make the pics aesthetically awesome at the same time. Plus…you just seemed cool!

Andrea: Aw shucks, thank you! This feels like fishing for compliments but fuckit, go on. So, what was the process like, leading up to your dating photo session?

Phil: The process was so much fun and way more relaxing than I thought it would be! In the beginning, we had several phone conversations where we talked about my life, my interests, and what I wanted to convey with my dating pictures.

I wanted help picking the best outfits to wear for my dating photos so we did a Zoom Style Consult before the shoot – you have a terrific eye and great fashion sense and I felt really great about the outfits we put together.

I appreciated that you made sure I understood you workflow and the schedule we’d follow on shoot day so I knew what to expect.

By the time the photo shoot happened, we had been talking for more than a month – it felt like you knew me so well by that point that the quality of the pictures was a foregone conclusion. I knew you would capture me in the best way possible. 

Andrea: What was the shoot itself like / how did you feel while I was taking your picture? 

Phil: The shoot itself was such a blast! It was like a hilariously awesome first date.

From the minute we met you made me feel totally at ease and I was laughing and smiling pretty much the whole time.

All of the shooting locations were planned perfectly with great lighting and interesting backgrounds. You also knew exactly how to handle outfit changes in a way that allowed us to maximize the time spent taking pics.

For being a guy who is a bit shy about having his picture taken, you put me totally at ease – I never felt awkward at all.

We shot on Capitol Hill, which is my old neighborhood, and you let me take the lead, showing you some of my favorite spots there, while also making sure we stayed on schedule.

And, you made sure my own creativity and fun side came out: you had ideas, but then let me run on my own too. I love rock climbing and parkour, so when I saw a stairway and some railings to play on, I started climbing and we ended up getting some fantastic action shots!

From start to finish, it was clear that you were all about making sure the whole shoot is spontaneous, natural and authentic.

Honestly…you made me feel like a rockstar the entire time.

Andrea: Fuck YES dude! You *looked* like a rock star. So, fast forward about a week–when you got your gallery and saw your new dating photos for the first time, what was your reaction?

Phil: Seeing the pictures for the first time…WOW. I was speechless.

The first picture I saw was the one that I ended using as my main profile picture.

I think it’s the most flattering picture anybody has ever taken of me.

I just look so…cool…in it.

I loved that you put together a top 12 and top 25 list of my best pictures, and almost without exception I agreed with your choices!

Seeing pics of me that are flattering is a huge confidence booster, which is something I didn’t expect to experience when we started the process. 

Andrea: omg right?! A great picture of yourself can be a gigantic ego boost, I’ve experienced it myself!

Alright, million dollar question–What has happened since your updated your dating profiles with your new pics?

Phil: Here’s where the results speak for themselves!

I made a brand new dating profile – In a little less than a week I’ve gotten 70+ matches! Only a few of these were initiated by me.

You sent me the pictures in the early afternoon and I went on my first date that same night! My dating calendar has never been so full!

The difference is night and day between previous profiles and my current one – your pictures have made meeting new matches almost effortless. This investment has been worth every penny and then some. 

Andrea: What would you say to other guys who are considering hiring me as their dating photographer?

Phil: Andrea is the shit. Period.

An incredibly talented photographer. Equally as important, though:

she knows exactly how to capture you in a way that portrays the real you – the you that you want to show to the dating world.

Her biggest goal is to make sure you’re happy with the process and the end results and you feel great throughout the whole experience. If you’re considering hiring her…do it. You won’t regret your decision.

Andrea: Well goddamn! Now you’ve got me blushing! Thank you for your kind words, Phil and for sharing your experience. You were a total delight to shoot with and just a gem of a person.

. . .

Wanna be like Phil and level up your online dating game? I’m ready when you are!

>>>BOOK YOUR DATING PHOTO SESSION

Alright, this post is mostly for the fellas and it’s pretty straightforward.

If you are a man meeting women on dating apps:

consider your LinkedIn profile part of your online dating profile (*especially* your LinkedIn profile photo).

Why? Because as a matter of safety and common sense, almost all women will cross-reference you on at least one other social media platform before agreeing to meet up with you in person.

We wanna know–are you a real person? Do the things you say about yourself on your dating profile line up with other things we can find about you on the internet? 

At minimum women want reassurance that you’re unlikely to be a serial killer. But even better, we’re looking for more pieces of your puzzle, more reasons to like you, and more clues to help us feel out whether we might be a good fit for each other.

So, if you’re revamping your online dating profile to attract higher quality matches by, say, hiring a professional dating photographer, it’s worthwhile to take a critical look at your photos on all social media.

For women in the 25-45 age range cross-referencing men on dating apps, LinkedIn is KING.

bad dating photo
Ayush before hiring a professional dating photographer

This surprises some guys but think of it like this: 

If I’m a woman in my thirties, I want a guy who is financially stable.

I may not want someone to provide for me financially but I sure as hell want confidence that you can and do reliably provide for yourself. Ideally you have built or are currently building a strong career doing something that you love and are good at. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way to tell a person’s financial situation from social media but you can get some clues and the best place to find those types of clues is on LinkedIn. 

If a college degree is important to me I can see when and where you went to school. If work history matters to me I can see where you’ve worked and for how long. 

And on an even more primal level, women will scope out your LinkedIn profile pic and see how it lines up with what you’re saying and showing in your online dating profile.

Is your LinkedIn photo current? Are you appropriately dressed? 

An up-to-date, industry-appropriate professional headshot on LinkedIn, that aligns with the story you’re telling in your dating profile shows women:

sad dating photo
Roman before hiring a professional dating photographer

SO. If you’re going to the trouble of hiring a professional dating photographer because you’re intent on improving your odds of meeting someone really special: update your LinkedIn photo while you’re at it. 

It’s easy: when you hire me as your dating profile photographer, I’ll ask you whether you need a LinkedIn headshot update while we’re at it.

If you do, we’ll make sure what you wear for your dating photography session includes a killer outfit for your professional headshots and we’ll knock out a new LinkedIn profile photo while we shoot your new dating pics.

Two birds, one stone!

BOOK YOUR DATING PHOTO SESSION

Meet Sarah!

Sarah began looking for a dating profile photographer after attending a women’s retreat and cracking open a new chapter of her life amidst a pandemic. She wanted her dating photos to more accurately reflect who she is now, not who she was. After a chat on the phone I knew Sarah and I were kindred spirits and we began cooking up plans for a dating photo session that would feature Sarah doing some of the things she loves most (like yoga and hiking).

Sarah ended up booking a Whole 9 Dating Photo Session. We met up at Uptown Espesso and started our adventure just a few blocks from Sarah’s house in West Seattle. After exploring the shops and alleys along California Ave for a bit we headed down to Alki for some summer vibes and yoga on the beach action. We wrapped up Sarah’s day of dating profile photography at the beautiful Schmitz Preserve.

It was February so it was cold but other than that we got the most amazing weather for Sarah’s new dating photos–blue skies and sun all the way!

This is what Sarah had to say a couple weeks after receiving her new dating profile photos…

dating profile photographer for women Portland

Andrea: What made you decide to hire a professional dating photographer? 

Sarah: I had decided I wanted to make finding a partner a priority in my life, and then the pandemic happened. It was several months before I felt like I had the bandwidth to put up a dating profile. I was on a dating app in the fall and met some nice guys online the first time around. Even though all of my dating photos had been taken within the past two years, almost all of them were from before the pandemic. I took a break from the apps over the holidays, and then decided in 2021 that I was going to give online dating a shot again. I wanted to invest in dating profile photos that showed me looking like the best version of my current self.

Andrea: What made you choose me as your dating photographer?

Sarah: I got good vibes from what I read on your website and was very impressed with the photos that I saw! The examples of “before” and “after” photos helped me feel confident that your goal was to help people look like the best version of their true self. I even saw a guy I had matched with in your portfolio! Even though he and I hadn’t gone beyond messaging on the dating app, I remembered him because he was kind and direct in his communication. I figured that was a good sign! 

Dating App profile Pic at beach

Andrea: OMG I love that you matched with one of my former dating photo clients–what a small world! So, once you hired me for dating profile photography, how did you feel? What were you nervous about before the photo shoot?

Sarah: I really don’t like being photographed, and I have never felt particularly photogenic, so I spent a fair amount of time getting in the right mindset for the experience. I made sure I was being extra kind to myself/diligent about self-care in the days leading up to the shoot so that I would look and feel my best. I was hoping that I would at least get enough photos to put up a dating profile (I ended up with way more than enough). I was also nervous that my outfits would not photograph well. I decided to add a Zoom Style Consult to my session and I’m so glad I did! Spending an hour with you on Zoom really helped me organize my outfits, and it also helped break the ice with you and calm some of my nerves before the shoot. I have had multiple friends express surprise that my photos were taken on the same day – that’s how efficient we were with outfit changes. 

Portland dating profile photographer

Andrea: Oh totally–I like the Zoom Style Consults for those same reasons! By the time we meet up for your dating photo session it feels like we already know each other. Ok so once we met up and started shooting your new dating profile photos…how did you feel?

Sarah: It felt great to have a reason to dress up! I’ve spent so much of the last year wearing scrubs at work or yoga pants when not at work. I also loved how encouraging you were – you seemed happy with how the shoot was going, which helped me relax. I felt like I could trust you with the process. This is clearly something you are an expert in. You were open to suggestions and ideas I had, but I felt very comfortable letting you run the show – this is your wheelhouse.

yoga dating profile photo

Andrea: Girl…I LOVED how the shoot was going! I was having so much fun with you! And I’m so glad you trusted me as your dating photographer. So, fast forward about a week and you receive your dating profile photo gallery. How did you feel when you first saw your pics?

Sarah: I was super impressed with the quality of the photos, and so were my family and friends who saw them.

In some ways it was startling to see photos of myself after a year of mostly selfies and wearing a mask. My hair color has even changed. But this was exactly why I wanted these photos – this is how I look now, and it’s helped me to love and accept myself exactly the way I am. 

My goal was to have enough photos to put up on a dating profile, and we more than accomplished that goal.

Andrea: YES YES YES! This makes me so happy. And I can’t resist asking…What has happened for you since your dating photo shoot? How do you feel as you reflect on the experience?

Sarah: It’s been such a game changer. My profile has gotten a lot of “likes.” I have the fortunate problem of having to pace myself with app conversations and dates (there are too many to keep up with!).

It’s not easy navigating dating in general, let alone during a pandemic, so it feels fantastic to have recent photos that accurately depict who I am and what my lifestyle is like. I also think that feeling good about how I look on my profile positively impacts the way I show up in my interactions with matches.

I am so grateful that I found you Andrea! I’m very satisfied with my decision to hire you as my dating profile photographer. I don’t even feel attached to needing to meet someone on a dating app for this experience to have been “worth it” for me. This was an investment in myself. Plus, our conversation during the photo shoot helped me feel more excited about getting back out there and dating. Thank you so much for making this an amazing experience from start to finish!

Andrea: You’re so very welcome, Sarah! I’m not at all surprised that you’re being bombarded by matches–you’re a total babe! For me, one of the most magnetic qualities about so many of your photos is how grounded and in-the-moment you look; just totally effortless and radiant inside and out.

It was a total delight to be your dating profile photographer and I wish you all the best as your adventures in dating and life continue to evolve.

. . .

Does having photos that accurately capture who you are at this moment in time sound like the kind of investment you’re ready for? Maybe for online dating apps and maybe just for…yourself? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

>>>BOOK YOU DATING PHOTO SESSION

If you’re considering investing in professional dating profile photography, it’s not a bad idea to take a good hard look at your wardrobe.

Do you feel good in your clothes? Does what you’ve been wearing lately fit you well and reflect who you are right now and where you’re currently at in your life?

Good dating profile photos tell a story of who you are as a person and what it might be like to date you. What’s your attitude and vibe? What’s your lifestyle like?

Choosing what to wear for your online dating photos is an integral part of telling that story.

There’s no one right answer when it comes to personal style, but there are some good rules of thumb and guiding principals.

I sat down with Pamela from Michael Bruce Image Consulting to get some tips for men on sorting out their personal style for dating profile pics. Pamela and her team help people find their authentic, confident, stylish self in an organized, efficient and fun way.

Read our conversation below…

Dating Photo Personal Stylist

For folks who assume stylists and image consultants are only for celebs, can you describe a little bit about your process and how you help regular people?

Generally, people hear the words stylist and they do think in terms of helping celebrities get ready for red carpet events, and it’s not something that “regular people” do or need. 

As image consultations we have helped thousands of people figure out their style and elevate their appearance for all manner of reasons.  It could be anything from life transitions, looking for a job or promotion, or having been promoted and needing to dress for the role, or simply feeling stuck with their style choices. 

Everyone deserves to feel fantastic and personal style really does help, personal stylist and image consultants can make that goal easy and efficient.

We take a slightly holistic approach to helping individuals with their style, we want to get to know our clients before we help them elevate their style.  We strive to help everyday people find their authentic style, style that works with who they are (personality), how they live and what their goals are. 

Our first step is always to meet for a style consultation to address style challenges and goals.  We come up with a vision and a plan to get the results they want, within a budget that they are comfortable with.

dating app photography style

What are two most common mistakes you see men make with their personal style?

Getting stuck in a style rut and clinging to what is familiar is a common style misstep. This usually comes about because people aren’t really sure what works for them, or they simply don’t like to shop so avoid trying something new and stick with what they already know. 

Likewise, wearing clothing that is too big is another area where many men’s wardrobes fall short.  Quite often people assume they are one size and automatically purchase all their clothes in that size, without actually considering how that particular item fits their body.


I see a lot of ill-fitting clothes on men. What is the most common item of clothing you see men wearing that doesn’t fit them well?

Jeans are very commonly ill-fitting on men. For the most part they tend to be too long, or baggy in the backside area, and quite often are ill-fitting in both areas.  Also, length can be an issue; having too much fabric at the bottom of the jean leg leads to the jeans looking big in the knee. 

Denim these days has so much stretch in it that buying a jean that feel loose or comfortable when first tried on can lead to a false fit.  Once a pair of jeans has been worn for a fairly short period of time the fibers and elastin in the jeans start to give and they can become overly loose.  If you are purchasing jeans with any amount of stretch in them, you want to make sure they feel a little snug at the offset.

>>Check out this guide on Finding the Perfect Pair of Jeans


Any good rules of thumb to know whether it’s time for an item of clothing to go in the donation pile?

It’s time to let a particular item of clothing go if:

  1. You haven’t worn it in over a year
  2. You can’t think of at least three unique ways to wear it.
  3. Its style is outdated.
  4. It looks worn out (holes, stains, stretched out etc.)

What are the key foundational items every man should have in his wardrobe?

men's style for dating pics

What advice would you give to someone who just booked a dating profile photoshoot and is now standing in their closet trying to decide what to wear?

And remember you can always call an expert to help you put together great outfits 🙂


Need some help with your style game so you look hella fine in your new dating photos (and on all those dates you’re about to go on)? Pamela could be your gal!

Check out Michael Bruce Image Consulting and ask about the “Dating Photo Closet Audit”.

And, if you’re a bit of a procrastinator and do better with a deadline, why not Book Your Dating Photo Session for a few weeks out so you’ve got a tangible and immediate reason to update your wardrobe.

I met Blaine through my client Trevor. In fact, Trevor hired Blaine before he hired me–she’s the one who told him he needed to hire a professional dating photographer ASAP. Naturally, I was curious about her so I reached out.

Blaine helps high-achieving men transform their dating lives by being their best selves. She developed her proprietary methodology, the 5Es, through years of helping guys from diverse backgrounds dramatically improve their outcomes with women.

I caught up with Blaine to learn about some of the most common challenges men face with online dating and how she helps them improve their dating lives without playing any games. I love her approach.

Read our conversation below…


What are some of the common mistakes you see guys make in their dating profiles?

The most common mistakes I see guys make are bad photos & thoughtless bios.

Most men don’t realize their photos (in particular their first photo) are the often only things women consider when deciding to swipe left or right.
If you don’t lead with a great photo, she’s not reading the rest of your bio. She’s swiping left.

So I push all of my clients to invest in hiring a pro photographer to help them capture the perfect picture.

Bios can be more nuanced. There are fewer black-and-white rules. But the #1 problem I see is thoughtlessness. Writing a bio to check the box, vs actually considering the woman you’re speaking to & the message you want to send her.

>>> This answer to a dating app bio question tells us nothing much about the person.

good dating app bio
>>> This answer is way better because it is thoughtful and *specific*

Who are your typical clients and how do you help them?

My typical client is smart, thoughtful, caring, often shy, and ready for his dating life to catch up with the rest of his life!

I work with a lot of engineers in particular. Guys who’ve focused intensely on their profession to date, and appreciate my structured systems-style approach to tackling dating.

To help clients, I focus on both the “how” and the “why” of dating.

The “how” is tactical stuff, like how to make a great dating app profile that gets matches, how to respond to texts, and where to go on dates.

The “why” is the psychology that underlies male / female attraction. What she’s looking for, why she behaves a certain way, and what she’s really saying.

Both are important. Guys tend to be more drawn to the tactical stuff initially, but tend to value the psychology longer-term because it’s more extensible.


What are your favorite dating apps for men?

Hot take: what specific dating app you use doesn’t matter much. There are nuances between apps (Tinder is more casual than OKCupid for example), but as long as you’re using a mainstream platform (Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, OK Cupid, Plenty of Fish, Upward… there are tons more):

– Your profile will be shown to a ton of potential partners (most women are on >1 dating app anyway!)

– Your profile is generally the same (combination of ~6 photos and ~50 words of written bio)

Framed another way, the quality of your profile matters 100x more than what app that profile is on. If I had to pick a favorite app though, I’d probably say Hinge. The interface is clean & the prompt concept is effective!


What are the three best pieces of advice you can offer men who want to improve their online dating game? 

1. Invest in professional photos. They’re not cheap, but they’re 100x higher ROI than “super likes”, “profile boosts”, or other paid dating app features.

2. Iterate on your approach. If you’re not getting a lot of matches, use a different photo as your first. If women aren’t responding to your first message, say something different.

3. Keep it loose. More than anything else, she’s looking for someone she can have fun with.


Need some help with your dating app profiles or maybe your approach to dating in general?

Blaine could be your gal. (And she’s totally virtual so you can work with her no matter where you live!)

Check out her website datingbyblaine.com/.

Ready to take Blaine’s advice and improve the quality of your dating app profile photos?

>>> Book a Dating Photo Session

Meet Scott!

Scott reached out about hiring me for dating profile photography back in November. We got to know each other a bit over the phone and then cooked up a plan for a dating photo session that incorporated some of Scott’s favorite things (like coffee and off-roading and hanging with his giant pup Reuben).

Scott booked a Whole 9 Dating Photo Session. We met up at The Bindlestick and explored front street in Snoqualmie to start. Then we headed over to Fall City for some small town vibes and a little Jeep action.

We lucked out and got a beautiful sunny winter day for Scott’s dating photos. Reuben was stoked too–road tripping and multiple walks in new parks on the same day?! Livin’ the good life!

I checked in with Scott after his dating photo shoot and this is what he had to say…

Andrea: Why did you decide to hire a professional dating photographer? 

Scott: I got out of a relationship and had no good photos of just myself. I had a few selfies and a few I had friends take but nothing I was happy with. I tried to use them on a profile and had very poor luck. I decided that I needed help and started searching for photographers.

Andrea: What made you decide to hire me?

Scott: I looked through several websites, some aggregators that provided little detail about who I would be working with, and a few individuals but their websites were all cold business. When I read your about you page I laughed my ass off which immediately made me like you and had a human connection. I also liked that you have flat pricing and I get all of the photos, even the goofy ones.

Dating App Photo with Dog

Andrea: I love the goofy ones! Alright so you booked a dating photo session. How did you feel before the photoshoot–was there anything you were nervous or uncertain about?

Scott: Before the shoot I was nervous about picking the right clothes. We had some back and forth on clothing and accessories and I did a little shopping and settled on what I wanted to bring. I wasn’t sure how the photo shoot itself would go, I feel like I don’t take good photos, the classic “say cheese” style and I always feel awkward in those and get told to smile more, practice in a mirror.

Men's dating profile photo

Andrea: Oh man, just about everybody who hires for dating photos me tells me they feel awkward getting their picture taken. It runs deep! Ok so you pushed through the nerves and showed up on shoot day. How did it feel once we got starting shooting? What was the shoot itself like for you?

Scott: The photo shoot was like a conversation where someone happened to have a camera with them. We spent 4 hours going around the Snoqualmie / Fall City area talking while you snapped pictures. There were occasional pauses for changing positions and giving directions. I didn’t feel nervous at all.

Andrea: YES! I love that. You didn’t seem nervous at all. So how did feel when you saw your dating photo gallery the following week?

Scott: I didn’t think they were me! I’ve never liked photos of myself in the past. These photos had real smiles and weren’t robotic or awkward!

Andrea: Ok so this is the part everyone is always dying to know…What has happened since your dating photo shoot?

Scott: I created a profile on Bumble with the top 5 pictures from our photo shoot and one selfie.

I made this profile while sitting on my couch at 10am. By 4pm I had 12 conversations going and 40 more profiles / likes to go through.

I’ve gone on several dates and the stream of likes hasn’t stopped. I had a similar experience with Hinge, using the same set of photos– I have a constant stream of likes and new conversations going. It’s been insane, I’ve had to start a notebook to track conversations. Compare this to my attempt before the photo shoot where I would get 2-3 likes a week between both apps.

Andrea: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

happy dance

Of COURSE you’re meeting hella babes on dating apps, you’re a total catch!

Thanks for going out on a limb with me, Scott, and for giving us a glimpse into your dating photo experience. I’ll keep an eye out for an invitation to your wedding in my mailbox next year 😉

. . .

Wanna look cool like Scott and start getting hella matches?

>>>BOOK YOU DATING PHOTO SESSION

crossmenuchevron-down