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...
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.
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.
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?