When Julie and I first spoke on the telephone, she was very concerned about not seeing any men or women her age in our dating photography portfolio, and I reassured her that photographing someone in their 70s requires the same skills as photographing someone in their 40s (or younger). In addition, while we hadn't yet had any online dating photography clients in their 70s (at least that had disclosed their age to me), we've certainly photographed grandparents, great greatparents, even greatgrandparents for family photography!
And so, we met up not long later at Glenview Mansion in Rockville, Maryland for Julie's dating photography session. The mansion had been undergoing construction for many months previously, so it had been quite a while since I'd been there. It was as beautiful as ever - "the perfect location!" Julie had exclaimed at the end of the session.
Julie's online dating pictures turned out absolutely fabulous, and we're happy she was so thrilled as to write an amazing review of our dating photography services on Angie's List (see below)!
No matter your age, our dating photographer will create the best online dating pictures of you imaginable!
Older than the average person doing online dating?
Get the dating photographer who can make men and women in their 70s look fabulous!
I was attending a networking event one day and came across the business card of a local Garrett Park, MD matchmaker – Leora Hoffman of Love by Leora, LLC - and of course, as a professional dating profile photographer, I wanted to check her out. I went back to our Maryland photography studio and headed online to visit her website. The website looked great, and a few weeks later, Leora and I were sitting across each other at the Rockville Starbucks chatting about the dating industry, her matchmaking business, and my dating images services.
Leora has been working as a matchmaker for 30 years. That’s a lot of years of experience in helping people find love! I was intrigued by some of the things she told me about how she uses professional dating images to help find her clients just the right prospective matches, and so I asked her if she would share some of her thoughts about this with my readers. Enjoy!
-- Irene Abdou, DC Dating Profile Photographer
Above: Lifestyle images tell viewers about your hobbies and activites you're passionate about, helping to attract people who share common interests. Dating images by Irene Abdou.
Times have changed, and with the advent of technology, so has my outlook on the importance of dating photography. In fact, today, the right dating images are critical to my work as a matchmaker.
When I began my matchmaking practice over thirty years ago before the emergence of the internet and online dating, most of my referrals were made without using any photographs, much less professional dating images. When matching people, I would provide them with information consisting of age, profession, marital status (single, divorced or widowed), status regarding children, religious and political orientation, interests and hobbies, along with personal goals (dating, co-habitation or marriage).
Occasionally, members would send me actual photos in the mail, which I would copy and utilize, if necessary. Those clients did not want to ‘leave it to chance’ to determine whether they might be attracted to someone based on my personal assessment alone.
However, most of the time, I would simply describe my clients to one another in specific detail (height, body type, hair and eye color, personal style) which was sufficient at that time. Because I was very specific and honest about how I described my clients, there were no surprises.
With the advent of online dating sites, that all changed. Clients were no longer willing to simply take my word for people’s appearance, and began to demand seeing photos before they would agree to meet someone. I understood that I was competing with dating sites and therefore adjusted my practice accordingly.
There are still some matchmakers who refuse to work with dating images, asserting that photos can be misleading, and that chemistry is something that can only be determined by actual face to face meetings. I disagree. I utilize dating images as an initial screening mechanism, which serves to effectively disqualify any prospects who are not my client’s physical type right off the bat. This saves us both time and energy, and provides each party being introduced with a sense of the person that no verbal description alone can accomplish.
Above: Photos by Dating Profile Photographer, Irene Abdou
I’ve learned that clients, especially men, are very visual, and therefore need to be shown an image that attracts them, or they will likely decline a referral. I therefore always advise people to make sure that they use photos which present them in the best possible light, even if they themselves are not all that visually oriented, since the other party will likely care, even if they don’t. Also, having great images of oneself promotes self-esteem, and can be used professionally, on social media, or simply to be shared with family and friends.
In fact, one of my clients posted a recent photo which was taken by a professional dating profile photographer on Facebook, which her former boyfriend from college saw and contacted her out of the blue, to say how great she looked and how nice it would be to reconnect. She was stunned and delighted to hear from him, and after determining that they are now both single again after their respective divorces, are now making plans to meet after decades without any communication at all between them. My client is excited to see him again.
Given that they live in different cities, she is trying to keep an open mind about getting involved in a long distance relationship. My advice to her was to ‘take it one step at a time’ and to meet him and spend some meaningful time together before worrying about what the future might bring.
Critical to the matchmaking process is the utilization of current, quality dating images that are a fair and accurate representation of the person they are about to meet. We are all familiar with the pitfalls of online sites, where egregiously out of date and inaccurate dating images are utilized to ‘lure’ people to want to meet them, only to find that they couldn’t even recognize the person who showed up for the date.
No one is thrilled with the idea of having their pictures taken. It makes us all self-conscious and hyper critical of our flaws, yet, this is an important step towards attracting a potential partner, as uncomfortable as it might feel. Diane, a very beautiful client of mine in her mid fifties, hired me to find her a special man. When she showed me the photos of herself that she wanted me to use, I did not feel they did her justice, as they were casual photos taken on a vacation and presented her wearing sunglasses, in baggy clothing and with lighting that didn’t flatter her skin tone.
Above: Dating images by Irene Abdou Photography
I referred her to a professional dating profile photographer, who took still and active dating images of her, both in the photography studio and outside, which clearly showcased her face, her athletic figure (she was advised to wear form fitting clothing in solid colors), and provided the most flattering lighting, both in studio and outside.
After her dating images shoot, she told me that she felt ‘as if she had just been to the dentist for a root canal.’ I laughed and empathized with the awkwardness she felt, but reassured her that when she saw the final product, she would likely feel that it had been worthwhile. She was indeed pleased with the dating images, which I used to recruit a very handsome sixty one year old attorney, who was super selective himself.
On their first date, after warming up to one another, she showed him the photos from her phone that she originally gave me. He looked at them and said that he would have never agreed to meet her, based on those photos alone. Two years later, they are now madly in love and on the verge of getting engaged.
For that reason, I rely on professional dating profile photographers to effectively capture not only a physical image, but also the essence and personality of each client, which casual photos often do not achieve. Clients often provide me with unflattering dating images, which fail to ‘market’ themselves effectively to potential prospects. Some other examples of that are blurred photos, ones taken at a poor angle, or ones which are backlit and therefore faded.
Above: Images by Irene Abdou, Professional Dating Profile Photographer
I will therefore recommend that such photos be redone by a trusted professional photographer with an expertise in dating images, and the experience to know how to present people attractively and as they truly appear, rather than how they aspire to appear.
My policy is to present each prospect with dating images that include at a minimum a headshot and a full body image, so that each client’s physical features are presented to the other. This helps to mitigate the natural stress involved in meeting someone for the first time, and increases the odds for a more positive and healthy interaction.
Just remember, a picture is worth 1,000 words.
Don’t let your dating images say thousands of the wrong ones!
-- Leora Hoffman, Love by Leora, LLC
"Hi Irene, I'm looking for a few great dating images for my online dating profile. I see you have done some terrific work in this area, so I would like to schedule a consultation please. Thanks!"
That was the message that Amir sent, and when we spoke on the phone, he explained that he had worked with a dating profile photographer a few months ago and was currently using those dating images on his profile, but he wanted a "do-over." This time, he wanted a look that he described as "casual elegance" for some of his dating images - "stylish and fashionable, yet casual." Later on, he e-mailed me with some additional ideas/requests:
"I was wondering if there might be a way for us to incorporate a hat in one of the photos. It's a gift from Colombia given to me by the dear friend standing next to me. Speaking of which, did I mention that I love Latin dancing? Just wanted to throw that out there in case it gave you any ideas -- with or without the hat. :)"
Amir is fond of the Kentlands neighborhood of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and so we headed there for his dating images session. Enjoy some of my favorites from his collection of dating images!
Dating doesn't have to be so hard. Revamp your dating profile with dating images from Maryland's premier dating profile photographer and watch the right messages roll in!
As an experienced dating profile photographer, I'm a fan of including one or two dating images in your profile that portray your hobbies, because what better way to attract people who share your interests? In Amir's case, we included kickboxing.
Amir was excited about letting his inner diva out during these dance moves. And then, as is the way of the world, day turned to night, and we got to capture some nighttime dating images with a completely different feel!
And finally, many, many thanks to Amir for writing this awesome 5-star review of our dating images services on Google!
During our telephone consultation, Adnan told me that his current dating profile included only selfies, so "I don't have a lot of good online dating photos," he said. "Sometimes I look in the mirror at myself, and then I look at my pictures, and it looks like two different people, even after flipping the images back. And, I'm not comfortable being photographed," he confided.
This is why our online dating photography process, where he'd be able to see his online dating photos as they are created and provide feedback, was perfect for him.
Not too long later, we met up with Adnan at Gaithersburg, Maryland's Seneca Creek State Park. Adnan brought along his mountain bike as a prop, and while we didn't include any bodybuilding props, we were able to demonstrate his physique as a bodybuilder in his online dating photos!
Do you look at your online dating photos and think to yourself that they just don't look like you?
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"I googled 'online dating pictures' and you were one of the photographers at the top. I really couldn't find too many other professional photographers who specialize in online dating photos. I saw what you did and read some of the client testimonials, and decided to reach out to you!"
Brian had never worked with a professional photographer, much less an online dating photographer, before, and wanted an outside opinion on his online dating pictures, including suggestions on different poses, and chose an outdoor location for a more natural look. We decided on photogenic Old Town Alexandria in Northern VA for the variety it offers in terms of both urban and outdoorsy backgrounds.
When we met Brian in person, we discovered that he really is just the nicest guy. Mountain biker, camper, and snowboarder are just a few words to describe him, but what impressed me the most was his dream of taking a 6-month break from "normal life" to backpack the Appalachian Trail!
Our Northern Virginia online dating photography session was a ton of fun, and here are some of my favorites from his new collection of online dating photos. And many, many, many thanks to Brian for the well-written (and funny) Yelp review of our online dating pictures (see end)!
Struggle no more with blurry, unflattering, and poorly lit selfies, and reward yourself with an increased quality AND quantity of prospective matches. It's easy!