Can a professional headshot up your online dating game?
A photographer dishes on a new trend of photo shoots for dating profiles.
It’s standard practice nowadays to seek professional headshots for business cards, websites and social media accounts. In the course of taking the more traditional photos over the years, New York- and Tel Aviv-based photographer Rita Rosenblit has noticed a new trend: clients slipping in a request for fun, flirty shots for their online dating profiles.
“People definitely want and search for [dating pictures], but they’re a little shy about asking for it,” Rosenblit told From The Grapevine. Rosenblit, 35, and single in Tel Aviv, began offering dating headshots after her friends requested such photos.
“Often what I get is someone inquires about the need for business headshots and then they say it’d also be good to get some for a dating site," she said.
Tamara Haas of Tel Aviv said she contacted Rosenblit about taking dating profile photos that “reflected that I was ready and available for a serious relationship," she told From The Grapevine. "I had been on dating sites and always used vacation photos or photos where the person next to you is cut out. I decided it was time for professional photos that would make a statement.” Of Rosenblit, Haas said, “I had seen other photo shoots she had done on Facebook and found her photos to be fresh, alive, diverse and sexy.”
New Yorker David Sobel recommends those in the market for dating photos choose a professional photographer over the DIY amateur variety. “I don't normally photograph well in casual one-offs,” he told From The Grapevine. “I wanted a pro to bring out my personality … then you can be your own story director, so to speak, and really play to your strengths.”
Rosenblit said she treats all of her photography the same. People want to look as attractive as possible in any photos, whether it’s her mainstay – brides and grooms – or business professionals, or even dating prospects. But when it comes to dating profile pictures, men and women are not created equal. “I tell my clients it’s unfair," she said. "Men can just relax, but not slouch. They can put their hands in the pockets, sit with legs spread. It’s the opposite of what I tell women to do.”
For men, Rosenblit recommends facing the camera straight and directly so their body appears bigger. If they angle themselves, as she suggests for women, they will look slimmer and smaller. “For women it’s about looking slim and feminine in a very relaxed way," she said.
Another tip for taking dating profile photos is not to pose with other items in the picture. “It’s more about lighting on their face and blurring the background. No one cares about the amazing flowers” in your photo, Rosenblit said. They’re only looking at you.
Posing isn’t the only issue to consider, Rosenblit said. When she began taking photos in 2008 after studying it in Israel and New York, she emailed clients a few styling guidelines before a shoot. “You know – wear dark colors, blow dry your hair, etc. Then it started changing,” she wrote on her blog. “I’m not a big fashion girl myself, but I’ve started to actively participate in my clients’ wardrobe decisions, at least a lot more than I did when I first started shooting. I will now jump in … give advice from makeup to jewelry to clothing combinations, keeping in mind what looks good on them.”
Photography makeup, for instance, is like stage makeup. “Just as makeup looks very mild to a viewer sitting in the audience, it will also look faint on the picture, so ladies should apply it on the heavy side. Also, I absolutely adore eyelashes – the bigger, the better. There is no limit.”
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE: