We're a team of photographers, copywriters and marketers with a goal to make online dating suck less for people. This initiative started as a one person team, but as demand grew we began onboarding extra help to continue delivering consistent results to our clients.
In 2021 we expanded our operations even further. We occasionally had clients flying into town for photoshoots, but when COVID-19 hit, that was no longer an option so we had to think on our feet. We decided the best way forward was to expand our footprint and bring on phenomenal photographers in both the LA and Seattle areas, allowing us to continue delivering exceptional results for our clients.
Our current team consists of:
• Justin Veenema - Founder + Lead Photographer, Victoria BC
• Ed - Copywriter, Calgary AB
• Valeria - Photographer, Vancouver BC
• Yoshi - Photographer, Vancouver, BC
• Haila - Photographer, Los Angeles CA
• Xenia - Photographer, Los Angeles, CA
• Brei - Photographer, Los Angeles, CA
• Madison - Photographer, Seattle WA
Structurally we operate as independent contractors with a shared goal - to get our clients results. We've also recently partnered with a top Dating & Relationship coach and personal stylists to offer even more to our clients.
To be honest, this all started by accident.
Justin, the founder of PhotosForTinder, photographed a co-worker for a company blog post for the startup they were working at. Later that evening, his co-worker used those photos on Tinder. He came in the next day and explained how well the photos worked for him. "I've literally never matched with that many people before."
Having a background in marketing, Justin was intrigued why certain photos would lead to a better conversion rate than others. He asked his friends about their experiences on dating apps. "How many matches were they getting? What was their average match rate?".
Out of sheer curiosity, he wanted to see if people used better photos, if it could realistically boost their match-rate on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Over the next few weeks he recruited friends of his (both men and women) to take part in the experiment. After photographing each person, he asked them to use the photos on Tinder and compare their match-rate (before and after).
The results were extremely clear - by using better photos each participant was able to increase the number of matches they received. Not only that, but we were seeing better quality matches and a greater number of first-message responses.
As word got out, friends-of-friends started inquiring about getting "tinder headshots" done. It all seemed kinda crazy. We initially weren't going to pursue it further, but the feedback from each person was overwhelmingly positive. Not only were the photos helping them with online dating, but it gave them a huge confidence boost as well. They started using their photos on Instagram and LinkedIn profiles, too.
In the age of online dating, we rely on our photographs to communicate what we bring to the table in a relationship. But how can we communicate properly when we're all just scrapping together janky photos that don't show our best selves?
Most people, specifically guys, don't have recent photos of themselves (let alone good photos). So we set out on a mission to offer the average guy/girl a way to get stunning photos that:
• Showcase their authentic charisma, charm and confidence
• Highlight their best attributes - like their cheeky smile and unique personality
• Are designed to visually stand-out and catch people's attention
• Are based on research/data to work best on dating apps
We ended up building a landing page with a basic offering and putting it online. Within our first month we had our first real clients. Then it just kept evolving from there. 🎉
We use our skills in photography, copywriting & data analysis to help amazing men & women put their best foot forward on dating apps. Ultimately, our goal is to use data + authenticity to help people connect and find love.
What we do:
✅ We help amazing people connect and fall in love
✅ We find all your best angles and help you look as good as possible on-camera
✅ We value authenticity and push our clients to be unapologetically themselves
✅ We give tips and advice to look relaxed/confident in photographs
✅ We offer our services to anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or orientation
✅ We will give the very best service we possibly can to our clients
✅ We will ensure you have fun during your shoot (real laughs photograph best)
What we don't do:
❌ We're not in business to help people gain an unfair advantage
❌ We're not in business simply to "help someone get laid"
❌ We will never photoshop someone to look different / better than they do
❌ We reserve the right to refuse clients that don't align with our ethos
There are no shortage of photographers, but we specifically needed photographers who operated in a data-centric mentality. Any good photographer can take a nice photo; but our goal is to take photos that generate a very specific type of results.
We choose our photographers very, very carefully. Not only do we look for sheer technical ability (ie. how they compose, frame, shoot and work with their cameras) but also how they hold themselves and interact with beginners. 50% of our hiring decision was based on their sheer technical ability (ie. how well they photograph people). The other 50% was based on how they handle themselves with clients. We specifically looked for photographers who were personable, professional, friendly and accommodating.
Our photographers are results driven.
There's a difference between taking a nice photo and an effective photo. All of our photographers are driven by our underlying goal of helping people connect and find love. They love hearing back from clients about what worked and didn't work. They're trying to change lives, not just take nice photos.
Our photographers are experts with beginners.
Our photographers are experts at working with beginners. They know exactly how to get people out of their shell. Most of our clients have never had a photoshoot before, so our photographers are naturals at coaching them through the process to help them feel natural and relaxed. Our photographers will make you laugh and ensure you're enjoying yourself during the shoot.
From a technical perspective, we all shoot with modern-cameras and roughly the same focal ranges. Our approach is similar and consistent, while still allowing a bit of flexibility and flare for each photographers personal style.
Our team shares access to an internal wiki and slack channel complete with guides, case-studies, data and testing results based on what works (and what doesn't).
After 6 weeks we follow up with our clients to learn what worked best for them (and what didn't). We share these learnings with the team so we can all better our approach.
We're proudly based 80% off of referrals, so it's in all of our best interests to help our clients get the best results possible. If our photographer can help you improve your experience with online dating, you'll probably tell your friends.
Because we understand the difference between a "nice photo" and a high-converting photo. We're constantly improving our strategy and approach in order to get you better results.
We specialize in photographing individuals who have never had photoshoots before. We're not shooting professional models and fashion icons. We work with regular guys/girls and have tailored our skillset around that specific type of clientele.
When we pick up the camera, we have a single objective in mind - help our clients communicate their confidence, charisma and zest for life. Highlight their best attributes in a real, authentic and desirable way. Your goals become our goals. Your wins become our wins. We're in this to see you succeed.
That's why you should work with us.
Most dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, (and the plethora of others) are visual-first platforms. That means that your profile photo is the first and most important thing that people will see.
Most people make their swiping decisions in less than 6.2 seconds... that means your first impression is absolutely crucial. On apps like Tinder, most people are forced to judge a book by it's cover, meaning your photos will often make or break your profile.
Having a well-crafted profile with authentic, stunning photos is by far the quickest and most effective way to increase your matches and connect with more people. The effects are immediate and substantial.
Here are a few ways good photos can increase your success online:
You get unlimited global usage rights to the photos, so you can use them wherever you want.
When we first started this initiative we had no idea what we were doing. We thought "Our clients just need new photos, right? Easy" but boy were we wrong.
Over time we learned that it's not that simple. Certain approaches and photography styles work way better than others, while other styles can actually hurt your success on Tinder. Here's how we're constantly learning what works (and what doesn't) when it comes to photos for online dating.
Testing & Optimization Framework
Our background is in digital marketing so we have a decent amount of experience in testing & optimization. That's why we give every client a testing & optimization framework to follow along with their photos. Most dating apps don't have rich analytics built in, so this framework is the closest thing we have to scientifically testing your photos with minimal variables.
After 6 weeks we follow up with our clients to learn what worked, what didn't and exactly which photo got the highest number of matches. We look for trends using variables poses, editing styles, backgrounds and facial expressions to learn what works (and what doesn't). We've gained a ton of insight from this and even picked up a few tricks to help sell the candid nature of our photos.
We've Interviewed Countless People
We used to conduct these interviews in-person, but now it's easy enough to conduct them over Zoom. After dozens of 1-on-1 interviews (across multiple cities) we feel extremely confident in what people are actually looking for. And luckily, it's not complicated.
We've Hired Panels of People
What happens when you bring together people from different ages, races, backgrounds and genders to talk about their online dating preferences? You learn, a lot. Some things really surprised us, like the fact that most guys prefer photos where they look "cool" or "badass"... and how most women on the panel found those same photos to be "lame" and "try-hard".
We've tested LOTS of photos on sites like PhotoFeeler.com
This is an effective method to get more general insights, but it has a few caveats. The first is that the audience is distributed across the globe. This is a challenge as people from city to city tend to have different swiping preferences and biases. We prefer to gather data locally in each city to get a better understanding of what actually works in your geographic area.
After testing with hundreds of clients (and thousands of photos) we've got really good at knowing what works and what doesn't on dating apps like Tinder. Here are the main factors that go into a high-converting photo:
• Confidence is extremely attractive, regardless of age, race or gender
• Charisma can be conveyed to help you look deep, fun and exciting all at the same time
• Natural smiles and laughing photos get more matches every single time we test them
• Positivity and happiness when conveyed in a photo makes people feel at ease and trusting
• Candid photos work really, really well because they show you in a more natural and relaxed state
• Authenticity. This is a big one. If your photo looks like it was obviously staged (ie. actor headshots) it's implied that the photo is not authentic, or that it has been touched up. The best photos look organic, effortless and authentic. There's certain poses, props and situations we'll put you in to sell the authenticity (like having a coffee, smiling and looking away).
Our secret sauce is in getting you to open up, laugh, have fun and enjoy yourself during the shoot. We're experts at not only finding your good side, but showcasing the various aspects of your confidence and charisma.
Even if you're not a super confident person, there's ways we can pull it out of you. That looks a little different for each person, but trust us when we say everyone has these elements in with their personality in some capacity.
As long as we cover these bases, you're bound to see positive results. We'll intuitively guide you on the other elements (poses, editing styles, backgrounds) based on what you're wearing, your surroundings, your personality and individual style.
This is a personal question that only you can answer, but we implore you to ask yourself the following questions:
• Are you seeing the number of matches you think you should be getting?
• Are you matching with the caliber of people you feel you deserve?
• Are you using mostly old/unflattering photos on your profile?
• Has your date ever told you "you look so much better in person"?
• Do you have trouble getting matches, but have no issues meeting people in-person?
• Do you have a bio that is accurate, witty and prompts action?
If you've answered yes to any one of those questions, we can help.
If you're recently divorced there's a good chance that the last few years of photos were taken either with or by your ex. (p.s. please don't use photos with your ex awkwardly cropped out).
They were taken on vacations where you maybe got a little bit too much sun, hikes where you're probably wearing sunglasses or during family photo sessions with your kids nearby.
You need amazing photos of you (and only you). We can help.
The dating game is much, much different today than it was even five years ago. Chances are you might be new to this whole online dating thing. It can be a scary thing to jump back into, but it can also be a fun and exciting adventure that gives you a new lease on life.
We can help point you in the right direction, teach you the things we've learned over time and get you set up for success. We can help you wherever you are in your dating journey.
First off, don't sweat it! We're experts at working with beginners.
In fact, 95% of our clients have never had a single photoshoot before. This is new territory for you. The thought of hiring a photographer for your own personal shoot might seem a little crazy at first. We get it.
But there's nothing to be nervous about. In fact, as much as you might initially dread the idea of getting photographed, most of our clients end up having an absolute blast during our shoot.
We'll coach you through everything. We'll give you guidance on what kinds of outfits to wear, how to pose, what to do with your hands and how to show your confidence and charisma.
Don't worry, we're not going to ask you to do any crazy catwalk type stuff. We go for real and authentic photos that don't look overly staged. If you can do things like stand with your hand in your pocket, or hold a coffee cup, you'll be just fine during the photoshoot.
Then you're a part of the 95% club. We all hate getting our photos taken. It's awkward. We get it. But we've found a way to make it fun and easy.
Our "superpower" is being able to consistently break people out of their shells. We promise you... your photoshoot is going to be a lot of fun, even if you're dreading it. Most clients leave us feedback before they even see the photos telling us how enjoyable the whole experience was.
We'll show you an awesome time, tell you jokes and make you feel at ease. Before you know it you'll be smiling and laughing organically without us having to say "smile for the camera".
We've tested many different types of portraits and the style we keep coming back to is candid/lifestyle.
While traditional portraits or headshots can still give you a leg up from low-quality phone photos, the best way to maximize your matches is with photos that don't look too over the top/professional. Our testing data backs us up here. Let us explain.
You know when you see a celebrity on a magazine and they look almost too perfect? That's because on big fancy photoshoots there's typically lot of artificial lighting and airbrushing going on. This makes the person look great, but the resulting look is very artificial, so we don't believe it.
When it comes to your photos, you want them to look great but also look real/authentic/believable.
It shouldn't look like you paid someone for a photoshoot. Instead it should look like you just happened to be out on the town, looking your very best, wearing your best clothes with a nice natural expression on your face... and your photographer friend with the $6000 camera just happened to snap a photo of you.
Think candid, natural and organic (instead of posed, forced and airbrushed). Your new photos will be slightly edited for tone/color/style and you yourself will look fantastic - just not in a cheesy sorta way. Our data backs us up here, too. Candid photos simply work better than staged/posted photos on Tinder.
We use an online booking system to schedule and track all of our photoshoots.
This allows our customers to view our available dates, pick a date/time that works best for them and finalize their booking within 5 minutes, all from the comfort of their own homes.
Step 1. Choose your photographer
Step 2. Choose your preferred date/time
Step 3. Choose your package
Step 4. Review and sign the contract
Step 5. Pay the 50% deposit
We want to ensure you have everything you need to knock this shoot out of the park, so after you sign up we'll send you a series of onboarding emails, including:
✅ Confirmation of date/time for the photoshoot 🗓
✅ Personal introduction to your chosen photographer 🤝
✅ Reminder emails leading up to the photoshoot 📩
✅ Posing and outfit guides 📝
✅ Testing & Profile Optimization guide 📊
✅ Questionnaire from our copywriter (so they can write you a custom bio) 📝
✅ Occasional surveys (about your experience with our photographers) 💭
We require a 50% deposit to lock in your date in our calendars. This is due upon sign-up and can be paid via credit card using our online booking system. We process via Stripe, so we accept any major credit/visa-debit cards.
The remaining 50% is due on the day of your shoot. If you're in the US, this is paid to your photographer directly (they accept PayPal or Square payments). If you're in Canada, you will receive a second invoice which you can pay online.
Look, we get it. Sometimes life happens and things don't go as planned, so we're pretty flexible with our rescheduling/cancellation policies.
If you can't make your shoot for any reason, just give us at least 24 hours notice and we'll reschedule it to a later date at no additional cost. If you need to cancel your shoot all together, just make sure to do so at least 48 hours before your shoot and we'll process a full refund, no questions asked.
All of our photoshoots take place outdoors in trendy areas of town. We choose areas that are centrally located and have a variety of backdrops, backgrounds and scenery nearby to give you a wide variety of different vibes.
Your photographer will always meet you at designated a coffee shop in the area. This gives you both a chance to meet and chat for a few minutes before the shooting begins. You'll also utilize the restroom in the coffee shop for quick outfit changes.
We don't want you soaking wet and miserable, so if the weather is calling for heavy rain/snow we'll gladly reschedule your shoot. However, if the weather is mild/overcast/slight rain, we suggest you continue with the shoot as planned.
When it's cloudy the sky turns into a soft light-source that produces ideal conditions for photos. Instead of harsh shadows and sunlight, we get evenly lit photos that look phenomenal.
Great question! You'll meet your photographer at a local coffee shop where you can pop-in to do outfit changes.
Note: COVID-19 can make this tricky. Restrictions are changing with each passing week. Alternatively, clients have offered to change in their cars. We cannot guarantee a place to do outfit changes at this time, so keep that in mind before booking.
By default, the photographer will choose the final photos for you.
In the beginning we tried letting customers choose their own photos, but most customers hated the experience since they then had to sift through 1000+ photos themselves which is tedious and time-consuming.
Most customers asked us to choose the photos instead, so now our photographers will take care of that step for you. They'll choose the top 15-30 photos that they think would work best for your needs based on the knowledge and instinct they have about what works best online.
If you have a preference for which types of photos you want to receive (ie. if you want a mix of serious, funny and thoughtful expressions) just let them know during the shoot.
If this if your first photoshoot we totally understand the hesitation here. To get you comfortable, we usually start the photoshoot off in a less-populated area (like a side street or behind the coffee shop). Once you start feeling more confident, we may or may not move you into more populated areas, depending on how you're feeling.
People might see you, but don't worry - they're not judging you, they're mostly just curious. They're probably wondering if you're a celebrity or an artist of some sort.
Photoshoots are extremely common for both men and women of all ages. You might get a few peeks, but for the most part people will just carry on and continue with their day without giving it any thought.
In the extremely rare circumstance that someone walks up and asks "What are you guys doing? Is this for a magazine or something?" we respond with something boring like "Yep, this is for a blog post".
The editing process takes approximately 5-7 days. Once they're done you'll be sent a private online gallery to view and download your photos from.
Short answer: Yes, unedited files are available in the All-Star Package ($850) only.
Most photographers don't want you anywhere near their raw/unedited files. We totally understand their rationale... after all, unedited files often look dark, grainy and not representative of their final form. There's a lot of magic that goes on in the edit. In fact, for every one hour of shooting there's usually 2-3 hours of editing needed afterwards.
However, we also understand that sometimes our customers want it all. The rough cuts. The photos that aren't quite perfect. They want a massive gallery of images to pull from and they're savvy enough to try and edit the photos themselves.
Notes about unedited raw/jpeg files:
• You need specialty apps to open them (ie. Photoshop, Lightroom Mobile, Capture One)
• They won't be edited for tone, colour, contrast or brightness
• Many photos turn out under-exposed, blurry or off-composition (we shoot hundreds per session for this reason)
• If you download the RAW files we cannot process or edit them for you afterwards
If this is your first shoot, there's a good chance you'll be nervous. But try not to sweat it!
Almost every single client we work with has never had a photoshoot before, so we've become quite the experts at working with beginners. Your photographer will guide you through the entire shoot.
Trust us when we say that you don't need to be a pro model to get incredible photos... but if you want to get comfortable with posing ahead of time, check out this basic posing guide to see what kinds of poses you'll be doing.
Spoiler alert: If you can put your hand in your pocket, or hold a coffee cup, you'll be just fine at posing during the shoot. We won't ask you to do anything too ridiculous or unnatural.
You have free rein over what outfits you want to wear, but I'll give you some recommendations based on what we've seen work well before. If you want to jump straight to visual examples, this article has been voted the most helpful (from our male audience), and this article has been voted most helpful (from our female audience).
1. Date Night: This one is pretty straight forward - pick an outfit you would wear on a first date. Guys, a decent button up shirt and dark jeans works well here. Add in a watch and belt for flair. Girls, chances are you have a favourite outfit for just this occasion... but wear something fun, flirty and classy.
2. Saturday Vibes: What would you wear to meet with your friends for lunch on a Saturday afternoon? We’re going for Saturday casual vibes here. Sweaters, cardigans, dressy hoodies, denim/leather jackets work well here. If you have a go-to casual outfit (ripped jeans, t-shirt) that you feel extra comfortable in, wear that.
3. Wild Card: This one is totally up to you. Some people bring something a bit more dressy so that it can double as a LinkedIn photo, and some people bring props to show off their personality (boxing gloves, guitar). Just keep in mind that the props will be used in a non-obtrusive way (ie. you won't be wearing the boxing gloves, they'll be sitting next to you slightly out of frame... much more subtle).
A note about haircuts
If you’re going to get a haircut, consider getting it cut a few days in advance. In some cases, hair might take a few days to ‘fill in’ from a fresh cut. You don't want to have little tiny hairs visible on your shoulders/face (yes, this has happened before).
Besides the info stated above, personal styling isn't really our forte. What we can do however is get you in touch with a reputable personal stylist/shopper in your area. We've worked with a bunch over time and know who's worth their weight in each city.
In 2021 we partnered with Kimberly Hill to provide even more value to our clients. If you purchase the All-Star package, you will receive a complimentary session with Vancouver's leading dating & relationship coach, Kimberly Hill.
Each session will be held virtually (using Zoom) and is aimed at supporting you through your unique dating situation - and to provide you practical advice on how to attract and navigate through dating.
Born in Vancouver, B.C. Kimberly is an international dating and relationship coach who supports men to attract and keep healthy, loving relationships. She has thousands of hours of direct intimate work with men on confidence, dating, and relationships and brings a mastery of coaching, emotional maturity practices, and leadership to her clients.
Kimberly's unique coaching style brings in a humorous and lighthearted approach while getting deep into the heart of what really matters. She will find out what truly moves you and get you the results you're looking for when it comes to dating, relationships and love.
She has experience with a wide range of modalities and practices from psychology, energy healing, mindfulness-based stress-reduction, relationship theory, dating strategy, neurolinguistics, and solution-focused coaching.
Having great photos can take your profile to another level, but when it's paired with a weak/lazy bio, you won't be getting nearly as many matches as you could be. That's why we offer professional bio copywriting services for our clients.
After you sign-up we'll ask you to fill out a 30-question survey that covers areas such as your background, career, likes/dislikes, what you're looking for, your tastes, emoji use and much, much more. The goal is to help our copywriter get to know you as well as he can so that he can craft you a smart, witty, original bio that is built to be a conversation starter.
When combined with your photos, a well-written bio can boost your match-rate significantly.
Before your shoot, your photographer will:
• Ensure that outdoor shoots are currently allowed in your local area.
• Recommend a location that isn't too crowded with people.
• Monitor themselves for symptoms and pre-emptively postpone the shoot if they are sick.
During your photoshoot:
• Photographers will stay at least 6 feet away at all times (our lenses shoot far, don't worry).
• If an area becomes too crowded, the photographer may suggest another nearby location.
What we ask of our clients:
• If you aren't feeling well, please let our photographer know so you can postpone your shoot.
• If you have travelled recently or may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, postpone your shoot.
• If you have been ordered to quarantine, or are awaiting test results, postpone your shoot.
• During the outdoor shoot, you may remove your mask as long as the 6-feet distance can be maintained.
If you can't make your shoot for any reason, just give us at least 24 hours notice and we'll reschedule it to a later date at no additional cost.
If you need to cancel your shoot all together, just make sure to do so at least 7 days before your shoot and we'll process a full refund, no questions asked.
During the sign-up process we will ask you if you're comfortable with us sharing your photos. By default, we will never share your photos without permission. We take our clients' privacy seriously and can operate under complete discretion if required.
However, we feel like this is such an awesome initiative and we would be happy to share your photos to show what we're capable of (with your permission, of course).
After your shoot you'll receive an optional release form where you can choose if/when we use your photos. We would appreciate being able to share your photos with the world, but we will never use your photos without your explicit permission.
You get unlimited global personal usage rights. You can use them on any platform, for any reason, as long as it's not for commercial print/campaigns (but your linkedin or business website is totally fine).
Your photographer will retain the copyright (as per copyright laws) but we will never post or use your photos publicly without your explicit consent.
All marketing, regardless of industry, should be looked at as a data-informed experiment. There's no universal answers or shortcuts. Although we aim specifically towards results, it's impossible for us to guarantee any kind of results due to the sheer number of factors at play.
Your deposit is fully refundable, for any reason, up to 48 hours before your shoot. In the event that the photographer cannot make your requested date (and no future date can be agreed upon) we will provide you with a full refund, no questions asked.
If your photographer doesn't show up for the shoot (note: this has never happened before) you will be refunded in full. Again, no questions asked.
We will do everything in our power to provide you with photos and copywriting that exceeds your expectations. You can see each photographers' work before booking, and your photos will closely resemble the example photos.
However, creative work (and art) is subjective. There is no right or wrong answers. Sometimes we can take a photo that everyone agrees is great, but the person in the photo hates it because they don't like the way they look. Because of that, we can't offer refunds after the work has been completed and delivered.