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Mindful Love: 7 Unexpected Lessons I Learned From Being A Tinder Photographer

Dating Photos for Tinder in Berlin
Self portrait by Sophia Isabella

This summer marked five years of my work as a dating photographer, helping men get better photos for their online dating profiles by offering them individual photo shoots. I started off this crazy journey after taking pictures of a good friend for his Tinder profile, just after having dived into the field of photography. With these new and improved profile pictures, my friend suddenly saw an immense spike in matches and dates and I realized that such photo shoots might also be beneficial to many other men. Hence, I decided to offer this service to more people and have since photographed hundreds of men in several cities around Europe. I have furthermore assembled a network of talented dating photographers in major cities around the world who have become a vital part of this journey. It is my mission to create attractive photos of everyone and to help my clients feel confident in the online dating game, so as to find the special connections dating apps can offer.

During my work as a dating photographer I have encountered many beautiful moments and I have learned 7 surprising things that I would like to share here, for the first time ever, with you all.

1. People don’t know how attractive they can look

Many people think they’re just not photogenic and that they will never appear handsome on photos, but that is simply not true! I know from experience that everyone can look attractive! From the right angle, and with the right light, I can get the best out of anybody and, so far, every client has agreed with me on this. Countless times I have been able to show people how beautiful they truly are and surprise them with the amazing photos our sessions resulted in. It is such a gift to show someone how beautiful they look, especially when they did not believe such results were possible, and seeing the final pictures puts a huge smile on their face!

2. Men really do not have many pictures of themselves

Wow. They really do not. It’s not that I expected my clients to have a bunch of professional photos of themselves in stack, but it really surprised me to see so many low quality and unattractive pictures on their profiles (It didn’t surprise me that they weren’t getting many matches). Most guys tell me they just don’t like having their picture taken and so the only photos they end up with are either unfavorable selfies, photos with their ex-girlfriends in them, or visual memories of their latest drinking escapade with friends. Women, on the other hand, naturally seem to have a variety of attractive photos of themselves. It is more common for many of us to be out with our girlfriends and take cute photos, either during brunch or when we are all dolled up and going out. This gives women a huge selection of suitable photos to choose from, apart from already having it easier to get matches on dating apps. Time and time again, I have learned the importance of what I do: supporting men in attaining amazing pictures of themselves that represent who they really are, so they can finally chuck out these low-quality profile pics!

3. Men are not just attractive but outright beautiful!

There is something very special about these photo shoots and the energy that arises between the photographer and the client, and these sessions have allowed me to see men in a new light. Although a photo shoot can actually feel like a first date (you meet, go for a walk, get to know each other), the energy is totally different compared the first dates I had myself - back in the day. There is a certain authenticity that I always longed for during my own experiences of online dating. An authenticity that is hard to achieve when you have that added pressure of trying to be one way or another in order to show your best self, when meeting a potential partner in real life. The time spent with single gentlemen during photo shoots is truly energizing, because it has become one of those (way too rare) occasions where a genuine conversation happens and authenticity can thrive.

These photo shoots are not only refreshing for myself but also amazing for the people I photograph. My clients suddenly feel seen again, for the first time in a long while, because getting someone's undivided attention has become such a rare occurrence in this frantic world we live in. This leads to them beaming with positive energy by the end of their shoot. Getting your photos taken, especially when it is for a dating app, requires a certain vulnerability and willingness to let yourself be seen. Witnessing this vulnerability in my clients has been a very beautiful experience, because vulnerability is what leads to connections and whether you are looking for your SO or just a ONS - when it comes down to it, we are all just longing for that special connection with another human being.

4. Men actually enjoy having their photos taken, even if many are nervous at the beginning

Many of my clients are very nervous before the photo shoot. One guy even told me he was considering cancelling the day before, due to getting anxious about it all. He told me this towards the end of our photo shoot, laughing about how silly that would have been, because he was so surprised about how much fun he ended up having. And this scenario is what ha