The Echelon Scene is an offline matchmaking agency for eligible gay men all over the world who are looking for their equal partner in love. The agency is headquartered in London, with additional focus on New York and Toronto. Jacqueline Burns, the founder, travels extensively to meet high-end, genuine, fun, attractive, masculine, and ambitious men.
What I love about The Echelon Scene is that it offers access to single men who would never typically join an agency like this. It gets you out on dates you are excited about, that can turn into lasting relationships.
I caught up with Jacqueline who had lots of questions for me about Hey Saturday to see if we would be a good fit for her clients.
At The Echelon Scene we only matchmake for gay men seeking their equal partner in love. Do you work with gay clients?
Absolutely. We’ve had feedback from some of our gay clients too, who have gone on to find a partner that they’re happy with. We work with clients from all backgrounds, ages, religions, genders, sexual preferences, abilities and nationalities. The one thing that they do have in common is that they are all single and looking for relationships.
Our clients are all seeking a long-term monogamous relationship. Are your clients using their pictures for that reason, or are some of them looking for more short term relationships? If so, do you take the picture differently?
I would say that most of our clients are using their photos to create a stand-out dating profile to help them find a long-term monogamous relationship. But we’ve noticed, in recent years, that younger millennials are booking shoots with us to update their social media feeds and for use on Tinder and Grindr and they are not necessarily looking for long term relationships but short term ones too.
We might approach their photo shoot differently depending on how they brief us. Ahead of the shoot, we ask all our clients to answer our pre shoot questionnaire so that they can take a bit of time out their busy schedule to sit and think about what they are after in their shots. The information they share with us also helps the photographer get to know them better and start to plan their shoot. If the client has a specific vibe they want to go for, then we’ll work with them to help them portray that.
How do you choose locations for each shoot and what do you do for the truly international clients who split their time between many places? Is location important and what do you aim to capture there? Our clients are based all over the UK, Europe and North America.
Hey Saturday shoots in some of the the main cities in the UK and also on the East and West coast of the US, in Los Angeles and New York City. We find some of the most photographic, colourful, vibrant places in those cities and offer our shoots there, for example Shoreditch, Portobello, the Southbank, Covent Garden in London, SoHo, the Lower East Side and DUMBO in New York City and Abbot Kinney and Silver Lake in Los Angeles. At least once or twice a month, we’ll have a client who lets us know they’re flying in from a foreign city (in either Europe or the US) to have their shoot with Hey Saturday. Some combine it with a business or leisure trip others fly in especially for their shoot. Most clients will choose a location that is easy for them to get to or that is perhaps important to them in someway or represents something about their personality. For example, creatives will often choose Shoreditch for their shoot as the vibe their is quite cool and edgy. Other clients might choose Notting Hill or Primrose Hill for a more sophisticated vibe. For clients who are unsure, we’re happy to talk them through the location options and help them choose one that suits them best. The location and backgrounds are important as they form part of the client’s vibe but that said, the client will always be the most important thing in the shot. The backgrounds and locations are there to add value, helping clients stand out for the right reasons.
What is the age range of your clientele? Our clients at The Echelon Scene range from 23-mid 60s but most tend to be around their 30s and 40s, however we have noticed some are much more comfortable in front of a lens than others and age has no bearing on this. Have you found similar results and for those who are camera shy, how do you manage that?
That sounds very similar to Hey Saturday. Our youngest clients tend to be early twenties and our oldest client, that we’re aware of, is 76 and she features on our home page as we love her shots so much. Age and gender don’t really factor when figuring out which ones are camera shy. It’s more likely to be related to whether they are introverts or extroverts and how much they love themselves at the time of the shoot. Hey Saturday is always keen to recommend that people work on their self-love and self-esteem before they start dating as it makes for a much healthier and more fun experience. Plus the photos are always awesome when clients are happy in their skin.
That said, we have a lot of experience working with shy and introverted clients. We work with over 1,000 clients a year in the UK and US so our photographers are working with clients regularly. I only choose to work with photographers who are not only talented portrait photographers but also experts at relating to all kinds of people and helping them to relax into a shoot when they’re feeling totally out of their comfort zone. We get so much great feedback from clients saying how much they ended up enjoying their shoots despite often dreading it beforehand. Creating a great client experience is the most important thing for us.
At The Echelon Scene we believe the recipe of finding a long-term relationship is to have shared energy, complementing values, characteristics and also physical attraction. Is your aim to make someone look the best they can and incorporate all elements of their values and character too?
As we all know by now, it’s really hard to judge what someone is like just from their photos. The important thing is to actually meet people to find out if that physical attraction and shared energy is there. However, when online dating for example, the way our brains work is that we process images 60,000 times faster than written words. People also don’t spend that much time reviewing people’s profiles when swiping or scrolling so you have literally fractions of a second to grab someone’s attention with your photos. More than 90% of what people consider when deciding when to contact someone online is down to the photos alone, so those photos need to work hard for you or you’ll be missing lots of opportunities.
Our aim, at Hey Saturday, is to do three things: make people look good (first date good!), help them stand out online (using good quality images, incorporating colour, making sure they’re the main thing in the shot, using simple backgrounds rather than messy ones, that add value etc) and finally help tell people more about their character, and if possible, their values. We do that by advising them on the things they can do to showcase their personal brand like taking care over outfits they’re going to wear, thinking about the location of their shoot, the props they might want to bring, what they might like to be seen doing (e.g. cycling, yoga etc.)
We share photos when telling matches about each other and typically ask that the pictures are clear, smiling and not too corporate. However, although all of our clients are emotionally intelligent, fun and kind, some are serious business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs and most have a masculine energy. Do you find men harder to work with and loosen up than women?
This is difficult to answer. I guess the balance might tilt more towards men being harder to loosen up but at the moment we’re working with more male clients so it may just seem that way. Lots of women struggle to relax at first too. But I was aware that people were going to struggle with this when I set up the business back in 2013, so all our photographers have these great personalities where they can find ways to connect with almost anyone and help relax them and tease out great shots from them. Part of the way we work too, is to just try and have fun with clients out on their shoot (which we actually call an adventure as it doesn’t really resemble a formal portrait shoot, ours are more laid-back) and take a lot of photos so that they can relax into the shoot and not worry too much about having eyes closed, mouths open etc. Our photographers will then have a wide range of photos to choose from.
If you would like to find out more about The Echelon Scene, head here to get in touch with Jaqueline.
If you would like to go ahead and book a shoot with one of our awesome Hey Saturday photographers, just head here.
Welcome to our new interview series, Come As You Are, where we shine a spotlight on some of our lovely, single clients to learn more about the people behind the photos. (If you’d like to be featured, drop Saskia a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you). Meet our first featured client, Caterina. Recently we did a shoot in Shoreditch with the ultra cool, bubbly Caterina and found out more about what makes her tick.
Interested in meeting:
MEN MEN MEN MEN MEN MEN
What do you do to earn a crust, Caterina?
I do various things otherwise I’d get bored! Fashion Producer, Session Stylist Educator, Artist Development ( photographers), Property Investor and Business Development
What’s inspiring you right now?
Hustlers, people that put their heart and soul into everything and believe wholeheartedly in what they do. Work, life, motherhood, travelling, reporting.
What makes you stand out from others?
I’m loud. Very. And opinionated. And then I guess my specs.
What do you love about yourself right now?
The self-development journey that I’m on and the fact that I can see potential in people and develop them.
What was the last thing you created that you were happy with?
I created an advanced, but truly fun, English lesson plan for my Italian friend who went for an interview in English after only a few lessons ( 5 ) and smashed it!!
Your perfect weekend?
>> My standard weekend would consist of breakfast, sex, something active such as cycling, swimming, trekking or climbing, sharing ideas with someone interesting on how to take over the world (I love entrepreneurial minds that never ever stop), cooking dinner with my date, sex, watching a documentary film or chilling and read books and finally possibly sex again!!!!
>> A really good weekend would consist of a surprise stay booked in a 5-star hotel in another country where my favourite band is playing their best concert ever.
What are you focusing on right now that gets you all fired up and passionate?
Developing – myself, my business, artists and my network. Yes, I’d say developing and growing is what really makes me all fired up and passionate.
And I also love listening to and just being in the presence of someone who is TRULY passionate about something and pursues that dream/goal with all of himself or herself.
What was the last thing you did that really scared you but you did it anyway?
I loved someone unconditionally. I got hurt, badly.
You’re stranded on a desert island. Which 3 books keep you sane?
Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone
Esco a Fare Due Passi by Fabio Volo
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
What are your top three visited websites right now?
I love www.vogue.com as I need to keep up with all the trends and who does what!!! The world of fashion travels at the speed of light!
And www.worldphoto.org as I adore their photographs and also I like to keep on track with events, submissions, shows, exhibitions, etc
Finally I’m obsessed with www.airbnb.com – no joke – I travel a lot and also help organise other people’s accommodation so I cannot thank the guys enough, who came up with this brilliant idea that makes my life much easier.
Share something that most people don’t know about you.
I make the most amazing, REAL tiramisu … and I can move my ears (without using my hands!)!!!!!
Who is your style crush?
Lily Allen at the start of her career. Cute dresses with trainers! Alternatively a younger Madonna. For a more stylish event, it would have to be Victoria Beckham.
If you could take a hot date anywhere in the world for the next 24 hours, where would you go and what would you do?
I’d take them to the Rainbow Mountain in Peru. We’d rent an off-road car or motorbike and drive around getting as close as possible. We’d trek up the mountain, camp out round a campfire, experience the wild life and then the morning after we’d head back to a beautiful resort on a nearby lake.
Shot by Saskia
Shot by Saskia
How can you contact Caterina?
If you’d like to say ‘Hey’ to Caterina, you can slide into her Instagram DMs right here.
Interview and photoshoot by Saskia for Hey Saturday, London
A question we should always revisit regularly – are you being too hard on yourself in your online dating? Rather than striving for it to be perfect, you need to treat your dating like most serious relationships – sometimes exciting, sometimes messy, sometimes disappointing, with moments of joy and fun that make it all worthwhile. Ups and downs are as much a part of dating as any other part of your life, so check out these five signs you’re being too self critical.
You blame yourself for bad dates
In dating we all have dates that we’d rather forget. But if you find that you’re constantly telling yourself it’s your fault they didn’t work out, you need to go easy on yourself! There can be all sorts of reasons why a date with someone you’ve met online doesn’t go right – lack of chemistry, having nothing in common, having a full blown disagreement, or maybe they were just a total dick. Yes that’s right – chances are the issue was theirs, not yours. Plus there could be all sorts of things going on in their life that you weren’t aware of. Work on boosting your self confidence and you’ll find that it’s easier to shrug off bad dates and accept that it wasn’t your fault.
You have set yourself dating ‘targets’ like meeting ‘The One’ by the end of the year
Are you one of those people who goes into online dating with all sorts of arbitrary deadlines and targets in your head? For example, you set yourself a goal that you will meet Mr or Mrs Right by the end of this year, or that you have to go on a minimum number of dates per month? This approach is very hard on you, because it puts you under pressure, sets you up for disappointment and will make you feel bad about yourself if you don’t meet the targets you have set yourself. Plus you’re going to strip all the fun out of what should be an exciting, cool experience. You need to chill out and go with the flow – you’ll find that you’re actually more likely to meet that special person if you’re much more relaxed and easy going about the whole thing.
You’re apologetic about things in your dating profile
If you’re being an authentic and honest dater, then you should be truthful about your passions in your dating profile. If you love unusual pastimes like trampolining, weaving or making sausages, then own it! Don’t arrive on your date and spend the evening making excuses for the things that make you interesting and unique. Those are exactly the sort of conversation starters that open minded, exciting people will want to chat to you about. So for example, when asked what you’re into, don’t start your reply with “I know it’s weird, but…”. Be confident about all your weird and wonderful interests and you’ll find that actually you’re a tremendously interesting person to go on a date with. Love yourself and others will too!
Your photos present an ‘airbrushed’ version of you
Your dating photos should be as natural as possible and present a true, authentic version of you. They should capture your personality and tell your story. If you opt for dating photos that don’t quite tell the truth – perhaps they are heavily photoshopped or taken in a studio with lots of professional lighting, then you’re presenting an airbrushed version of you to potential dates. This means you’re putting yourself under enormous pressure to live up to the glamorous person you’ve presented. It’s very important that you look like your photos when you turn up to a date and that the other person doesn’t feel deceived. Isn’t it much more honest to give your dates a sense of what it’s really like to hang out with you day to day? We’re not saying you shouldn’t look good in your dating photos – far from it, but you should show off ‘you on a good day’, (not a version of you that can only be achieved in a studio with professional hair and make-up).
Your compare yourself negatively to others
This one is a big no-no but increasingly hard to avoid in this world of social media and constant updates from friends. Browsing social media can make you feel that everyone else has their life completely sussed out except for you – it seems everyone else has the perfect job, love life, relationship and work/life balance. But when you see that selfie of your friend sipping an avocado and turmeric smoothie after their 7am yoga workout, you’d do well to remember that it’s not the whole story. We’re all constantly being encouraged to cherry pick the best bit of our lives and put them online, while no one talks about the bad bits. So remember that everyone who is doing online dating has disappointments, heartbreak and dates that don’t work out. And everyone is getting ghosted. They’re just not posting it online. So give yourself a break!
To help you be less self critical, book a shoot with Hey Saturday and we’ll make you feel like a million bucks.
Cool words by Lauren, sassy photos by Saskia for Hey Saturday, London
When I was over in Los Angeles at the end of last year, I was lucky enough to meet up with and shoot some of Tawkify’s LA based matchmakers. We met at the very cool Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood and I spent the day hanging out with this group of uber cool women. Among them were singer songwriters, artists and one of them even writes and stars in her own web series. I knew at that point that I had definitely arrived in Los Angeles.
What I love about Tawkify is that it’s a modern matchmaking company intent on changing the way singles meet one another and fall in love. With their national network of matchmakers, they support relationship-minded singles with a more effective and personalised alternative to online dating. I had a chance to find out more about what makes their service so special…
If I were single, dating in Los Angeles and signed up to Tawkify, what could I expect from you and your matchmakers?
We like to say that while we can’t guarantee we’ll find the love of your life, we can guarantee making the search for him or her much easier. We take on all of the work and time commitment that contemporary dating has become, so our clients have more spare time to do things they’d rather do instead of endlessly searching, swiping, messaging and/or meeting (or never getting to that stage) too many iffy possibilities that go nowhere. Our clients’ matchmakers conduct preference-based searches to narrow options in our database, then pre-screen promising candidates on video chats to screen for qualities not evident in profiles or photos; they even plan their dates to provide seamless introductions to each hand-selected match. There is simply no easier, more quality-focused proactive way to date.
What sort of activities would you recommend I go on to make the best connection with my dates?
First date activities are definitely a personal preference kind of a thing. What would be most enjoyable to you, personally? Some clients really do prefer the simplicity of an initial coffee or cocktail meetup, while many appreciate the natural “ice-breakability” of more interactive dates such as a museum meet-up, urban scavenger hunt, or a food/wine tasting outing or class, by way of example. First date conversation topics are also helpful in facilitating – or not – potential first date connections. We generally recommend daters avoid the terrible triad of 1) talking about their exes 2) talking too much about themselves or 3) talking about touchy religious or political topics. On the other hand, it’s helpful to venture beyond small talk and tap into your curiosity to learn more about the person in front of you; what do they truly value and find interesting in their life? Our blog has many articles with first-date advice, including this if you’re interested.
Knowing how awesome your matchmakers in Los Angeles are, I’d love to know how you find and choose your ideal matchmakers?
Thanks! Our approach has proven uber-popular with singles since we were founded back in 2012, so has meant adding new matchmakers over the years. We’ve successfully identified traits that tend to make some matchmakers more effective than others, such as high EQ or a client service mindset for example, which have been useful filters when considering new candidates. We’re able to ramp up new matchmakers from a variety of backgrounds on our approach and platform, but most share a penchant for bringing people together – friends or romantic couples – as a common denominator.
Tell me about a favourite couple that you’ve matched and why?
One of my favourite couples has to be Brandon and Ashley. They both lived within a handful of miles from each other and frequented many of the same places over and over and over, because they share so many interests and are just a like-minded compatible couple who never would have met without us. They are married now; their photos are on our website. I just think they really represent why matchmaking is so effective these days for busy people who either don’t like dating through the apps, and/or don’t tend to meet new potential partners outside of their “set” work or social circles. The “perfect” match could be someone you cross paths with every day at your favourite coffee shop, you know? But the likelihood you’d ever realise that, much less cross the public divide to connect without some divine intervention in the form of a matchmaker introducing you is slim to none. That’s just the reality these days of how most adults live once they’re out of college maybe. Being that connection is, literally, what we mean by “destined to meet (with a little help).”
Tell us honestly, why you think your Tawkify’s matchmaking skills work so well? What’s the secret?
We think one of the secrets to our success is not relying entirely on other customers for our match pool. That’s just too limiting, but is typically the business model for most matchmakers. They sign folks up and match them with one another. Of course we do that too, but we also have advanced sourcing capabilities to go beyond our current pool to find additional candidates as needed. If the best matches for a client are people who’ve never heard of us, or haven’t yet considered working with a matchmaker, our ability to find them proactively can be a game changer, and certainly has been for many of the couples we’ve matched over the years.
You already cover large parts of the US, how is it looking for Europe? Are you planning to do more here? Can our UK readers get involved yet?
We are matching clients throughout the US now, but there is still so much room for growth here. We want to be the self-service dating app/site alternative of choice in the US before contemplating expansion into other countries… but it’s definitely on the road map!
Can you share your top tip for our single readers who are fed up with dating?
Honestly, give matchmaking a try. There’s a reason why so many people are going this direction now. What used to be great about online dating, the plethora of choices and self-service freedom of it, are now the same things that make people loathe it, feel overwhelmed by it, and render it so relatively less effective at the end of the day. There’s a lot to be said for outsourcing the work, and also for getting a different perspective on who you might really click with in a different way than you thought. There’s no guarantee a matchmaker will find your “person” any more than you’re guaranteed you will on your own, struggling with the apps. Our success rate does seem more promising, but aside from that, why not at least make the whole thing easier on yourself? We provide affordable, full-service matchmaking that is a tremendous value just from the vantage point of saved time, effort and frustration alone. Why not outsource all of that to someone who’ll support you and focus on a proactive search from the preferences that matter most to you… and see where it leads?
Photos and Interview by Saskia for Hey Saturday, Los Angeles
So here it is – the best advice on what dating pictures to choose for your online dating profile from the guys who pioneered dating photography, Hey Saturday. There’s lots of conflicting advice out there but this is the definitive guide to creating a stand out set of dating profile pictures.
Firstly, the golden rule is to make sure all your dating photos are recent. If you include photos that are really old or don’t look like you anymore, then you’re deceiving your date from the off. And that’s a turn off, no matter how great you look now or how brilliant your personality is. So how old is too old? Well, we’d say anything that’s more than 3 or 4 years old is probably pushing it. But the more recent the better, especially if your appearance has changed (for example a new hair style or colour, or different facial hair). If you haven’t got any good quality, recent photos, then your first stop is to invest in some.
The next crucial question is – how many photos should you include on your dating profile? Our advice would be a minimum of 4-6 dating photos and change them regularly to keep your profile fresh. But as you’ll see below, you can add more photos as long as they tell your story and help to build your personal brand. Here’s the breakdown of dating profile pictures to include:
The close up headshot
Every dating profile should include at least one well-lit headshot of you smiling. It’s been proven that shots where you’re smiling get more right swipes so make this a priority. We’d advise using this as your main dating profile photo, for both men and women. Smiling makes you look fun, engaging, approachable and happy – all attractive traits that will get people’s interest. However, not all your headshots have to show you with a big, wide grin. As long as you’ve got one smiley one in there, feel free to show some other, more neutral facial expressions too. This works especially well for guys and you can read more tips on this in our ‘Expert tips for the best dating profile photos for guys’. By ‘close up’ we mean that your face should be clearly visible – a head and shoulders shot is ideal.
The medium shots
Next on your list of must haves should be several medium shots. These are waist up shots that show some context and background. People can start to get a good sense of your body type, your sense of style and the kind of stuff you’re into. This is where storytelling starts to come in. Your dating photos are giving people instant clues about you and they’ll decide whether they think you’re compatible very quickly. Everything in your dating profile photo, from your clothes to the backdrop, is important in building up a mental image of you as a person. Check out more examples of great medium shots in our Expert tips for the best dating profile photos for women.
The storytelling shots
We’ve touched on storytelling, but what do we mean exactly by this type of dating photo? Storytelling shots are dating photos that help people to understand what makes you tick and show what makes you different and unique by showing your personality and by showing you doing something interesting. Include dating pictures where you’re visiting somewhere you love, for example hanging out in your favourite vintage market, bookshop or cafe. Have photos of you doing favourite pastimes or holding items that have meaning for you, for example musical instruments, baskets of fruit and veg, headphones, books or coffee. But avoid shots of you with booze or looking the worse for wear at parties, as drunken party snaps are a proven turn off when it comes to dating profile photos.
The full body shot
We all like to see people’s body size, shape and height, so make sure you include one full body shot. This can be a tricky shot to get right as it’s not a type of photo we often take, so make sure you keep your pose as natural as possible. Looking away from the lens is a good tip, especially for men. Women can be intimidated by too many shots where men are gazing into the camera. For women, laughing, smiling and looking flirty is what men want (no surprise there!).
To get loads more advice and tips on creating stand out dating pictures, including more about showing your personality, choosing your photographer and how to rock your dating shoot, head over to our main blog.
To take the hassle out of getting an awesome set of dating pictures, book a shoot with us. We are the experts after all.
Wise words by Lauren, sassy photos by Saskia, Nicole and Audra for Hey Saturday London and Hey Saturday New York City
It’s quite simple: in online dating, you want profile photos that win you matches on dating apps. And that means you’ve got to look your best. At Hey Saturday, the world’s leading dating photography agency, we know that looking great in your profile pictures is about much more than how you look or how attractive you are. It’s also about your attitude, your mindset and how much self love you’re rocking. Here are five winning ways to make sure you look good in your dating profile pictures.
Rock your confidence
Confident people are often seen as the most attractive people, no matter what they actually look like. This is great news. It means you don’t need to be the hottest person online to attract great people. You just need to nurture some rock solid self-belief and develop the right mindset. To look good in your profile picture, use these three top tips for indestructible self belief:
Care less about what others think
Manage your inner critic
Think back to a time when you were on fire and channel that
Your vibe is the emotional atmosphere you give off and it’s sensed intuitively by others. Dating photos are all about finding a strong emotional connection with someone, so your vibe is a crucial part of looking good in your dating profile photos – just as much as what you look like. You can let people know what kind of person you are by what you’re wearing, what you’re holding, what you’re doing and where you are. When people look at your photos they’re figuring out, often subconsciously, who you are as a person and what kind of life you lead.
Rock your look
Prepare for your dating photo shoot as though you’re going to bump into your ex. If you look good, you’ll feel good and that will make you look great in your dating profile pictures. At Hey Saturday we recommend you wear at least one outfit you’d wear on a first date – it’s that outfit that’s always guaranteed to make you feel amazing whenever you wear it. When you’re heading out to get your dating profile pictures taken, make sure you feel totally drop dead gorgeous. This isn’t about being vain or superficial, this is about getting in the right mindset to feel amazing and therefore look amazing.
Rock your uniqueness
To look good in your dating profile pictures you need to show people that you’re confident, look good and have a great vibe, but also what makes you stand out from others. What are your passions and obsessions that make you uniquely you? Think about how you might incorporate clues about them into your photos in a clever way. It’s easier to feel good about the unique things about you when you’re rocking some self love. We all know the adage that if you don’t love yourself you’ll be unable to love others. So silence the inner critic and start telling yourself you’re amazing, start acting as if you’re amazing and pretty soon you’ll be…yeah…amazing.
Rock your shoot
To look good in your dating profile pictures you need to create the right atmosphere. The best way to make your dating photo shoot go well is to relax and have fun with your photographer. So if all else fails just relax, go with the flow and try and get a good connection with your dating photographer. Be curious about them, find out whether you have any shared passions and interests. Just the act of talking about shared passions together will make the connection between you strong and the photographs will be much more powerful for it. If you can find a way to enjoy this shared experience and just have a laugh, you will get the mood just right for looking good in your dating photos.
We share loads more tips about how to create an epic set of dating profile pictures over on our blog. Go check it out here!
We can help you transform your dating profile and reclaim your dating life. Book a shoot with us right here.
That’s right folks, it’s time all you good people of Bristol were able to benefit from a little Hey Saturday dating photo magic in your lives. Hey Saturday is the first and coolest dating photography agency on the planet and we’re on a mission to rid the world of bad dating profile photos forever. We’re so excited about launching dating photos in Bristol this year with our super talented photographer Suze and we can’t wait to start creating dating photo awesomeness in the city. Bristol is a great fit with the Hey Saturday brand with its eclectic vibe, buzzing cultural scene and strong focus on individuality, (there are so many independent shops and restaurants we can’t keep up). It’s no wonder the Independent newspaper named it the best place to live in the UK last year. With all that’s going on in the city, you’re going to need some new dating photos to get the most out of the awesome Bristol dating scene – and Hey Saturday has got you covered.
Meet Suze, our Bristol photographer. Shot by Saskia for Hey Saturday, Bristol
Bristol, here’s why we think you’re just gonna love our dating photos, Hey Saturday style
We invented dating photography
That’s right – we’ve been credited with kickstarting dating photography so when you book your shoot with us, you know you’re in safe hands. We’ve worked with more than 2,000 awesome single people helping them to create a stand out set of portrait photos for their dating profiles enabling them to get out there and reclaim their dating life.
Just like Bristol, we believe in celebrating individuality and uniqueness and so we pack your dating profile photos full of personality. We work with you to find out what makes you tick and then we make sure your dating photos reflect who you are. We know that Bristol is full of creative, independent minded, successful professionals who want to stand out online with unique dating photos. So we’re just dying to get started with shaking up the Bristol dating scene.
We love diverse, vibrant, colourful neighbourhoods
Colourful, interesting backdrops are a really important part of great dating profile pictures. We’ve sussed out some of the best spots in Bristol for dating photo shoots and we’ll be shooting in Clifton village for starters. It’s sooo on brand for Hey Saturday with its vibrant, boutique, indie vibe, beautiful buildings and quirky independent shops and restaurants.
Just to prove we know what we’re talking about, here are a couple of our top tips for killer dating profile photos…
Tell your story –
we’re experts at making dating photos that tell your story and show your personality. So whether it’s your passion for photography, your love of single origin coffee, your expertise in high end fashion or your interest in nature, it’s got to come across in your dating photos.
Be bold –
you’re looking for love, so this is no time to be shy. Make sure you are the main focus of your dating profile with happy, natural smiles and relaxed poses. A great dating photo has at least one pop of bright colour somewhere in the image. Your dating profile photos need to make you look good and make you stand out.
If this has whetted your appetite and you want more tips, head here and here
If you’re still thinking…”dating photography, what the heck is that?”…we recently shared a blog post that will enlighten you further. Have a read.
We’re now taking bookings for dating photo shoots in Bristol so what are you waiting for? Book a shoot
Want to up your dating game? Many celebs’ love lives leave a lot to be desired, but we can take some inspiration from this little lot, who we think are rocking it.
If there’s anyone making a career out of heartbreak it’s this crooner. His debut album ‘In The Lonely Hour’ was famously written about his unrequited love for an unnamed man and with his follow up album he’s continued his theme of sad songs about breakups and heartbreak. Thankfully, in real life, his love life has been a bit more cheerful of late. He dated actor Brandon Flynn for 9 months, with the pair recently going their separate ways due to their busy schedules. An outspoken supporter of LGBTQ rights, Sam said of the relationship: “seeing gay relationships [in a public way] is important and refreshing. You don’t see it loads.” Yaaasss!
Taylor has documented her string of high profile relationships with some of the world’s most famous men, (including Calvin Harris, Jake Gyllenhaal and Harry Styles) in her music. Songs like ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’, (reportedly about Gyllenhaal), and ‘Dear John’ about John Mayer show that Taylor is not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. But she has decided to keep things decidedly under wraps with her latest flame, British actor Joe Alwyn. They’re rarely seen out together in public and both remain hush-hush about it in interviews. Good on her we say!
Although she’s not yet a household name, Strictly fans will know all about Rebecca Humphries’ love life. She recently publicly dumped her boyfriend, comedian Seann Walsh, after he was seen passionately kissing his Strictly dance partner Katya Jones. But not only that, Rebecca went a step further, accusing Walsh of aggressive and controlling behaviour during their relationship. Her strength in walking away and in calling out his alleged behaviour will doubtless help many other women who feel trapped in abusive relationships and is an important step in the ongoing #Metoo movement. Here at Hey Saturday we love strong women who stand up for themselves. Go Rebecca!
We’re a huge fan of Mindy. She once famously explained to Ellen that she struggles with one night stands “because I have my medications that I have to take at night! I have to be at my house and do my flossing. I have all that stuff. And you didn’t want to know that, but…” Dayum, a girl after our own heart. She is the epitome of how to rock singledom. While she’s not afraid to admit that she’d love to get married and have kids, she’s more than happy to keep her standards high and wait for that right connection to come along. Mindy will never settle for anything but living her best life and nor should you.
Liz Hurley is one of the increasing number of older women who don’t see divorce as any barrier to enjoying both relationships and the single life. There’s no longer as much stigma attached to being divorced and at Hey Saturday we often help older women to rediscover their dating mojo after the end of a relationship and get out there to enjoy themselves and their dating. At 53, Liz Hurley looks amazing and is living life to the full. Plus we love that she’s still good friends with her exes, Hugh Grant, Arun Nayar and Shane Warne. Liz Hurley proves you can be a mum, have a successful career and still get all you want out of your dating.
We admire the fact that Harry is not one to kiss and tell. In fact he has never openly confirmed his involvement with any of the girls with whom he has been linked (with the exception of Taylor Swift). We also admire the fact that Harry rocks a strong image – important for successful dating. Whether sporting long or short locks, casual or smart wear, Harry has a strong sense of style for a young guy and isn’t afraid to change it up.
We still have relatively few openly LGBTQ women in public life, (let alone uber cool, hot and stylish ones), so bisexual model Cara Delevigne is a breath of a fresh air and a great role model for young gay and bi girls. She’s dated Jake Bugg, Harry Styles, Michelle Rodriguez, St Vincent, and if rumours are to be believed her latest squeeze is actor and model Ashley Benson. Plus we love that Cara stole all the headlines recently at Princess Eugenie’s wedding when she rocked up looking fantastic in top hat and tails. Not many people can pull off a black outfit at a wedding, but Cara smashed it.
If you need help polishing your image so you can get out there and smash your dating game like these stars, hit us up at Hey Saturday and we’ll make sure your dating profile looks A-list.
We’re Hey Saturday, the world’s leading dating photos agency and back in 2013, we created the genre of dating photography.
Dating profile photos needs to do three main things:
-Make you look good
-Make you stand out from the crowd online
-Show your personality
Estimates show that by 2020, the global dating market could grow to £9.5 billion, with 310 million people expected to be actively using an online dating platform – that’s a heck of a lot of couples meeting online. But back in 2013, when brands like Tinder were only in their infancy, there was no one specialising in photography for online dating – in fact it hadn’t even been dreamt of yet.
Hey Saturday founder Saskia Nelson spotted the abject lack of good quality photos on dating apps and decided to create a niche photography business specialising in cool profile photos for online daters. Saskia started Hey Saturday and the genre of dating photography was born.
“My marketing experience combined with my 8 years of online dating enabled me to picture a world where people could showcase themselves online using high quality, strong, colourful images that showed them at their first-date best. I realised that if people wanted to have an impact online and stand out from all the 1,000s of people online dating, this would be the quickest, smartest and most authentic way to do that.”
The need for dating profile photos
Before Hey Saturday came along, the vast majority of photos used on dating apps were not specifically taken for the purpose of dating. People were using holiday snaps, wedding photos, work photos, drunken party snaps and smartphone selfies on dating apps. Online daters were using very bad and very old – to the point of deceptive – photos on their dating profiles.
Saskia Nelson has been credited by Time magazine and world renowned photographer Martin Parr with creating the genre of dating photography and she is recognised as the leading industry expert in the UK, Europe & US on all things dating photography related.
Since 2013 her dating photography agency Hey Saturday has worked with over 3,500 single people helping them to create a stand out set of portrait photos for their dating profiles enabling them to get out there and reclaim their dating life.
The dating profile photos generation
Fast forward a few years and online daters now expect more from their potential partners and know that mirror selfies or dating photos with exes cropped out just aren’t good enough. Millennials – the visual generation – want to see a true likeness of who they are going on a date with. And this means good quality photos taken specifically for dating.
When people use good images of themselves online they start seeing loads more interest in their dating profiles. And official research now backs this up. To stand a better chance of meeting a partner online, daters need dating photography which is authentic and showcases their personal brand.
Relaxed, natural profile photos
Dating photography is all about creating relaxed, happy photos that show you at your natural best. For this reason, they are not formal or taken in a studio setting. It is off-putting to potential partners to feel that you’ve tried too hard, so dating photos mustn’t give the suggestion that you need professional help. Instead, dating photographs should have the ethos of you hanging out with a friend who happens to be passionate about photography. To create this natural, relaxed vibe, dating photography takes place outside, where the lighting is flattering and natural and doesn’t look staged or false.
A dating photographer is not just your average portrait photographer, but someone who understands online dating and can instantly make a connection with every client, helping them to relax and show their true selves. Dating photography is not about creating formal poses like a regular portrait photographer – it’s about creating accidental laughter and natural action shots. Hey Saturday are the experts on what makes a good dating photographer – we have put together a dream team of X dating photographers in the UK and the US, all of whom have been trained in the art of dating photography by Saskia Nelson.
Your dating photo shoot
A dating photo shoot is not like a usual portrait photography session, which often takes place in a studio or in one fixed location. To get the most natural, relaxed and unposed photos, a dating photo shoot is more like a chilled out adventure. Ahead of the dating shoot, the dating photographer will have put some time into finding out about their client’s personality. They can then create a shoot that will work to bring out the best in that person. The dating photographer and their client will take a wander around a neighbourhood that suits, stopping at plenty of eye catching, colourful backdrops along the way. The aim is that it’s not formal or rigid in any way, but more like hanging out with a mate and taking some cool photos.
Your dating profile photos
In online dating, you have seconds to make an impact. It’s been proven that better photos get more likes and right swipes. If you’ve only got 30 seconds to spare and want the ultra top line dating photo do’s and don’ts, they are:
Include at least one well lit headshot of you smiling.
Avoid group photos
Avoid photos with another person cropped out
Make sure your eyes are clearly visible (not covered with sunglasses or ski goggles)
Show your personality
This is the tip of the iceberg on this subject and there is now a wealth of knowledge, experience, facts, figures and helpful do’s and don’ts about what makes a good dating profile picture. If you want to know more, sign up for our free eBook in the box below.
Why Men’s Dating Profile Photos Lack App-peal…Mirror selfies, group shots, poor quality images and hiding behind sunglasses or ski goggles are just some of the images which will have women swiping left when it comes to looking for love.
Hey guys…ever wondered why you are not attracting the right soul mate? Well a survey released this month from us, Hey Saturday – the UK and US’s leading dating photography agency, reveals a staggering 77% of women are put off by the profile photos that men put up on dating apps and websites. Eek, scary new, huh. So yes, we surveyed just under 100 from across the UK and US to find out what women dislike about men’s dating profile photos. And the results are in. Read on to find out what it is exactly that men should be avoiding and what they can do better to attract more attention online.
Demetrius: his ‘before’ shot
With Christmas party season around the corner, men, it is time to up your game. There are literally thousands of gorgeous woman across the country looking for the perfect partner to share their party dates. While we know there are plenty of great guys out there the signals to the single female population are lost in digital translation as profile shots on dating apps are, quite frankly, shocking in many cases.
A whopping 92% of the women surveyed would move straight on if the man substituted themselves in their main profile picture. It is surprising how many men are using pets, cars, landmarks or anything else except themselves in what should be their best-selling image. Girls definitely want to see who they are signing up to.
Over three quarters (78%) of the women found mirror, gym and bathroom selfies really unattractive. Drunken party snaps (74%) and police mug shot looking images (74%) were also a big no no.
It also emerged that two thirds (65%) were turned off by group shots. Poor quality shots (70%) which were blurred, out of focus, poorly lit, too far away or too ‘in your face’ were also a big turn off for 70% of women.
With photographic filters used increasingly these days, women are on to the guys altering their images and a massive 85% of women are put off by their often, clumsy attempts at ‘improving’ their profile shots.
Founder of Hey Saturday, Saskia Nelson says “Home grown dating photographs are just not improving. Some images are so badly photo shopped or overly filtered the person no longer looks like themselves and they become totally misleading. Women want to know who they are realistically going to go out with.”
Dating expert and behavioural psychologist, Jo Hemmings says “While app dating should have come of age, with Tinder celebrating it’s 6th birthday in September, it seems that men are still struggling to present themselves at their most-datable best. Instead of using recent, clear, natural images of themselves to get a girl interested enough to swipe right, they are using a mixture of poor quality images – ranging from the lazy mirror selfie to the never-attractive-too-close-to-the-camera-mouth-closed mug shot. They are putting themselves in group shots, which often leads to disappointment when the best-looking isn’t them and this hot summer has seen huge numbers in sunglasses, where we can’t see those all-important eyes.
Jo Hemmings, Behavioural, Media and Celebrity Psychologist and Dating Coach
With often only a fraction of a second before a girl swipes left and dating chances are gone forever, it’s absolutely vital that your main profile picture sings loudly and brightly. It seems we still have a long way to go!”
Good photos should let your personality shine through. The research also revealed the top four looks that women like to see in men’s profile pictures:
Natural relaxed poses (60%)
Visible face and nice eyes (41%)
Full body shots (23%)
So guys for the ideal snap that could change your life forever you need to consider choosing a photographer that will focus on good quality profile pictures, taking into account, colour, framing and focus or choose an image that is you at your most relaxed and natural best, so no more hiding behind mobile phones as you take that semi naked selfie with your socks on in the mirror shot!