This month marks the fifth anniversary of the online dating site Tinder. The site’s owners claim that it makes 26 million matches per day, and has achieved 200 billion matches to date. Instead of just being a means to a casual fling, Tinder matches in 2017 can also become happily married couples.
Tinder and other dating sites have spawned a number of specialist dating photography agencies to ensure users’ pictures will give them the best possible chance of scoring a date. Or at least a right swipe.
According to the CEO and founder of Tinder, Sean Rad, the best Tinder photos are the ones that display your character. He suggests choosing a picture that represents you best qualities – whether that’s you in a suit, or jeans and a T-shirt. If you are man shirtless gym selfies are apparently a huge ‘NO’. Remember one person’s idea of humour can be another’s idea of cringeworthy. Playing sport, holding a cuddly animal or para gliding over the Alps are more likely to secure a successful match.
Sadly in the business world people do not pay as much attention to their profile picture as they do on dating sites. And that’s a big mistake as the first encounter that people will often have with you is on your company or organisation’s website or via your LinkedIn profile.
Having a terrible photograph on your profile page is going to get you the wrong kind of attention. A bad picture can say much more about you than how photogenic you aren’t. It can give the impression that creativity is not your strong point, appearance is not important to you or that you or your company are too mean or too unprofitable to make an investment in quality photography.
Sadly the smartphone has had a damaging effect on business profile shots. Too often a colleague or member of the in-house PR team has been dragooned into taking your picture which comes complete with ‘red eye’, shadowing and poor focus and accentuates your double chin.
A great picture taken by a professional photographer is a sound investment which will provide one of the best returns on investment you can achieve from your PR budget.
Just as Sean Rad recommends for Tinder users, what you wear and the backdrop is very important to people who haven’t met you before. A simple white, black or grey background is always best. Hopefully the company that manufactured those mottled grey or blue graduated backgrounds at the turn of the century has run out of stock.
Too often clients offer up a holiday snap to go with a by-lined article. While a floral shirt may look fine on holiday in Thailand it’s unlikely to impress the readers of your leading trade magazine.
A leading US company recently announced that ties were no longer going to be compulsory in their workplace. A visit to their corporate website spoke volumes as the only man not wearing a tie in his profile picture was the new CEO: “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Develop your corporate style and make sure it’s visible.
While dating sites have inspired photography capable of securing a future long term partner, corporate headshots are long overdue a makeover.