It’s the part of my job that is the most fun – Taking photos of clients for their dating profiles! After a thorough review of a client’s profile, the first thing I usually tell them is that taking new photos will heavily increase their traffic (and therefore their chances to find love.) It’s not that their current photos are bad, I just know they can be better and with so much competition out there, it’s imperative to post the most flattering, yet authentic photo of yourself.
So I’ve decide to post a few of my favorite “Before” and “After” photos (with my client’s permission) in order to highlight a few of the most common photo flubs, and how to fix them.
1. Angle is everything. Yes, we all know how to take a selfie. Shoot from above. But in addition to holding the camera high, it’s best to also pull back on the subject. Look how much thinner my client appears in her after photo. The two pictures were taken around the same time, yet she looks as if she’s lost 20 pounds in the photo I took. The illusion of weight is due to the “before” pic being a little too close and cutting off the side of her arm. (And busy patterns don’t help the cause either.)
2. Lighting May Not Be Everything, But It’s Pretty Important. If you quickly glance the before photo, your first thought might be, “It was a windy day and her hair is blowing all over her face.” But look at the second photo. Her hair is blowing there, too. So why does it work in one photo and not the other? The answer is because the before pic was shot mid-day when the sun was right above my client, casting shadows all over her face and neck. The best time to take a picture is during the first hour that the sun comes up and the last hour before it goes down. If you have a shaded setting a few hours plus or minus will work as well. As you can see, the right lighting can capture the sparkle in your eyes, or the beauty of your smile. The wrong lighting can wash it all out.
3. Don’t Point And Click. Although our smartphone cameras have come along way, they still can’t compete with a digital SLR camera, and your friend’s photography skills cannot compare to those of a professional (unless your friend is also a dating coach or photographer.) As an expert in this field, we know what pose, what angle, what look, is going to produce the very best shot of you. So while it may seem that everyone is a photographer these days, I would say, yes but not everyone is a good one. Since you only have a handful of images to show someone who you are and entice them into meeting you, why risk a poor end result? Hire someone who knows what they are doing with a camera. It’s not life or death, but it may be date or no date.
Jess McCann is the author of “You Lost Him at Hello : Secret Strategies from America’s Top Dating Coach” and “Was It Something I Said: The Answer to All Your Dating Dilemmas”
datingquestionpicLast week I attended a neighborhood party. Having just moved to the area with my family, I was eager to get to know the people on our street. I geared myself up for the usual get-to-know you chitchat and hoped to make a few friendly connections. As I moved around the room introducing myself, a very friendly young woman suddenly interrupted me.
“Don’t I know you?” She asked. “Didn’t you write a book or something?”
Soon several other guests joined our conversation, which became very centered around my work. It shocked many of them to know that with two books out and a third on the way, writing was not my primary job, and that I spend most of my day coaching men and women on their relationships.
“So are you a dating or relationship coach?” One asked. “What’s the difference?” “What kind of services do you provide?”
I’m used to telling people that I’m a coach, but I never really go into detail about what that exactly means. I always assumed that the title spoke for itself. After that party I realized that people infer different things about what coaches do and the truth is, I’m not only a coach, I’m also a counselor. Coaches don’t typically offer expertise. Their primary function is to help the client figure out what they want to do, and how they should go about doing it. While that is a part of my job, I also help clients break harmful patterns, become more self-aware, and avoid relationship and dating pitfalls. That makes my job a little more unique, and I thought it might be a good idea to lay out in more detail how I go about helping people, no matter what their relationship status, as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions from the party last night.
Are You A Dating or Relationship Coach?
I am both. I usually start as someone’s dating coach because they are single, or just getting out of a relationship, and they need to mentally and physically heal and then move on and try to meet someone else. Once they do meet that someone and become exclusively involved with him or her, I become their relationship coach.
What Specific Services Do You Provide For Your Single Clients?
As a dating coach and counselor, it’s my job to help clients find love. And although it may not seem like it, there is a lot that goes into that. First, I assess if someone is emotionally ready to start dating, especially if they are just coming off a bad break-up. Then, I have to find the right venues both on and offline for that person to make new romantic connections. Together we may select one or two dating sites, create a profile, take some photos, and begin the process of sorting through and answering messages from prospective dates. Once the dates start happening, it’s my job to help deifier who is a good match, and more importantly, who is a real candidate for a relationship, and who is not. There is also a good bit of strategy involved in dating. Now a day, almost every interaction is done through text or email, which means easy and instantaneous access to everyone. So, if you text too much, too soon, or reply to fast and frequently, you can kill the mystery and pursuit so often needed in the early stages of getting to know someone. So dating strategically has never been more important that it is right now.
What Help Do You Provide Once Someone is in a Relationship?
Many of the clients I work with have developed habits that frequently sabotage their relationships. We start working on understanding and correcting those habits before they even get into one, but when they eventually do, my job is to make sure they don’t unconsciously backslide. It’s easy to react out of habit and everyone has certain relationship triggers. That is why the more involved my clients become with someone, the closer and more in contact we need to be so that they don’t unintentionally ruin their chances for love.
I also assist in the big milestones that all relationships hit: when and how to have the relationship talk, when to stop dating other people, when to have sex, how to have important conversations (For example, I have an STD, or I want to remain a Virgin until marriage) and of course, when and how to move from “committed” to engaged.
What Is The Most Common Problem You Encounter With Single Women Today?
There are a number of common problems. People are not that different, so I tend to see the same five or six problems over and over again. A woman might complain that she is rarely attracted to anyone and therefore doesn’t go on many online dates. I hear this a lot. The problem, however, is that most females who say this are judging whether or not they are attracted to a man based solely on a one dimensional snapshot of him. When you are unable to factor in characteristics like humor, confidence, charm, personality, wit, and integrity, then you are left with only judging a guy on his photo. And if that’s all you are basing attraction on, then you will only be attracted to roughly 5% of the men you see. The bottom line is that you do need to be attracted to someone, but the best way to glean if you are, is to meet in person and then decide. In person you can factor in all the wonderful qualities that make a man who he is, and what you end up loving about him. Women tend to forget that physical appearance is only a part of what makes you attracted to someone.
If you want more information on coaching with me, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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We all know that you get better results when you work with a professional. If you wanted to get in the best shape of your life, you could do it alone, but you are almost guaranteed to work off the weight if you hire a trainer. If you wanted to do better in school, you could do it alone, but you’d get better grades if you hired a tutor. The same goes for dating. If you want this next year to be the year that you find the guy for you (or maybe you’ve found him and don’t want to lose him) then it’s time to get professional guidance. Why do it alone if you don’t have to? Why risk making a huge mistake and scaring him off? If you’ve suffered from a string of ill-fated relationships, let’s figure out what’s happening together and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Continue reading