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David Coy

David Coy

A former professional photographer, Dave founded LookBetterOnline to provide online daters with great profile photos by the best professional photographers at affordable prices, profile pics that will get them more and better dates. It’s a simple idea.

How to “recenter” yourself after a breakup.

We’ve all had our hearts broken. Nobody gets out without that particular blow. The irony is that the more romantic opportunities one has, the higher the likelihood that one’s heart will eventually be broken. Sometimes we bring the blow on ourselves, not usually on purpose, but we can put ourselves squarely in the matrix of things and events that caused it. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, there’s just nothing to do but accept the fact that it’s over and suck it up.

So after one makes that uncomfortable admission, what should be the next step? I for one, having had my heart broken several times, am a firm believer in the “get back on the horse” cure for the despondency associated with a breakup. But rather than just start dating the closest warm body, I have a system.  It’s not perfect, but it does work. The key to all this is, rather than wallowing and spilling your guts to your friends about what happened and fishing for those hugs and pats on the head that don’t do all that much, to take real positive action to heal yourself. And for god’s sake, give up on the idea of dating for a while. Don’t pout. Don’t walk on the beach and “wonder”. Don’t read books to find out what you did wrong. You have to act. You have to do stuff. This is how we heal and how we move on.

The first thing you need to do is clean your house.  That’s right. Clean house. Spend a day or two days just cleaning your house. I’m talking about a “deep” cleaning: floors, dishes, dust thoroughly, clean the bathrooms top to bottom. While you’re at it, do the laundry. Do everything. Wash the windows. Clean the chicken coop if you have one. The point here is to occupy yourself with the simple cathartic act of cleaning. Do this for two or three days. Plan it out a section of your house or apartment at a time. Once all the cleaning is done, reorganize your closets, drawers, storage, garage. Throw shit away that you don’t need or don’t use anymore. Don’t try to sell it on eBay, even if it has value, just throw it away. Purge from your environment everything you don’t use or want. You’ll be surprised how much of that stuff you have around you. Toss it. Forget it. Whittle your possessions down to the basics. This, and the cleaning, are the first steps to your recovery and rebuilding and healing. Oh, did I mention detailing and waxing your car? Wash, detail and wax your car.

Once those things are done, the cleaning and purging, it’s time to start on you. Now go buy some new clothes, not a lot, but some, maybe some new shoes. Buy something you wouldn’t have bought before, something different, or something you really want to buy. Buy something expensive that looks great. Don’t go broke doing it, but you get my meaning.

If you can do it, pay all your bills. If you can’t, just spend some time organizing them. Sort them. Prioritize them. At the very least, pay the most pressing ones, even if it hurts.

Next, get a haircut, or visit a nail salon. Get a pedicure, manicure. Join a tanning salon and get a tan while you’re at it.

Oh, and what should you do at night, when the inevitable thoughts of your ex keep you awake. Take Advil PM. Take two tabs a half hour before bed. If not those, something you like that works for you. It’s simple. Sleeping well is a crucial component to healing.

So you’ve now spent as much time as you possibly can doing everything you can to stay busy and make the changes around you say one word — “reset”. You’ve reset your life. You’re not completely out of the woods, but you’ve made a good start of it. Your home is more comfortable, cleaner, well organized. You are better organized.  These simple exercises have allowed you to re-center yourself, re-balance yourself. You’ve given yourself the breathing room you need to re-calibrate your life.

The next step is to wait until the desire to date again prods you to do so. It might take a week, it might take a year. One never knows. But you will know when the time is right.

When the time is right, join that dating site you’ve been thinking about. Dating sites work as long as you follow the rules. And the first rule of dating site usage is to look your best, and put your best foot forward: get new photos that make you look your absolute best.

The stats are in on good dating photos. The more effort you put into looking your best, the more romantic options you’ll have and the better choices you have to avail yourself of. Don’t sell yourself short. You’ll want options going forward and whether you have one or two or dozens, you’ll want every one of them. Good photos give you options. Once you settle on one of your new options, the heartbreak you felt a month ago or a year ago will be a distant memory. Just like your ex…

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!




Why 90% of men don’t get any responses on dating sites

Most men who sign up to dating sites wind up flushing the money they were charged for membership right down the toilet. That sounds harsh, but life is sometimes harsh. Our “high level” contacts in the online dating industry have spent, perhaps, millions of dollars over the years trying to get to the bottom of the issue. It turns out to be fairly simple and boils down to just two fundamental failures on the part of men. (Incidentally, this advice is not only for men, but we’ll cover the dynamics behind the cause of online dating failures for women in a separate post.)

Both reasons for the failure have a deeper “root” cause we should talk about first. It will come as no surprise when I mention it because it is the root cause of oh-so-many things that don’t work out well for us. The root cause for failure to get attention online is simply not taking this online dating business seriously and making a half-assed attempt at it. Notice that I did not say that the root cause was that the men who don’t have success online were somewhere on the left of “3” on the physical beauty side of the universal beauty scale. It has nothing to do with that because there are as many “2’s” out there looking for “2’s” as there are “10’s” looking for “10’s”.

So the root cause is approaching the challenge of dating online like a flake. In the online dating world, being a flake manifests itself in two major ways:

1) Creating a too brief, or crappy, or silly, or just poorly written profile ( or worse, not writing a profile at all), and;

2) Not having a good photo (or almost-all-the-time-worse, having a crappy, silly, or poorly done photo)

Fail with either of them, and no matter what screen name you choose, women who view your profile (either on searches or in response to your first email) will append the prefix (or suffix, depending where it fits best grammatically…) “FLAKE” to your name and move on.  This is not hypothetical. That is precisely what they will do — each and every one of them each and every time.

And because you won’t want to blame yourself for the failure, you’ll blame the site, you’ll blame the women you wrote to, you’ll blame your brother for talking you into joining the site to begin with; you’ll blame  anyone else but yourself for taking a flake’s, half-assed approach to an effort that takes some thought, money and work to work and to not come off like flake. Does that sound harsh? Did I say life was harsh sometimes? Has anyone else told you this stuff before? No? They just let you stumble along with no results? Now that’s harsh!

To fix the first manifestation, spend some time really working on your written profile. If you don’t know how to write a good and compelling profile, hire someone to help you write it. There are many dating coaches and profile writers out there just waiting for your call or email.

To fix the second issue, ahem, schedule a photo shoot with a LookBetterOnline photographer. It’s the absolute easiest way to get great online dating photos and is best money you’ll ever spend. That sounds like an exaggeration, I know, but those thousands of people who have, and who’ve then had great success finding a date, or perhaps something more serious, might just agree with me.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Top mistakes men make when sending that first email

You only have one chance to make a good impression. Nowhere is that more important than in the online dating environment. Miss the chance and you’ll never recover. There’s no going back and over the cliff you’ll go. So here’s some tough love regarding some of the best ways not to make a good impression. Or, to put it another way, how not to come off like an asshole.

Unwelcome sexual advances or comments.

Stay away from the flirty or bawdy comments until you are sure you can make them. It almost certainly isn’t in the first email.

Talking about yourself.

Spend too much time talking about yourself and you’ve done the worst job ever about that first impression business. Telling her how cool and suave you is just a waste of both your times.

Not asking questions.

This goes with the above. Find something, anything meaningful to ask her about and if you can’t do it, go home because you’re wasting your time trying to find a date. Oh, sorry, you are home.

Ignoring what’s in the woman’s profile or failure to comment on the woman’s profile.

If you can’t find something to comment on in her specific profile, you might as well be sending a form letter, and believe me, it will show.

Too much emphasis on the physical.

It’s OK to say how attractive you think she is, but don’t dwell on it too much. Do too much and you’ll come off creepy. See below.

Asking for a phone number.

It’s too early for this. Don’t do it. Creepy.

Mentioning how rich you are.

If you spend time telling her how rich you are, or even suggesting it in an effort to “big time” her, all you’ll do is turn off 99% of the ones you want to impress and attract the 1% you don’t. This is a scientific fact and the percentages have been independently verified by history.

Goofy, corny humor.

Humor is funny when two people “get” each other. If they don’t, the humor doesn’t work and instead of being a glue to hold your relationship together, it’ll dissolve it faster than turpentine. Be careful with that peculiar and quirky humor of yours.

Crazy, ass-clownish compliments, like: “You’d be perfect if you lost 15 pounds.”

Nuf’ said.

Sending your phone number in the first email.

If you say in your email: “Here’s my phone number, call me.” It really says, “Here’s my number, 1-800 277-25696 (1-800 ASS-CLOWN) Hit me up!” That’s what it really sounds like when read out loud.

Using bad grammar, or misspelling words:

Expressions such as, “I realy like you’re hare!”, or; “Your beautifull!” will kill your chances before you get started. Use a spell checker if you have an doubts about your ability to spell big words. If you can’t spell well and can’t manage a simple sentence without grammatical errors you’re [sic] chances are simply not good. Using a bunch of texting abbreviations won’t help you either. All you’ll do is come off as dim, silly or lasy [sic].

Creepy talk.

We’re not talking about your odd love of small animals here. It’s hard to believe but expressions such as “I like kissing”, or “I like apples with peanut butter” can be risky in the first email. Even something as seemingly innocuous as “I like pie”, taken out of context or misinterpreted, can be a real turn off. If you think what you might be saying can be taken as creepy, it probably is. Avoid odd, strange, unconnected expressions at all costs.

Self deprecation or sycophantic speech .

Saying things such as “I’m probably too old/young for you.”, “I’ll do anything to meet you! Anything!” will kill you, too. Come off too weak in your first email and you’ll never recover from it. Never.

Telling her you don’t have a photo – yet.

If you have say something like, “I don’t have a photo up on the site yet,” you might as well have said, “I’m an ass-clown with something to hide but I’ll send you a secret, creepy photo if you beg me for it.”  Go home.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!








How to prepare for your online dating photo shoot

Preparing for your online dating photo shoot shares some common things with all photo shoots and also some very different things. The common things is that you want to look your best and you want to just look good. But it’s the different things we’ll talk about here because you want to pay attention to these qualities. Ignore them and you might just wind up with photos that just don’t work.

The cardinal rule: look casual, but not too casual

You should strive to look smart and casual at the same time. We all know what it means to “smarten up”, so do that. At the same time, avoid looking too stiff and formal and by all means avoid any visual cliches such as polo shirts, riding clothes or boots, sport coats with turtle-neck sweaters, seersucker jackets or bow ties. If you own nothing but a closet or drawers full of these items, best to make a trip to your clothing store for something new, simple, dark-colored and reserved.

Think for minute how egotistical it is to pose for the camera in dress that tries to say it all about what you think, do, or imagine about yourself. All you’ll do is self-filter large numbers of potential dates with your costumes. What if you meet someone you really want to spend more time with and you find out she hates polo later, if you haven’t scared her away in the first second or two with your riding chaps, you may be lucky enough to have built a nascent relationship that can weather that little incompatibility. The idea here is that you want to give yourself as many options as possible from the very beginning. Don’t advertise “Must Love Polo” in your online dating photos. Very large numbers of browsers will take you at your word, and the result: a click on “next!”

Looking too casual can have a detrimental impact, though. Standing there in your pink robe, sipping coffee, or wiping your hands on your dirty sweat shirt may sound romantic and perhaps clever but the truth is those shots are just barely on this side of respectful. How do we know this? We’re in the business, we talk to dating sites all the time who in turn talk to their dating site members. Look too “casual” and the main thing about you your browsers will come away with is: “I don’t give a shit what you think.”

Keep it simple to keep your appeal broader. No props

Keeping your appearance neat, clean, simple and relaxed has the broadest possible appeal and you’ll attract the largest potential interest.  Avoid props of any kind: tennis rackets, golf clubs, baseball mitts or bats, and surf boards unless you only want to be considered by those who play golf, baseball or surf. Don’t put another self-filter on your photos with corny props.

Rest up, light on the make up and hair

Get plenty of rest, that goes without saying. Light make up is best, even if you think you “need” a lot of it, don’t do it. No big wigs.

Above all strive to look relaxed and approachable with dress and an appearance that appeals to a broad cross-section. That’s the key to having the most options, and to having the most success dating online.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

How to choose a photographer for your online dating photos

The question of which online dating photographer to choose to take your dating photos can be difficult or easy to answer. It gets difficult when you go out on your own to find a photographer and get lost in the bewildering number of portrait and wedding photographers out there. It can get even more crazy when you begin to compare costs once you find the photographer(s) you want to talk seriously with about your photo needs. You’ll find enormous variation in cost. You’ll find enormous variation in photo styles. Perhaps worst of all, you’ll find enormous variation in opinion about just what kind of photography you need.

Most photographers have a style

Be it wedding photography or portraits or product photography or PR work, a photographer’s style is his or her signature, the brand that the photographer seeks to promote. Consequently, that branding, that style, will work its way into your online dating photos if you hire them, like it or not.

So what happens if the photographer you choose is a great portrait photographer, studio type. Without the proper orientation to the needs of online daters, I’ll venture to guess that the casual photos you asked for will wind up looking more like those formal studio portraits he has hanging all over his or her studio in spite of the fact that you asked for something different.  And because you weren’t able to communicate precisely what your requirements were for your successful online dating photos, the photographer’s branding took over the shoot. And then bid-a-bing — formal portrait shots — one of the worst kinds of online dating photos possible.  The photographer’s own needs to consistently promote his or her style has trumped your needs for a very specific kind of photography most photographers just don’t do. This happens.

At LookBetterOnline, we have a different approach and make the selection of a photographer to do your online dating photos very easy and hassle-free. LookBetterOnline only selects photographers that really, really, honestly understand the needs of online daters and who have had our training to ensure that the photos they render are “date worthy”.  It’s a different style and is very highly lacking in these characteristics: cheesy, formal, stiff, ridiculous.

When you choose a photographer on, the only decision you should have to make is “how far away are they”. The issues of cost, style, communication, or your online dating requirements will not be issues at all. Of course you’ll choose the one whose photos you like the best. But you’ll agree after you see our samples that all of our photographers are fantastic and all of them render only “date-worthy” photos for our customers. We go to great lengths to make sure they are the best we can find.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!



What kind of dating photos turn people off

I never ceased to be amazed by the sheer number of poor dating photos I see online. After 8 years operating this business I’m still surprised by the number.  People who would never go out in public with a funny hat on do the equivalent every day by the tens of thousands when they post photos that just look ridiculous. There are web sites now that do nothing but collect silly or idiotic photos of people who put such photos online,  just to make fun of them.

It is utterly tragic. And as the saying goes, “it would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.”

I think such people think it won’t matter. Somewhere in the back of their minds they imagine that the love of their life will see past the funny hat, the sunglasses, the goofy shirt or idiotic pose and see the real them. This may sound harsh, but what browsers see in those useless photos is exactly what the people who put them up showed to them: funny hats, goofy shirts and silly poses. The real person behind those unfortunate attributes is still hidden.

So what exactly are the biggest turn offs in an online dating photo? Since we’re “in the business”  and connected to most of the major dating sites and talk about this stuff everyday, we’ll tell you.

1) The biggest single turn off in an online dating photo, the one that shows up the most, is the most ubiquitous and widespread is — wearing sunglasses. Sunglasses say precisely what you think: the wearer has something to hide. Browsers think that almost universally and skip right over every one of them. They don’t think the wearer is mysterious. They just think they are untrustworthy, and in the online dating world — doomed from the start.

2) Second are self-portraits taken in a bathroom mirror.  Just like wearing sunglasses, self-portraits in the john say precisely what you think it says: lonely, desperate, and cheap. No matter how dressed up you get (and perhaps worse if you are gussied up) you’re still photographing yourself in the bathroom mirror for godsakes. Sheesh…

3) Crazy, drunken expressions are next. Toast your prospective mate in your online dating photos with a crooked grin and all you’ll get in return is a click on “next”.

4) Having an arm around someone attractive of the opposite sex comes next. Don’t do it. Just don’t. No one cares if it’s your ex.  If it is, you just earned a “next”. Even if it’s your brother or sister — “next”, ‘cuz they’ll think it’s an ex.

5) Goofy or silly clothes or Halloween costumes don’t make for good online dating photos. Just ask the 10’s of thousands of browsers who skip over those types of photos every hour.

6) Leaning on your Testosterosa [sic]. Don’t do it, even if you have one.

7) Acting crazy, zany or weird with your crazy, zany or weird friends.  “nuf said.

8) This one I saved for last, but it really ought to be number one: looking sad or lonely. The best way to stay that way is to put up one of those photos that shows you at your sad and lonely best. Enormous numbers of photos on online dating sites have that unfortunate quality.

The list goes on forever, really.  To avoid all of them simply remember what those prospective love interests really want to see in your photos: they want the smartly dressed, honest, approachable smiling you looking your best for the camera with no cheese whatsoever.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures. We can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

You don’t have to be gorgeous to benefit from good photography

Over the years I’ve photographed hundreds of people who felt that they just weren’t very photogenic. And the fact of the matter is that not everyone looks like a model in front of the camera. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stop using photos that make you look less attractive than you are. Everyone can look open, approachable and friendly. Sometimes, with a good photographer behind the camera, even the most camera-shy and photo-averse subjects can look approachable.  And that’s the key.

Have you ever seen a photo of what is an otherwise attractive person with some very odd, enigmatic, strange or off-putting expression and thought “Yeeesh…what an ugly look. Good luck.” We all have. Believe me, that unfortunate photo, often taken of themselves in the bathroom mirror, creates exactly the same lack of interest in the dating community for the attractive as it does for those of us less favorably endowed. My point is that how we look online matters and the qualities of approachability, friendliness, openness and warmth are qualities we all possess. Don’t hide them or obscure them by photographing yourself in the mirror or by taking some goofy arm’s-length self portrait of yourself at the beach.

Using a skilled photographer, who makes his or her living by bringing out your best qualities, is some of the best money you’ll ever spend.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!





Quick tips on getting better online dating photos

There are some tried and true fundamentals that you should adhere to when getting good online dating photos. Miss these and your photos are likely to join the endless ranks of those who rarely get any attention whatsoever to their online dating profile.

1) Bright light and warm sun is great to sit in, but not for taking photos. Bright light causes harsh shadows and contrast that is way too high to render flattering images. Choose open shade or an overcast day to shoot your online dating photos. The softer light will even out features and provide much better contrast.

2) Never ever shoot up at your subject from a low angle. Very few people can withstand that very unflattering angle. Shoot down instead. The results are universally better when you do.

3) Don’t ever take your own photo in the bathroom mirror. Many online daters think this is the most cost-effective way to get an online dating photo. The truth is those photos are just a waste of time. They suggest a bunch of really negative things besides being poor photographs.

4) Have someone you trust take your photo. There’s nothing worse than the strained expression of someone who has been photographed by someone who makes them feel uncomfortable.

5) Invest in your photos and in your online image. It’s some of the best money you’ll ever spend.

Think About This!

Having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!