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Outstanding Dating profile photos for New Yorkers.

An Online dating photographer, a few questions and a tip

As we get lots of requests from people who want online dating photos in New York, I thought I’d showcase one of our talented photographers in New York, ask a her a few questions about dating profile photos and get you a tip on preparing for a photo-session so that you can get the best dating profile photos possible!

dating photographer melody 003

Meet Melody and her impressive resume

Melody is a native New Yorker, a fine art and portrait photographer, she regularly exhibits in galleries in NYC and currently has a one-woman-show at Pratt called “Beauty in the Beast”.

For the last two years she’s produced a cable TV show on MNN called Melody’s Media Mix. And in 2005, she won the award for outstanding photography and graphics instructor of the year from the Association of Graphic Communicators.

Melody has been a photographic and digital graphic instructor at Pratt Institute for 18 years, and teaches photography and the “digital darkroom” at CUNY.

An “on Location” Photographer

Melody is an “on location” photographer. “On location” means that rather than go to a photography studio that you meet the photographer in a relaxed out of studio location.

Some Questions for Photographer Melody

What Locations are perfect for taking Dating photos in New York City?
I have scouted many locations so that I have the perfect place no matter what the weather is doing! I love Interesting indoor/outdoor hotel lobbies, urban retail centers, private pocket parks, galleries, the Met, Central Park of course, Riverside Drive Park, by the Hudson River, and most recently, The High Line, a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. Also I am always open to a suggestion of a special place you might like or feel comfortable.

Why do you prefer creating online dating photos for people on location?
I think that shooting outside of the studio environment get s people remarkable results when it comes to online dating photos. I think people can be more spontaneous, relaxed and at the same time stimulated by a non-studio environment for natural unposed expressions …often studio shots end up looking tense and posed and actually backfires on peoples wish to have a natural real and flattering photo of them when they choose an on location venue.

How do you make people feel comfortable when you take online dating photos?
I make people comfortable with relaxed humor. I will talk to you while I am shooting, like a director might, trying to evoke that special expression. I try for that you’re-at-a-party-and-someone’s-called-your-name-and-you’re-looking-over-and- laughing look.

Even if you never had professional photos taken, (and most people have not) you will have a relaxing and fun experience while getting to discover your best, and sometimes hidden,

A Tip for preparing for a photo-session from Melody
One tip I have is that prior to a photo session is to take the time to wear the clothes that you want to be photographed in front of your mirror! Find out which clothes make you feel more confident when you’re wearing them, don’t wear new clothes for the first tie when at a photo-session, look at yourself wearing them in the mirror. Your photos are important so take the time to prepare and bring a compact mirror and lint roller with you, but most of all bring a smile and know that I’ll be helping you relax and bring out the real you!

To see more of Melody’s work or book a photo session with her please visit
http://www2.lookbetteronline.com/Photographer_New-York_1615_10003.html

Dating tips for women over 65!

For those of you who don’t know her yet, let me introduce my friend Joann Cohen

Meet Dating Expert Joann Cohen

Joann has Master’s in Education with a concentration in Human Relations and Counseling and had been featured by TV guide, Fox news, USA today, TLC, ABC and many others ( To find out more about her visit www.joanncohen.com/ )

A couple of weeks ago we were talking about the subject of older women and some of the challenges that they face…here’s what Joann had to say

Some seniors are in great shape

My mom is pretty awesome. She still goes to the gym three times a week and does weights/cardio, is taking sign language, volunteers at the airport and is in better health than all her kids! “

Looking good in dating photos….This can be more of a challenge for seniors.

Women have more a challenge

As you said,  women have more a challenge. As they become over 65 years, there are tons to women and few men. Of the men who are single,  there are few  healthy, financially ok,  relationship minded men. Women who want these men –  have lots of competition. Those men  almost always want to go for younger and they definitely go for youthful appearance. A woman can go online and search for women in her age category and search for men to see the numbers for herself.

I don’t make the rules

I don’t make the rules but I do communicate them to clients. Therefore most of these points below are for senior women.

Old Hair Styles

Women – keep old hair styles that age them. It’s the bouffant/puffy look. They can stay grey/white but add a contemporary edge. There are several senior women models that they can take some photos to their hairdresser and try something different.

Not too Blond

Women go too blonde. It washes them unless they are super careful with makeup. Blonde is a color that hides the grey better (greying roots are more observable on dark color hair) but it’s a double edged sword. Women’s coloring naturally fades as we get older and really light hair, makes us washed out.  Women need to be careful and look for adding darker blondes perhaps with a few blonde highlights.

Color Helps

Men/Women – seem they  wear lots of blacks, whites, grey. On seniors – I think color really helps to make them youthful. The black just seems to wash them out. Color seems and feels more vibrant = youthful.  (there’s actually a study that wearing color and good fitting clothes can alter a bad mood to a positive one!). Blues, teals (look good on almost any skin shade), purples (that’s a go to color for men – there’s always a shade that looks good on a man), etc.

 

Smile please

Smiling is even more important – it diminishes the jowling.

Even more important

Posture is even more critical. While it’s a problem for anyone not to stand up straight – when they’re seniors, things have really sagged. This sagging really ages them and makes them look older and heavier. This results in women having less definition in their curves. It’s important women wear good bras (yes-  I will tell women of any age that.)

Show who you are

There’s numerous studies that men are attracted to curves so it’s crucial women show them. Women make a mistake that men want skinny ladies – big mistake. I had a senor client (80 something) and if a woman was 5’4”, she better by at least 165 pounds. So whatever women have – make sure they show it!

Women try to hide the weight (of all ages) by wearing loose billowy clothes. This always adds weight to everyone but really bad for older women. They are more likely than younger women to wear baggier clothes – it’s a safe way of disappearing. But it disappearing doesn’t work online to capture a man.

Don’t try too

Some women go the opposite and try to dress too youthful or wear too much makeup. They’ll try to capture the men’s attention with some outfit that would look best on their granddaughters. The color is too dramatic for This will actually make them look older and more desperate.

Classy and contemporary

I recommend to my senior clients style to go for classy and contemporary. They don’t have to dress in the latest Vogue fashion but show that they know classic style.  For example – my mom’s dress ( I bought it for her). It’s classic, Ralph Lauren.

Seniors’ skin has sagged and gotten spotty so a deep cut (even v neck) may not be their best look. So a Boat neck (straight across like my Mom’s), round collar can be flattering. I don’t usually like turtlenecks as most women (unless they had work done) is jowly and the turtleneck emphasizes it.

And most (not all) arms have really gotten saggy. So wear clothes that go to the elbow, ¾ sleeves or long sleeves is a more flattering look. Of course, men over 50 without shirts isn’t going to work but they still try. If you’re someone that has toned arms (I do have 1 senior female client with amazing toned arms) than she’ll want to flaunt them. But that’s 1 out of a thousand.

Shoes are huge. In  photos many will wear clunky orthopedic looking things which is again. I always  have women wearing a spikey (even if it’s a small heel) to make their ankles and legs look slimmer. I have women of all ages wear spikes because wedges, chunky heels make legs look bigger. If they can’t wear heels, then a ballet slipper or similar simple flat. IF that fails – don’t take any photos showing the feet.

Take the time

I also recommend to all clients that they have photo shoots that are at least 30 minutes (even if it’s a family member). Because they start to relax and then the best photos are taken. What I do with my clients is have the photographer shoot about 5 shots and then show the client how marvelous they look. Once they see that, they feel more comfortable and we get better photos. This process can be repeated throughout the shoot to make sure the client feels like a super model.

From the Heart, Joann Cohen

 

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!

Modern Love!

Recently I was sent a book to review by  CIJA BLACK Author of “Modern Love-The grownup’s guide to relationships & online dating”

dating advice and great profile photos 001

I get to read and review a ton of books about online dating…

Why this book is different

This book is different from a lot of other books for one simple (And very important detail) that instead of diving straight into the world of online dating and the Do’s and Dont’s; Cija focuses on whether people are ready to date first!

I found myself thinking about a good friend of mine (and more than a few women that I dated) who were coming out of  messy divorces and insisted that they were OK to date! (they weren’t ready to even begin to start dating, yet loneliness and a desire to be loved prompted them to subscribe to an online dating website and go on date after date when they were simply not ready.)..the results were predictable and sad…jumping from bad date to bad date or even worse into incompatible relationships.

Relationship Archeology

I wish I’d read this book a year ago…I could have given my friend my copy and forced him to read the first section called “Relationship Archeology”.
I love Cija’s concept of digging up the past and learning from it before going on dates!

The book starts with a checklist “You might not be ready to date if…” good solid advice here that could save people a ton of heartache if they read this!

Another Checklist

There’s another useful checklist called “Why do you want to date” too

The theme of relationship Archeology continues with Cija giving her readers answers to questions like.
“How exactly does happily ever after work?”, “Ideals, standards and Boundaries”, “looking back to move forward”, “separating your issues from your partners” and more and also goes on to offer helpful advice on personality types to avoid the not to be missed “The most important questions you will ever answer”.

The next sections of the book Cija covers the topics of Getting your profile online and Going on Dates and more…She offers practical common sense advice that seems to me to work. (My only comment is that there are some things that could be added to the section on photos-of course being the CEO of a dating profile photo company that will come as no surprise)

In summary

I can hear a lot of you saying…yes, but what a lot of work…and yes if you read this book and listen and apply what Cija recommends then this will involve a fair amount of introspection. But the results you get in your life will be worth it!

I’ve given this book 4.5 out of 5 stars…because I NEVER give anything 5 stars and I found the introduction a little long for me (and to be fair I’m not into reading the introductions of any book) Here’s a link to buy your copy! ( Click here )

 

 

Good Online dating Photos that get results Part 2 of 3

This is part of a 3 part article written to help you get the best online dating profile photos possible (To read  part 1 click here)

4. Glamour Shots, Make-Up and Hair

A glamour shot is never about creating a photograph that shows your real personality. It’s about creating a shot the photographer finds the most pleasing. The photographer will often use heavy make-up, hair styling, unnatural lighting and lots of post-production retouching.

The result might be fantastic but it fails online.

People avoid these types of dating pictures because they know no one looks like that in real life — and if they do bite, they avoid them after the date because they didn’t measure up to the dating photos on the profile.

Here’s what eHarmony has to say about glamour shots:

“Come on. Do you really think we’re going to fall for that one? We’ve all seen too many makeover shows to believe that you look anything like this styled, photoshopped person before us. Please remember, we want to see what you’re going to look like on our first date. In fact, you can even wear the same clothes, ‘Hi, here’s my first date attire.’ Men like to move forward with solid information. Anything less feels disingenuous.

When it comes to using a make-up artist before having a picture taken, guys can do without. Women probably can too if they’re a dab hand with the mascara. One easy option is to stop off at the cosmetics counter at a nearby Sephora, MAC or department store for a free make-up session on the way to the shoot. Bear in mind that spending hundreds of dollars on hair and make-up can backfire. If you can’t re-create the same glammed-up, flawless look for your dates, you’ll disappoint.

When profile photos don’t look like you, they don’t serve their purpose.

If you’re doing your own make-up, keep it natural. Apply using natural window light even if that means using a room other than the bathroom. Good lighting is essential to a good, even application.

Lips should be shiny, either from transparent or colored lip gloss. (Matte, dark lipstick tends to have an aging effect in photos, so it’s best avoided.)

Face foundation and powder should be matte and exactly match neck and body skin tone, so that it becomes invisible. You’d be amazed at how many women think they are wearing a perfect skin tone color, when in reality the foundation is visibly darker or lighter than the true skin tone of their neck. The camera sees everything, so you might want to update your make-up supply before their session.

And forget about that “age-defying” mineral foundation that contains light reflecting particles to give a youthful look. While it might look great in real life, it’s not camera-friendly. Self-tanners and bronzers will invariably make skin look orange, and glittery body lotion or make-up tends to show up in pictures as little white flecks.

Shine is the enemy of photography. Dewy skin is attractive in real life, but in photos it looks like an oil slick, so skin should be matte.

Eye shadow can look darker in photos, so if you normally wear a dark color, think about using a lighter shade for their photo session. Mascara, though, will make eyes appear brighter.

Grey hairs and dark roots are also something the camera sees, so if you color your hair, try to have it done no more than a few days before the session.

Ultimately, you should style your hair the way you would normally wear it to a date. If the shoot will take place outdoors, hair spray will tame flyaway strands away from face and hair, hands and nails may also end up in the shot. A plain clear nail polish always works. For dry lips, bring Chap Stick and for dry eyes, there’s Visine.

Guys have it easier but it’s worth spending a few minutes the day before the shoot tweezing away facial hairs to eliminate nose hair or unibrow.

5. To Smile or not to smile?

We’ve mentioned that smiling is usually a good idea in a dating photo, but not all smiles are created equal.

There are the natural authentic smiles we display when we’re genuinely joyful… and then there are the forced smiles we endure for photos and polite social occasions.

Authentic smiles are marked by wrinkles in the eyes and differ from those flat mouth-only smiles.

It’s the real, happy grins that get results.

A recent study of authentic smiles, conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrated the impact of smiling. Researchers analyzed the yearbook pictures of 111 smiling women aged 21. Fifty of the pictures displayed authentic smiles. Participants expressing genuine positive emotions in their yearbook picture were more likely to be married and have higher well-being than their non-smiling classmates.

An experienced photographer will know that it’s never a good idea to force a smile out of a client. A forced smile isn’t genuine and nearly always looks fake and cheesy.

“The original photographer I used didn’t make me feel comfortable, she kept telling me to smile, when I’m not a smiling sort of person… I mean, I smile but not the “cheesy” grin that she wanted, I had a tooth repaired and I’m just not comfortable when forced to smile-and my photos showed it-I felt stupid when I saw them and never used the photos, they just sit on my laptop and every time I see them I groan”

“John,” 46, San Diego

When your photographer knows how to coax out a real smile, you’ll look much better. The muscles used to smile will lift the face, making you appear younger.

And most of us are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what’s making them so happy. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away but a smile draws them in

“You know how it feels when you’re out and someone smiles at you? It makes you more likely to approach that person or at least smile back, right? Well, it’s the same with online photos. People want to know what you look like when you’re happy. Why? Subconsciously, they’re also looking for someone who might make them happy. So save the tough — or pouty — face for an additional shot if you really want others to see it. Post a grin as your main shot and reel in a date!”

Match.com expert Kimberly Dawn Neumann.

So smile… but naturally.

6. Body Language

The smile is an important part of body language but it’s not the only part. How you sit, where you place your hands, how you hold yourself will all communicate a message to the viewer.

Some dating experts have recommended that singles look away from the camera on the grounds that it makes them look like someone whose attention the viewer needs to win.

We’ve seen that that look can work for some men, and a 45-degree angle might be worth experimenting with, but playing hard to get isn’t a winning strategy for everyone.

A more reliable approach is to stick to the simple stuff, and relax. Avoid crossed arms that can create a barrier, and use open friendlier gestures. An authentic look is way more important.

A lot of good body language lies in the ability of a talented and experienced photographer to help you relax and display your natural, positive expression. Photographers posing people often just makes them more tense.

 7.Face Shots, Body Shots and supporting photos

Your photographer should create a number of different images. The face is vital, obviously, and the photographer should produce a great portrait that you can use as your primary photo, the photographer should also take a variety of photos, including a few half-body and three-quarter body shots. The variety will help.

Supporting photos will reveal a little more about you. They depict your uniqueness, your personality and your life.

These photos could be a picture of you hiking the Grand Canyon, giving a speech at an event, diving in Belize, drinking a cocktail with friends, or even just walking the dog. It’s one thing for you to write in a profile that  you’re active and adventurous but a picture proves it.

But those pictures should be real. If you like golf then add pictures of you on the golf course, not pictures of you holding a golf club. When supporting photos are staged they don’t look natural. They look sad and needy.

Family, Friends and Furry Friends
Be careful about how many shots you post with friends or family. While a good photo might depict you as trustworthy and family-oriented, too many shots will portray you as the man or woman who can’t leave their mother for more than five minutes.

And while you may think your dog, cat, hamster or turtle is the cutest thing in the world, no one viewing your profile for the first time is looking to know your pet.

They want to see you.

Unless you’re looking cute with your pet, those photos are a waste of time. An action photo of you playing fetch with your dog at the park would be great here but a professionally taken picture of owner and pet together just makes you look a little too devoted.

Supporting Photos Tell Stories
A profile should tell a story. It should tell a story of you and your life. The supporting photos should illustrate that story.

If you are a pilot who flies at the weekends, goes to the gym every night and is passionate about cooking then we’ll want to see pictures of these activities. Congruency between the profile text and the photos creates an element of trust between you and future dates.

Altogether, your profile should have a few clear headshots, a couple of body shots and a few supporting photos about what makes you unique. And don’t forget to delete the old photos. A profile is only as good as its weakest image.

“If you don’t have a selection of great looking profile photos then it’s going to be much harder for us to get you the great results that you want. The bottom line is better photos will get you better dates – with better people. Unappealing photos will get you unappealing dates – with unappealing people!”
Dating Coaches “The Amazing Clarks”

 

Dating online? Regardless of your age, the most important thing you need to know…

Whether you are 25 or 95 Having great online dating photos is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how with great profile pictures we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

 

 

Good Online dating Photos that get results Part 1 of 3

I’ve lost count of the times people ask me how to get great online dating photos!

Here’s part 1 of a series of 3 articles that’ll tell you exactly what to do to get great online dating photos-As this article is fairly comprehensive I’ll provide you a list of the subjects that we’ll cover:

 

1. Age Matters.

2. The Right Image Produces the Right Responses.

3. Clothes Count

4. Glamour Shots, Make-Up and Hair

5. To Smile or Not to Smile?.

6. Body Language.

7. Face Shots, Body Shots and Supporting Photos.

8. Dating Profile No-No’s.

9. Studio or Location?.

10. Two Things You Should Know When Taking Your Own Pictures.

11. The Night Before the Photo Session.

12. Handling Nerves.

13. After the Shoot: When to Retouch?.

You know that looks matter. Of course, personality and character and attitude are vital too.

But those first impressions are hugely important.

That’s especially true when you’re dating online.

Internet dates won’t even look at a profile unless the pictures have won their attention.

You do this yourself. You put so much effort into thinking about what you want from a partner, understanding what you really want and making yourself as friendly, upbeat and interesting as possible… and what do you do when you reach a dating site?

You look first at the pictures.

When you’re browsing the dating search results, the picture is the first thing you see. And if you don’t immediately like what you see, it will be the last you see of that single.

Exactly the same thing is happening to you.

You might have a sparkling personality and interests that match exactly those of the person checking out your picture, but if your photos aren’t as impressive as your character, you won’t get any more than a glance at your page.

That single — maybe your perfect partner — is just going to click on by.

Online dating profile photos before and after (10)
“In an online dating environment, photos are the lifeblood of the system. In real life, do you see people walking around with no faces? Of course not! So, your photo is your ID. It’s the first thing people see before they start reading and digging in for all the juicy details.”
Ourtime.com

“I cannot say this enough: Men are all about the photos. It hardly matters what you say in your profile. If you’re a knockout, you could describe yourself as an axe murderer and you’ll still hear from men. That’s because they’ll take one look at your photos and not even bother reading what you’ve written. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating, but not by much.”
Dale Koppel, Ph.D. Author of “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Online Dating.”

Fortunately, creating wonderful dating photos is easy. It takes thought and a bit of expertise. But there are people who can help you — and that help starts here. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to get the pictures that will attract the partner you’re looking for.

1. Age Matters

Age is a consideration when you’re planning your photos.

In general, you should look relaxed, smiling, comfortable and at ease. You’ll want your photos to portray the kind of easy welcome you’d find if you were meeting someone who had heard great things about you, was looking forward to meeting you and was hoping to make a good impression.

That’s simple enough. But younger daters can get a little more creative.

In 2010, dating site OK Cupid looked at 7,000 different dating photos and tracked the results the different poses produced.

Some of the site’s results were surprising.

While smiling and making eye contact always produced better results for women, men received more messages with unsmiling photos and when they looked away from the camera. (Maybe the pose adds an air of mystery and lets women look without feeling they’re being looked at.) The “MySpace pose,” a flirty, cleavage-rich shot made by holding the camera above your own head, also produced good results for women.

But here’s the kicker.

OK Cupid only looked at singles in big cities aged 18-32. As the subjects aged, the kinds of images that generated the best results changed too:

“For women in their late teens and early twenties, body pictures are the most popular type of shot; outdoor pictures are second. This ordering is reversed by the mid-twenties.”

In other words, people who are young, slim and looking for a casual relationship can take a picture that highlights their shape. Singles who are older and more serious will want to think more about expression, setting and personality.

2. The Right Image Produces the Right Responses

There’s a difference between a photo that generates lots of responses and a photo that generates a life-long relationship.

A photo shouldn’t just show what you look like; it should also show who you are.

For example, if you’re a little edgy and rebellious then a preppy photo will attract responses from people who won’t be great matches. Conversely, nice guys don’t wear ripped tee-shirts and show attitude, even if their female friends swear those are the looks that get responses.

And while cleavage shots might bring women more messages, you know that quantity doesn’t mean quality.

Success in online dating isn’t based on the number of responses alone. The quality of those responses matter. You don’t need to bring in lots of replies; you need to bring in one good one.

3. Clothes Count

What you wear in your dating photo is as important as what you wear on the date.

You should look smart and casual at the same time.

You should show that you clean up well without looking stiff and formal. And remember that casual doesn’t mean a dirty shirt and baggy sweats. Too casual suggests that you don’t care what your partner thinks. That’s not a good message to send to someone you want to bring into a relationship.

Before heading to the shoot, pull together several different outfits in strong, solid colors that look good on you and that flatter you in your profile photos.

As you’re picking your clothes, try to put together more than one look for the profile. A dressy outfit would show you ready for a dinner date and a more laid back outfit would let the viewer imagine walking with you on the beach or sitting under a tree, enjoying a picnic.

Arrive for the photo session in the dressier look; it’s always easier to dress down as the photo session progresses than to try to dress up.

As a general rule, photographers recommend that people avoid busy patterns, prints, stripes, paisley, and elaborate designs. Stick to classic looks that won’t date and choose colors that look good with your skin tone. If you’re not sure what those are, there’s a ton of advice online that will help match shades to skin.

The outfits should be kept on hangers, not folded in a bag, so that they don’t wrinkle for the shoot, and a lint roller always comes in handy for removing those flecks of cat hair.
Finally, (and we might have to break this to you gently) before the shoot, ditch the sunglasses and take off the baseball cap. Here’s what Match.com expert Kimberly Dawn Neumann has to say about those:

“What’s with the sunglasses in photos, people? Don’t know you that the eyes are the window to your soul? You may think that wearing shades in a photo makes you look like a celebrity or adds an element of mystery, but in truth, most online daters see this photo and get frustrated by the inability to see your entire face. And if you’re wearing a baseball cap (this one is especially true for men), unless there is another photo showing what the top of your head looks like, most women will assume that cap is hiding a bald spot.”

Tips for Men:

  • A dress shirt will usually work great.
  • Wearing a tie and a suit is a bit much. Keep it dressy but casual.
  • No Hawaiian shirts! (This also applies to first dates.)
  • No t-shirts or tight shirts… unless you have the figure to carry it off.
  • Make sure shoes are stylish and clean.

Tips for Women:

  • Dress sexy but not skanky. (Even if you like to be a little revealing, it’s low cut or high thigh — never both.)
  • Dress comfortably.
  • Avoid dress shirts. They look too professional and not enough fun.
  • No big or busy patterns.
  • Soft, dark V-necks look great.
  • Black often works; white hardly ever.
  • Wear a strapless, skin color bra that is invisible under outfits.

In the next part of this article I’ll tell you all about makeup, hair and how to look your best and get great dating profile photos.

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 “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!

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!

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!