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Spotlight on Top North Carolina (Durham) Photographer

Meet Shawn

Shawn chose to be a portrait photographer because she loves to photograph people. With 18 years of experience she’s developed a knack for putting people at ease in front of the camera. Her approach is casual, light and fun.  This allows her to capture your true personality.
She’s based in Durham, North Carolina.

Her goal is to make your session fun and at the same time surprise you with how photogenic you never thought you were.

An impressive resume

Her clients include Ron Wyman, film maker for CNN and The Discovery Channel.  The Art Director for Boston Magazine. Warren Miller, extreme ski film maker, Dr. Ruth, Yankee Magazine, Fidelity and more.

To book your own photo-session with Shawn CLICK HERE

What To Put On A Dating Site Profile… And What To Leave Out

Important Tool

Your dating site profile is the most important tool you have to find love online—and fast. It’s the identity that you put forward to other online daters, it’s what people see when they’re looking for people like you and it’s all you’ve got to make a first impression and pull in the proposals.

No Exaggeration

It’s not an exaggeration to say that all that lies between you and the end of your single days is the skill with which you complete your profile.

The kind of information that you’ll be asked to reveal about yourself will vary from service to service. Dating sites put a huge amount of effort into coming up with the right questions to make matching easy without putting off new members. Some sites for example, will ask you to tick just a handful of boxes and write one short paragraph. Others will have section after section that grill you about your personality, your interests, your hopes and your history.

All sections

In general, it’s a good idea to complete all the sections of a dating site profile however many they may be. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting and you can certainly come back to fill in the gaps later, but as long as you have spaces in your profile that remain unfilled you can give the impression of looking evasive and less than completely serious.

The good news

dating adviceThe bulk of the profile won’t take long to complete. Even the most demanding sites don’t ask you to write more than three or four mini-compositions about yourself and your ideal date, and the majority of just about any dating site profile is always a series of checkboxes about your likes and dislikes.

Fill these sections in as accurately and as quickly as you can and move on. For the most part, online daters skip right past these parts of the profile. They look too much like shopping lists. Mostly they help the site’s matching engine far more than the dater looking for a match. The fact that someone likes jazz more than rock, or comedies more than documentaries, doesn’t really tell you whether they’re going to like you—or whether you’re going to like them.

Important

A few checkboxes though are important. When you come to tell the world the age range of the person you’re looking for, it’s important to be realistic. Many men in particular like to think that because there are so many women on the Internet, they can use it as a way to meet women half their age. That’s not impossible but at best it’s going to need a long wait and at worst, it’s going to be a complete waste of time.

All sorts

Internet dating can bring all sorts of people together. It can certainly match people up who are looking for something very specific—and even a little unusual. But when you begin looking for someone online, you want your profile to be as inclusive as possible. Once the emails come in, you can then start to focus on the most attractive responses. If you’d like to meet someone in their early twenties for example but would also be happy with someone in their mid-thirties then it’s best to choose a wide age range that casts a big net than focus on one particular group and change when you feel you’re not having any luck.

Age

When it comes to describing your own age range though, honesty is always the best policy. There’s always a temptation for people in their early-somethings to shave a few years off and slip back into an earlier decade. It happens a lot (and it’s a good reason to be suspicious of people who claim to be aged 29 or 38 etc.) But it’s just not worth it. At some point you will have to spill the beans and spilling them in front of someone you really want to impress is far worse than being honest to someone you haven’t met and might never meet. If the passing single really doesn’t want to date someone your age, it’s best not to meet them at all than date them and get the rejection face-to-face.

Find out more

To find out more about profiles visit http://www.lookbetteronline.com/profile-writing/profile-makeover/

3 Tips for Finding someone special in 2014

If you’re reading this then I hope you’ll have your best year ever and find someone special.
Here’s 2 simple tips to get you started

1. Make love a priority without urgency.

We’ve all heard: “When the time is right the right you’ll meet the right person.” But “we’ve also been told to “Go out and make it happen”

I think a balance between these 2 points of view is a healthy balance.
Resolve to go out and meet people AND look online so that you have a better chance of finding love, and don’t force it…(forcing things is way too needy) the trick is to take action and spend time letting things unfold

And when you go on a first date don’t already start examining if you could spend the rest of your life with them. Don’t go there!…There is way less pressure just getting to know your date…learn more about a new person, not just fall in love with a romantic fantasy.

2. First impressions count.

Before you get a date you need to attract someone special! What kind of first impression do you make, whether online or in-person?
Online, having great online dating photos is the most important thing you can do when dating online, we all look at the photos first! 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!And your profile is well written- If your personal look could use some improvement, then do it whether it’s new clothes or hairstyle..

2. Confidence is key

Confidence is key! And I don’t mean cockiness…I mean the confidence to be authentic!
If you’re nervous about a first date then you might want to try some exercise an hour or two prior to getting ready and going out (Often being in your body will get you “Out” of your nervous mind)
And when it comes to talking- stay in the comfort zone by coming up with a few subjects that won’t get you into trouble (And AVOID at all costs Politics or Religion!…I know obvious eh!)
If you’re not sure what to talk about then  ask your date about their life, listen and go from there.
Also don’t forget there’s is a fine line between being confidence and cocky – nobody likes a cocky guy who is too cool, so keep it real

Ways to feel more confident:

Don’t slouch!
Take a couple of deep breaths and Stand or sit  tall! Pull your shoulders back  and pick your chin up No one looks confident if they are always looking down!

Slow down and take a breath
When you get nervous, your voice goes up and you’ll talk faster than you realize.  These are two dead giveaways for lack of confidence…so breathe deeply and relax…It’s not a race to impress her!

Seasons Greetings and an offer

Happy Christmas to all our readers…..I hope that you have a wonderful day!

Holiday online dating offer: Valid between Christmas day and the new year!
Simply enter promo code “holiday” and receive $30 off a dating profile photo session

(*Offer applies to full price photo session: exaple $197 package for just $167)

3 things to look for when reading Online Dating Profiles

The fact is, much of what you find on most profiles actually tells you very little. When you see a profile that says, “My friends would describe me as…” you can usually expect the usual series of adjectives that include reliable, attractive, honest, dependable etc., all of which are probably true but don’t really tell you what makes the person unique—or uniquely attractive.

Pay Attention

Often, all you need to pay attention to is the first thing that someone puts on their profile:

dating profile 001I’m a Christian woman. I’m not perfect and I have my faults but I know the difference between right and wrong and try to live my life that way. I don’t drink or do drugs and wouldn’t date a man who does. I like the smell of rain, barn dancing, slow drives in the country and long evenings in front of the fire.

Believe it or not, you’ll find lots of profiles like this on dating sites, profiles in which the very first sentence tells you everything you need to know. The writer has placed her values front and foremost, and it’s fairly clear what kind of relationship she’s looking for—and what kind of man.

Not all profiles are that obvious though. You certainly might find plenty of profiles that say that the single behind it likes Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, choices which speak volumes about their musical taste and makes clear that there’ll be no fighting over the music collection if things don’t work out. But how someone writes can reveal as much about who they are, where they’re from and where they’d like to go as what they write.

It’s often possible to spot a number of small signs that give a clue to the writer’s background, personality and most important, compatibility.

1. Spelling

There are two kinds of profiles: those with spelling mistakes and those without. And it’s not just the misspelled words that tell you about the writer’s writing skills—or their ability to use spellcheck—it’s also the use of numbers instead of letters, dodgy punctuation and missing capitals.

dating profile 002This happens a lot in online communications and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with skipping spelling rules (although it’s always best to follow them, if only for the sake of clarity). But a tendency to leave writing laws in the dust does say much about the person doing the writing—and whether you’d make a good match.

In general, people who write “4 u” instead of “for you”, tend to be young, trendy and… a bit lazy. They’re more comfortable with SMS messaging and online chatting than sitting and writing words in full.

That’s fine if you’re the same. If you can’t understand why “too” has three letters instead of two, especially when you can write it “2”, then dating someone who’s “looking 4 u” could work out just fine. But if you’re infuriated at people’s inability to write properly, then dating someone who likes to take the shortcut to creating sentences might not be for you at all

2. Humor

When you’ve seen a lot of dating site profiles, you’ll quickly notice that just about everyone online seems to be looking for a date with a sense of humor. The Internet is not a good place for po-faced dullards to find their other halves.

Unfortunately, few profiles seem to show the qualities their writers are looking for. Most people tend to take a pretty straightforward approach to creating their profile. That’s not entirely their fault. There aren’t many great jokes that begin “About Me And My Match” and even Chris Rock would find it a challenge to be funny in the small amount of space you can find on most dating site profiles.

That means that on the one hand, it’s not a good idea to hold a lack of wit against someone you see online. They might be a scream in real life and your date might be filled with unending laughter but when it comes to getting across their humor on their profile, they could have just come up a bit short.

On the other hand, if you do see someone who looks good and has a profile that makes you smile, send out an email as soon as you spot it. If someone can make you laugh with what they squeezed into their self-description, imagine how much fun the date will be!

3. Integrity

It would be great if you could judge the level of someone’s integrity just by seeing what they write on their profile. But it’s just not that easy. No one ever writes in their self-description, “I’m unreliable, unfaithful, deceitful and selfish. I’ll hit on your pals, stand you up on dates and if you think I’m really going to hang around for a long-distance relationship, you can think again. At the first sign you’re getting serious, I’ll be heading for the hills.”

No one ever writes that, but you might find ages that seem at odds with the look in the picture, income ranges that are pitched way too high for someone who works in catering or retail, or occupations that just don’t seem to match the level of education.

Now, it’s perfectly possible that there’s a perfectly good explanation for what to you looks like a strange discrepancy. But if you’re already raising questions about your potential date’s integrity, do you really want to enter into a relationship with them—and begin by having to decide whether you believe their answers?

Trying to read between the lines of the information you’ve got on a dating site profile isn’t easy. But with so little to go on before you send out that first email and so many people to choose from, you’ll find yourself doing it without even noticing. In all, the best policy is to trust your instincts. If something someone writes gets your goat, the best policy is to give them the elbow. If you find yourself attracted to the wit in someone’s self-description, then shoot them out an email and see what they say back!

Another important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

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

13 things TO AVOID when posting Dating Profile Photos

I’m not sure exactly why so many people ask me  “What Should I avoid when it comes to dating profile photos?” Perhaps it’s because we’ve al lseen our share of awful dating photos.

Here’s a list of things to AVOID when posting your dating profile photos (And a link at the end of the article to tell you what to do too!)

1.NO “Bathroom-Mirror-Self-Portraits:

Bathroom Selfies” make you look like you’re a loner and a loser.

2.NO Blurred/Dark photos.

People want to see if they find you attractive. Blurred and dark dating profile photos are a FAIL!

3.NO Sunglasses or a Cap.

So what are you trying to Hide?  If you’re balding, who cares, some women love bald men and the eyes are the window to the soul, which is why you shouldn’t hide behind your shades. People want to look into your eyes to see who you really are. your matches want to see your sparkling eyes (Eye contact can be just as engaging in a photo as it is in person)

4.NO frowning photos.

Smile…In social situations if we see someone smiling then we assume that they are approachable and happy and people who don’t smile are often Moody and difficult!~and it’s the same with online dating profile photos…so smile a little.

5.NO Drinking photos.

Dating profile Photos holding a drink give people the impression that like to drink…a lot. So unless you’re a partying college kid leave them out…otherwise you’ll just look like an alcoholic.

6.NO Photos with people cut out.

Do you really not have any photos without your EX?  Don’t cut the ex out of the photo, so that there’s an obvious gaping hole, or use a piece of paper to block out their ex.

7.NO Old photos.

A rule of thumb is to never have a photo over 3 years old.

8.NO Kids in photos.

While you might be a great parent Photos of children just don’t belong on a dating website

9. NO Pics of your parents.

No one wants to see a grown man hugging his mother on a dating site, It just looks odd!

10. NO photos where its not obvious who you are.

Which one are you?  Your date shouldn’t have to guess which person you are in the photo.

11.NO messy backgrounds…

Watch your backgrounds. Last thing we want to see is your dirty place…this is a huge FAIL for a dating profile photo.

12. For Men-No bare chests or flexed muscle

Unless you want to look like a complete “tool”.

13. Don’t post glamour shots.

A glamour shot is not about The Real You, it’s about the photographer creating the image that they find the most pleasing. The photographer will use heavy makeup, hair styling, unnatural lighting and heavy post production retouching. The result is a fantasy image, and it fails online. People avoid these type of dating profile pictures because they feel that no one looks like this, or they avoid you after the date because you didn’t measure up to the dating photos on your profile.

OK, So I’ve told you about all the things to AVOID…now CLICK HERE to read my article  called Good Online dating Photos that get results

 

Online dating tips: How to write a first message that gets results (Part 2)

Writing a first email to someone with an interesting profile is dead easy. Follow either of the models we’ve supplied in our last article CLICK HERE, back it up with a well-written profile with an excellent picture, and you should get a positive response.

A few things you should NEVER say!

There are a few things that you should never say in a first email though.

First of all, never ask for personal details in a first email. That will automatically raise a red flag and toss you out of the game. You wouldn’t expect to walk up to someone in a bar and get a phone number right at the start of a conversation—and you won’t get it right at the beginning of an email conversation either.

At some point, when you’re both feeling comfortable, when you’ve sounded each other out and decided that you have enough in common to make meeting up worth the time, you can exchange details or at the very least arrange to meet in public.

But that kind of trust takes a little bit of time to develop. It certainly won’t come with your first email

Similarly, you shouldn’t ask for a date in your first email.

Your goal

The goal of your first message is simply to make contact, to persuade someone to look at your profile and write back with questions of their own. It’s a chance to get a feel for each other’s personality, to begin to see how compatible you are and to decide if you want to meet in the flesh and check out the chemistry. That doesn’t usually require a huge amount of time. A handful of emails zipping back and forth is often enough for you to figure out whether you find each other interesting enough to take it further. Ask for a date right at the beginning though and the answer is most likely to be a big fat no

Chat up lines

And finally, steer clear of corny chat-up lines.

Chat-up lines tend to have pretty limited success offline. Online they’re completely unnecessary. One of the biggest advantages of dating across the Web is that you get the time to think up something smart and witty to say. You don’t need to churn out some old cliché quick before your intended target leaves.

Online, chat-up lines just make you look a bit sleazy. Actually, they pretty much do the same offline too.

How To Reply When You’re In Demand

When you have a great profile with a professional picture and solid, original descriptions, there’s a good chance that you’re going to get a lot of emails. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find that your inbox picks up several hundred emails in the first few days.

That’s a good response and it gives you wide range of possible dates to choose from. The chances that not one of the emails that you receive is a good prospect to get to know a little better is pretty small. (And if you can’t find anyone out of several hundred applicants, it’s more likely that your criteria are too strict than that there’s no one on the site worth meeting.)

Obviously though, you won’t be able to write back to everyone so you’ll have to make selection. Not everyone writes a perfect first email, just as very few people produce the kind of outstanding profiles they really need to get results.  Many, if not most, of the emails you receive will say far more about the person doing the writing than the writer

More tips

Get more tips in our next post How to write a first message that gets results (Part 3)

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!

Dating Profile Photo Secret from Top Californian Photographer

Today I want to Spotlight one of our talented dating profile photographers

Meet Stuart

Stuart is an internationally renowned Southern California photographer who found his calling when he was 17. Since then for 35 years, he has photographed literally thousands of people…

An impressive resume

And Stuart’s resume is impressive…He’s a Graduate of UCI BA in photography, Is a past President of Professional Photographers of Orange County and  has learned with the best. Dean Collins, Monte Zucker and Ken Marcus to name a few of the photography masters of this century
As you can imagine Stuart loves both people and photography and his down-to-earth character makes everyone he photographs feel completely at ease…

On Location OR Studio

Southern California offers some great settings… When I asked Stuart about his favorite locations he told me about some of the amazing beach and ocean front settings that he has available…these settings can’t help make anyone look like a million dollars, and get you the dating profile photos that get results.

Stuart also has a studio located in Newport Blvd. It is cozy and fully equipped with a make-up area, lights and a dressing room.

Stuart has been featured in Eye on L.A., Two on a Town, Hour Magazine, The Love Report with Fredrick , People are Talking (CBS), People Magazine, The Wall St. Journal, The London Sunday Times and Der Spiegel among others.

Photo Secret

When speaking with Stuart on the telephone today I asked him to share something with me that would help people get great photos and here’s what he had to say.

So here’s the dating profile Secret…….it’s so simple it crazy!

“The night before you take your dating profile photos don’t forget to get a Good night’s sleep!” 

Good practical common sense if you ask me (And Why is common sense not common?)

Fail to do!

99% of people fail to do this….

They spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on buying the right clothes (And for women hundreds more on getting their hair just right) and then they forget to get a decent night’s sleep!

…Then when they see their photos they are aware that they need more sleep…think bags under tired eyes!

Get a good night’s sleep the night before, drink plenty of water to Hydrate and I guarantee you’ll look better in your photos…and as we all know Better photos mean Better Dates!

To book your own photo-session with Stuart go to:
http://www2.lookbetteronline.com/Photographer_Costa-Mesa_4490_92024.html

Stand out from the crowd! The Perfect dating profile part 3

What You Should Never Put On A Profile

All of the things that we’ve recommended for you to put on your profile in this chapter are things that you like to do. If you enjoy hiking, say you like hiking and say where you like to do it. If you like reading, say you like reading and put a word or two about the last book you read. If you’re into cooking, say you spent a lot of time in the kitchen and mention which type of cuisine gets your taste buds flowing.

But don’t say what you don’t like to do.

Your dating site profile should always be positive. It should show that you’re a happy, contented person who wants to be even happier and more contented, not a sad, lonely person who wants someone to cheer them up. Nothing puts people off more than the whiff of desperation. No one wants to be a cheerleader for a losing side; they want to be part of the winning team.

Stick to the great things

online dating profile tips and great dating photos 004It doesn’t matter how keen you are to find a partner, how many times you’ve been burnt in the past or how much you know what you don’t want, stick to the great things you have and the even greater things you want to have.

Saying on your profile that you’ve just come out of a difficult divorce or that you don’t want someone who plays head games for example, will do nothing but put people off writing. It simply declares that you’re carrying giant, heavy trunks of baggage and anyone who dates you is going to be in for a rough ride.

A happy life

Your profile should read like an advert for a happy life. It should look like a real estate ad that lets readers imagine how happy they’ll be if they dating advicecan just get past the admissions committee and win a chance to live with you. Of course, no one really believes that what they see in the ad is going to be completely perfect in real life. Every property has dust in the attic or cobwebs in the corner but no realtor puts that in the brochure.

Your profile should sell the joys of a life with you. You can then choose which person actually gets the sale. By the time your new partner finds the cobwebs and the dust, they’ll already be sold enough to look beyond it. So keep the negatives out and accentuate the positive.

We said that the idea of your profile is always to get as many prospects as possible but that doesn’t mean you want timewasters. If you’re looking for a serious relationship with someone, you don’t want your inbox bothered by people looking for quick flings. The best way to keep out the people you don’t want to meet—without putting up a sign that’s also going to put people off that you might want to meet—is to simply keep all references to sex off the profile.

 Your online name

That includes the name you choose as your online identity.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when dating online is to choose a tag that reveals your real name—or to choose a name that puts across the wrong message.

Names like SexyAngel, Hot4U or Randyandy can say far more than you intended.

It’s much better to create a bland name with a string of strange numbers than to try to attract passing singles with a tag that says more than you want. If you think your name is creating the wrong impression, it’s worth making the effort to change it. Unless you’re looking just for sex, never refer to sex on your profile.

Another important thing you need to know…get good dating profile pictures

13Having  great dating profile pictures 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 online dating photos we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

 

Stand out from the crowd! The Perfect dating profile part 2

In Part one of our article we spoke about what to put on a profile about you and what to leave out.

Describing Your Ideal Date

Writing about yourself is actually the easy bit. At least you know who you are and what you’re like.
Writing about someone you’ve never met requires a whole new bag of skills.

The goal here is to come up with a description that does three things:

  • Shows originality;
  • Describe the person you’d like to meet;
  • Invite anyone you might like to meet to send you an email.

Of these, the first is the least important and the last is the most important.

Lots of emails

When you first post your profile, you want to get as many emails as possible. If you find that you’re getting too many responses, then you can rewrite your description so that it’s a bit more selective. In practice if that happens, you’ll probably be too busy dating to bother looking at your profile again.

The best way to approach writing about your ideal date then is to forget about trying to picture your dream person and describing them. The factdating profile tips and online photos 003 is, your ideal person probably doesn’t exist but there are plenty of great people online any one of whom would make you extremely happy.

But how can you describe a whole bunch of real people you haven’t met? Clearly you can’t. And describing personality traits that you quite like is likely to be either too exclusive or too inclusive. Most people think of themselves as having integrity and compassion, and believe that they’re kind and considerate. Saying that you want someone who knows how to listen will cut your ideal person down to about… everyone.

Similarly, you might quite like the idea of settling down with someone who likes budgies as much as you do but it’s unlikely to be a deal-breaker and you could be just as happy with someone who doesn’t give a hang about birds.

Instead of trying to describe an imaginary person, it’s best to take a different tack: describe what you’d like that person to do for you or what you’d like to do with them:

My Ideal Partner:

My ideal partner would be smart, warm and witty, up for trips to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and down with getting dirty on a muddy Sequoia trail. She’ll be happy to stay in and sip coffee, to cuddle up on the sofa with a good book or two and ready to try Yoga, strange types of massage and the kinds of mushrooms you only find in farmers’ markets.

The big idea then is to use the space given over to describing your ideal date to describe the things that you like to do. After all, ideally you’re looking for someone who’s prepared to share your life and fit in with your habits. You don’t really want to meet someone who hates everything you like and with whom you have nothing in common.

Again, being specific about what you want and what you like will let your personality shine through. It will show that you’re an interesting person and it will let a potential date picture you together doing fun, exciting things. A good Ideal Partner description should act like an open invitation to people who like the things that you like to write in and ask to join you.

In part 3 we’ll cover what things you should NEVER put in  a profile and

 

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!