Creating Profile Pictures That Visually + Emotionally Tell Your Story

Creating Profile Pictures That Visually + Emotionally Tell Your Story

How you show up online matters. How you show up on dating apps matters even more.

Photos are a powerful tool for communicating, but have you stopped to consider what it is you’re communicating. Put it this way. A handful of poorly chosen pixels on your profile could, potentially, derail your love life and hold up your happily ever after. Wait, what? 😱

But read on for peace of mind. Profile pictures are our bread and butter. We eat, sleep, live and breath dating profile pictures. Some have even said we elevate the dating pic to an art form… (thank you @thefabkara 🙏🏽).

profile pictures

But what does that mean, an art form? What are we trying to accomplish with the dating profile pictures we so lovingly craft with our clients.

Dating profile pictures are more than the outfit, the location, the colours, the props. They are about you. The powerhouse underneath it all. They are about the impact you have and the way you move through the world.

Our sole purpose (and indeed our soul purpose) in life is to create a series of profile pictures that gives people – both visually and emotionally – an insight, or a snapshot, of what it would be like to date you. What it would be like to be in a relationship with you. Once you connect with people on a visual and emotional level, you’re more likely to intrigue them. Your series of profile pictures, when created intentionally, should take people on a whistle stop tour of your vibe, your personality, your passions, your strengths… your story. Well, some of your story at least. The highlight reel. Include the things you love about yourself, the things that matter to you, the things that make you stand out from others.

Time to grab the controls

It’s worth knowing, that every photoshoot tells a story about you, whether you are aware of it or not. So it’s much better to grab the controls and make sure you’re in charge of the messaging you’re sharing rather than leaving it up to people to make up their own mind about you.

And the more real, the more authentic, you get when sharing your story, the easier it’ll be to attract more of your kind of people and connect with them in a more meaningful way. This in turn leads to better quality matches and a happier dating life. You’ll find that this could mean less drama, less ghosting, less juggling, less hook ups, less superficial connections.

For those of you who want to avoid all that drama and start to connect more deeply with like-minded people who resonate with your vibe, then opening up and getting ‘realer’ (is that a word?!) is the way forward.

profile pictures

Visual Storytelling – but why are we so obsessed?

But why are we so invested in visual storytelling? What does it actually mean?

We think of visual storytelling as a kind of dating photo superpower. It’s a really cool way to share a lot of information at a glance. And let’s face it, oftentimes a glance is all we have to make an impact.

Why does visual storytelling work so effectively?  Images and narratives are both, in their own rights, powerful ways of communicating. We’re putting them together and creating a double whammy, if you will. When done well, with clients who are willing to put in some effort and are open to sharing their truth, you know it’s going to be crazy hard to scroll past those bad boys.

Firstly, our brains are hardwired for visual content. They process visual content at an incredibly high speed. In fact, sight is the primary way we navigate the world.  And just check out the following.

Recent statistics show that:

  • Articles with images get 94% more views than their visual-lacking counterparts.

  • Coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.

  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

  • Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without images.

  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.

  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.

  • Video will be part of 80% of all internet content by 2019.

(Via: Jeff Bullas and Crackitt)

And, secondly, our brains are hardwired to love stories.

As human beings we are programmed for stories. They’re part of who we are. It’s how we evolved to understand our place in the world before we had written language, how we passed on lessons to others and how we built relationships within our tribes and our families. As human beings, we’re programmed to respond to stories.  Essentially our brains run on electrical pulses, and when we hear stories our brains literally light up. I love that idea. Imagine if people who are looking at your photos are lighting up as they see them! Fantastic.

We believe that when stories are told meaning is made.

Our aim is to empower you to discover your personal story and intentionally share it so that you can connect more easily with your tribe on dating apps.

profile pictures

The Power of Authenticity

Great photos attract attention. Authentic ones keep it.

People who use misleading dating profile pictures to secure dates, rarely get a second date. No one likes to feel deceived, especially when looking for love. So it’s really important to create photos that represent where you are in your life and what you look like at the time of dating.

But if possible, you can take it a step further than that.

Can we take a moment to talk authenticity? We really encourage you to be bold and show up authentically for your dating photoshoot. But what does that actually mean and why do we want you to do that, more to the point?

It means rocking up for your photoshoot with the intention of revealing some real genuine things about yourself. It means expressing yourself. Bringing elements of who you are – your strengths, your talents, the things that matter most to you.

You’ve taken the risk to put yourself out there on a dating app. We already know you’re courageous. But you want to do more than just show up briefly in people’s feeds or timelines. You want to reach potential matches. You want them to connect with your profile. And you want to build on meaningful connections.

Showing up authentically on your dating photoshoot and in your dating life is the biggest gift you can give yourself. It enables you to meet and connect with people on a deeper level. Imagine no pretence and no games 🙌🏽   Keep this in mind as you start to plan your photoshoot.

Visually + Emotionally Compelling Profile Pictures

OK, so you know why storytelling is important and why showing up authentically is the way forward to find better matches and create more meaningful connections.

But where do you start? We see it as a three step process:

  • know yourself
  • express yourself
  • celebrate yourself

Know Yourself

Putting together an authentic narrative requires you to know yourself

We want to encourage and help you create compelling personality shots in the easiest, most accessible and fun way possible. But preparing to tell your story will require a bit of effort upfront. It requires a moment of self-awareness.

We encourage you to pause, reflect, get clear on and write down the following things that:

  • you care about, that are important to you
  • you love about yourself
  • represent a good life
  • make you stand out from others
  • bring you joy
  • you stand for.

A quick side-note

If you’re really struggling to answer the questions above because actually you have put your life on hold, while you find the love of your life, then it’s time to rewind. When you’re seriously looking for a life partner, it’s best to do this from a place where you’re already satisfied with your life to some extent. Obviously not everything is in place, no one’s life is like that, but there are definitely aspects to it that you’re very happy with. Dating is best pursued from a place of happiness. 

Be honest and be as open as possible. The more you share, the easier it’ll be to build a connection with someone who resonates with your vibe. We’re not asking you to share everything, good and bad. Be selective in that respect. But do try and be willing to share more than just the superficial content that you see make up the usual Tinder profiles.

We all have this human need to fit in. To be part of a tribe. To belong. But dating apps really are a place to push yourself forward ahead of others. To have your moment away from and ahead of the crowd.

 ✏️  Quick Exercise

Check out the video below, which talks you through creating a quick Wordmap of the things you care about. You can go as deep or as surface level as you want (although the deeper, the more powerful). The process of doing this will hopefully spark some ideas of visual depictions that might work. Talk to your photographer, it’ll help them unlock some portrait ideas that resonate. The more into the process you are, the more you’ll get back from it.

Express Yourself

Things are probably starting to feel a bit uncomfortable now. But that’s OK. That just means you’re getting close to the edge of your comfort zone. Keep going. Being willing to show up on a photoshoot ready to share elements of who you are is pretty scary. The most essential part of authenticity is being bold enough to keep going when things get challenging and express yourself.  When we have the courage to be bold, we’re both liberated and inspired by the power of authenticity. Showing up for your photoshoot authentically means going for it, not holding back and giving yourselves as fully as you can.

If you want to express yourself deeply, you need to find your passion

Try asking yourself,

‘How do I want people to feel when they check out my profile?’

‘If I knew these photos were going to be seen by my ideal soulmate, how would I want to show up for my photoshoot?’.

Challenges are almost always easier when viewed through the lens of big life shit.

Celebrate Yourself

The best advice I’ve been given, is to aim to let go of what other people think of you. At the end of that, you’ll find authenticity. Dang! I love that. Very powerful and so worth working towards. When you’re prepping for your shoot and then showing up, reject the ‘shoulds’. Whenever we think ‘I should…’, it usually means we’re veering off course from authenticity and heading towards something that doesn’t align with our unique perspective and vibe.

We want to help our clients deliver a visually compelling and authentic ‘brand’ story, which will massively optimise their online dating experience. But remember it’s an art not a science. There is no right or wrong way to do this. As long as you show willing to share something meaningful about you, however small, it counts and we’re proud of you.

Visually Compelling

This is when things get a whole lot more fun. Let’s look at what kinds of elements make up the visually compelling side of your photos?

We’re looking at the outfits you want to wear and the accessories and props you decide to bring. The backdrops and context that you think will work well. Your body language. How you come across as confident.  As you’re deciding all these elements for your photoshoot, don’t forget to refer back to your storytelling notes. What narrative are you sharing about yourself. That you’re fun, playful, confident, sporty, sociable etc.

Emotionally Compelling

Interweaved with the visually compelling elements of your photos are the emotionally compelling ones. You want them to feel something when they look at your photos. You want them to feel your energy, your vibe, your mood, your confidence. The story you’re telling.

Check out the video below where I chat to matchmaker and dating professional Sukh Kaur and share some tips on how to bring these elements together on your photoshoot.

Let the storytelling fun begin.

 

Words by Saskia. Photo by Livia for Hey Saturday, Manchester. 

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Online Dating Photographers
Online Dating Photographers
Online Dating Photographers
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Let your dating profile pics show people how you move through the world ✨✨ All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Heck yes, this is why we call our photoshoots the happiest dating photoshoots. J’adoring these gorgeous shots created by Livia in the colourful Northern Quarter. Photo credit: Livia for Hey Saturday, Manchester You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots ✨ #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
The world is so ready for you to show up in a meaningful way on your dating profile 👏🏽👏🏽 All photos taken by US & UK Hey Saturday photographers ✨✨ You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
Hey go-getters, thrill-seekers and online daters.... our dating photoshoots are a good time. Absolutely j’adoring these gorgeous shots created by Vanessa at Abbot Kinney & as I’m currently chilling in LA, I thought I just gotta share. Photo credit: Vanessa for Hey Saturday, Los Angeles #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
+ Take up space in the frame + Taking up a lot of physical space in the frame instantly makes you more attractive to others…. …Researchers discovered that open body language or “expansive postures” conveys both confidence as well as a sense of openness. People are more likely to come across as warm, friendly, trustworthy as well as comfortable in their own skin - great for dating pics ✨ You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photo shoots. All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Well this dating photoshoot is just a whole vibe. Shouts out to Megan for creating this fab set and huge kudos to the client who brought his A-game, dang. Photo credit: Megan for Hey Saturday, Birmingham You have been watching Hey Saturday 🔥 #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
It’s soooo important to get your self-talk right on a dating photoshoot… I mean nobody’s perfect but dang do we all fall short so beautifully 🔥🔥 All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Brighton dating photoshoot 🔥🔥 I was lucky enough to head to Brighton this week and catch up with one of our Brighton photographers, Lauren … & I gotta tell you, it's a dang-good gorgeous place for a dating photoshoot. Check out these cool shots from Lauren, who transforms the streets into a Hey Saturday playground. Loving the colour, personality and vibrance. Photo credit: Lauren for Hey Saturday, Brighton You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots 🔥 #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Never underestimate the power & magic of goofing off during your dating photoshoot. It helps create the best profile pics & usually means you end up having a good time 😆 You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest… & er goofiest dating photoshoots 🔥 *Filmed by @northernmunki #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #goofingoff #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
LOVE LOVE LOVE these dating profile pics shot by Alison in SoHo, NYC. And this lovely client, Alice, enjoyed it so much she invited me on her podcast Weekly Woman 🎧 She has some incredible guests on her show so I was very touched to be included. Thank you Alice. Check out her other episodes wherever you listen to your podcasts 🙌🏽 Photo credit: Alison, Hey Saturday New York City You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots ✨ #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Heck yeah… imagine a world where you’re excited by your dating app profile… All photos by Hey Saturday dating photographers in the UK & US. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Every profile pic is a dialogue - what do yours say about you? Love these shots from Alison - so dynamic and engaging - the kind of photos that pull you in. Photo credit: Alison for Hey Saturday, New York City You have been watching Hey Saturday: the happiest dating photoshoots ✨ #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
What I love about our dating photoshoots is that people often come away with more than just standout dating pics. They come away with renewed confidence, a sense of adventure and a willingness to experiment, have fun and put themselves out there. They come away feeling good about what lies ahead. And that feeling is ✨ #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepağes
When you're intentional with your profile pics, you're in charge of the message you're sharing with the world. And then you can attract more of the right kind of people. Loving these shots from our dating photo queen, Nicole shot on the streets of Shoreditch. Photo credit: Nicole for Hey Saturday, London #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
So yes… making eye contacting in most of your dating app profile pics is hugely important, but … including one or two candid-style shots can increase likes by 15%, according to Hinge recently. We love a candid shot…they’re natural, relaxed and capture you just living & loving your life - adding lots of value to your dating profile ✨ All photos taken by UK & US Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Hello lovers! Our favourite vibe for a dating photoshoot is to show up with a willingness to experiment, express yourself and enjoy yourself ✨ Love the colour, the vibes and the personality captured here by our Queen of the North, Livia. Brava Livia, fab set. Photo credit: Livia for Hey Saturday, Manchester You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Self-acceptance makes dating photoshoots and going on dates way more fun. Self-acceptance is my answer to pretty much everything. Don’t put your dating life on hold until you’ve reached your ideal weight, got your dream job, own that outfit you love… you are enough right now ✨ All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
My favourite dating app photos are the ones that show people looking happy, inspired and excited with life. Vanessa over in LA has captured a beautiful, vibrant and fun set in Abbot Kinney - just fab. Photo credit: Vanessa for Hey Saturday, Los Angeles #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
How to Dating Photo… in This Heat 🔥🔥 All photos taken by Hey Saturday photographers. You have been watching Hey Saturday, the happiest dating photoshoots on the planet. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages
Our photoshoots are an adventure, not a chore. Loving these gorgeous shots captured on the colourful streets of the Northern Quarter in Manchester by our Queen of the north, Livia. Photo credit: Livia for Hey Saturday, Manchester. #singleandhappy #modernlove #mindset #loveyourself #datingwithapurpose #datingadvice #datinglife #profilepictures #profilepic #profilepics #profilephoto #onlinedating #datingphototips #happylife #happysingle #relationshipgoals #personalbrandingtips #datingapp #datingapps #datingadviceformen #datingadviceforwomen #profilephotography #visualstorytelling #onlinedatingphotographer #datingphotos #explore #explorepages