As with most things in life, you can sit around reading pages and pages of instructions, guides, how-tos, etc and never really get anywhere… Or you can decide you’ll just take action and start doing the thing, even if it means you’ll suck at it for a while.
I’ve got a very in-depth guide where I go into absolutely everything you could ever hope to know about taking great Tinder photos – including how to choose a camera, how to pose, how to get constructive feedback on your current look, and so much more. Go read it now: How to Get Laid on Tinder. It’s free.
Oh what’s that? You’re a lazy bastard who doesn’t like to read? Fine, here’s a super short version:
- Buy a DSLR camera.
- Go take 1000 photos of yourself/flowers/animals/streets/architecture/furniture/the floor/the ceiling/sunsets/sunrises/friends/family/enemies/grass/anything at all, so you can get good with the camera. Play around with every setting, do a bit of research into aperature, f-numbers, shutter speed, manual vs automatic mode, autofocus, etc if you need to. Basically, learn by doing and by experimenting.
- Once you know what you’re doing, hand your camera to your friends and give them a bit of a super-quick rundown of how to take a photo of you. Get them to take 100 photos of you (tell them it’s totally cool if they’re out of focus, or blurry, or out of focus, etc). Just take 100 photos. Go home, check the photos, see if any are decent. Get your friends to do this every time you go out – especially if you go somewhere interesting.
- Eventually some of those photos will be good. Post them somewhere you can get honest feedback (eg my forums). Ask other people for feedback on how you can pose better, look better, whether you should try smiling vs not smiling, looking at the camera vs looking away, etc.
- Eventually you’ll have a whole bunch of pretty decent photos. Use them on Tinder. Get matches and go on dates.
- Iterate steps 2-5 ad infinitum. Eventually you’ll have a batch of better and better photos. You should ALWAYS be improving your pics/physique/style/fashion/etc, learning how to pose better, smile better, etc. Onwards and upwards.
Yep, that really is it. Practice makes perfect. Here’s the kind of quality you want to be aiming for, but it’ll take you a while (and a lot of practice taking photos) to get there.
As I wrote in my DSLR Camera Buying Guide, a couple mates of mine have gotten great results from literally just taking thousands of photos and asking for feedback, until they get some they’re happy with. Examples:
Ok, fine. You want at least something to give you an idea of how to take photos and how to pose. Here’s some beginner’s guides:
- Canon EOS RP User’s Guide
- Nikon D7000 Tutorial – A Fast Start Guide to Your DSLR
- Nikon D7000 Tutorial: All Settings, Menus, Functions by Carlos Erban
- The dPS Ultimate Guide to Photography for Beginners
- The Ultimate Guide to Learning how to use Your first DSLR
- 21 Creative Self Portrait Ideas for Photographers
- How To Take a Self-Portrait
- 10 Most Common Self Portrait Photography Mistakes
And some posing guides:
- 7 of the Best Poses
- 18+ More Poses
- 14 Tips for Taking Creative Self-Portraits
- A Photographer’s Guide to Posing Men In Portraits
- How to Improve Your Self-Portrait Photography
- 100 Seriously Cool Self-Portraits (scroll down the page a bit for the actual examples).
- My own personal photography portfolio (feel free to copy ideas I’ve done).
Just work your way through the lists in all of those articles – try every single pose/photo they have, and see which ones you can pull off. Practice the poses in front of your mirror if you like first, before you go out and shoot them for real.
And some quick tips from me:
- Shoot at the lowest f-stop number you can (usually f/1.8). The lower the number, the more of that sexy “blurry background effect” you get (known as “low depth of field”).
- Shoot vertical (turn the camera sideways) – NOT horizontal. Tinder crops photos vertically; as do most of the other dating apps.
- Don’t stand too far back. Most guys make the mistake of standing way too far back. Stand closer, so you fill up more of the shot (you don’t want huge gaps of empty space above/below your head in the photo). Not to mention the closer you are, the blurrier the background,which looks even better.
- Take a BUNCH of photos. Literally just hold down the shutter button and rapid-fire 50 photos at a time. That way you increase the chances of one of them having a nice natural-looking pose. If you just shoot 1 photo at a time, it’ll look “staged” and “posed” (because you literally have to pose for the photo, since you can only take 1 at a time).
- Turn on these settings, found in the camera’s settings menu:
- – AF-S (Servo Autofocus)
- – Continuous (Low-Speed) shooting. Don’t use high-speed continuous; low-speed lets the camera re-focus between shots when you’re rapid-firing.
- – Face detection on.
- – Eye-tracking on.
- Always shoot in C-RAW (or just normal RAW if your camera doesn’t have C-RAW) Never shoot in JPG. C-RAW/RAW is a setting in your camera’s menu. Use C-RAW. RAW photos are higher quality, especially if you/someone else edit the photos in Photoshop.
Don’t worry that you might look a bit silly and not quite get it as right as the guys do in these example photos. You will absolutely look a little silly when you’re first practicing posing – 99% of my clients are awkward at first. Just try a bunch of times and eventually some of your photos will come out awesome. (Just like if you want to get laid, you have to hit on a bunch of women – as many as you possibly can – and some of them will say yes).
I can’t tell you what will look good until you try it; a pose that looks amazing for one guy might not work for the next guy.
Again, shout out to my much more in-depth guide to getting laid on Tinder – go give it a read. It’s free, with no “enter your email first” bullshit.
So if you’re not getting laid on Tinder because your pictures suck, there’s no excuses. Stop mucking around. Follow the steps above – buy a camera, take a tonne of pics, try some of those poses, ask for feedback, repeat. It’s exactly what myself and a bunch of others have done, and it works. The best way to be successful is to actually start, and you’ll gradually improve over time.
Any questions? Ask me in the comments below.
Re: step 2, is there anything I can practice with my smartphone? I know it doesn’t have an aperture but there’s gotta be something I can experiment with.
Muck around with your phone, sure – but it’ll never take as good quality as a proper DSLR. The backgrounds never look as nicely-blurred. You can’t rapid-fire photos with a smartphone (which is mandatory if you don’t know how to pose – the trick with a DSLR is to just rapid-fire hit the shutter button and take hundreds of photos, and you’ll “accidentally” look good in some of them just by chance). Smartphones suck in low-light conditions. They suck if there’s any movement in the photo. Etc.
What kind of phone do you have? The latest phones have a “portrait mode” that automatically blurs the background – iPhones have it, all new Android phones have it.
You can also take some photos with your phone and then send them to me – I’ll blur the backgrounds in Photoshop and edit them to look better for $5/photo. You can see examples of photos I’ve edited here.