Dating on Tinder can be a soul crushing experience, particularly when you’re a guy with the odds stacked against you.
A recent study by Scandinavian app developers Swipestats, which allows users to compare data, found that men swipe right on 53% of profiles they’re shown while women do the same for only 5% of their options.
But, New York photographer Charlie Grosso says, you can’t underestimate the power of a great Tinder profile pic in helping you land “the one.” Since 2015, Grosso has specialized in taking portraits for clients to use exclusively on Tinder. She cherry-picks the most flattering examples of her work before the client uploads a maximum of nine images to the app.
Grosso told The Post about her impressive success rates and the marriages she’s helped spawn. “The majority of my clients are genuine in wanting meaningful connections,” she said. “But [before booking a session] they are totally lost as to how.”
Now Grosso, who charges $1500 a session, is sharing her top posing tips with users of Twitter and other dating sites. Follow her practical advice and you’ll quickly produce a portfolio of professional grade pics. Here, she reveals her dos and don’ts for securing dates with the right photos on Tinder.
You don’t have a beak
Don’t!: It’s a resounding no to the ubiquitous “duck face” expression. “The pouty, come-hither look usually suggests one thing,” said Grosso. Same with too much flesh on show. The photographer added: “Just like fishing, you bait the hook with whatever you’re trying to catch. Ultra sexy, minimally-clad images of daters will attract a particular type of person. And it’s fine if that’s who you want.”
Do!: You’re better off trading that pout for a happy, more approachable look that is built around a dazzling smile. “I tell my clients: ‘Just be you,’” said Grosso, stressing that a relaxed, relatable vibe beats fakey fakey every time.
Don’t!: Tempted to snap a mirror selfie with or without a crop top? Think again, warned Grosso. “It’s lazy, shallow and vain,” she said. “People make terrible mistakes like blocking out their face with their phone when it takes seconds to set your device on a timer.”
Do!: Sophisticated, figure-skimming clothes like our model’s stylish dress “elevate” the overall impression. Meanwhile the framing of the image is key. “Photos taken from the waist up can be the most flattering,” Grosso said, noting that some headshots on Tinder are just that. Too many people cut themselves off at the chin and produce a scary floating face with no neck.
Why so serious?
Don’t!: This image channels the laughable “try hard” look derided by anyone with a modicum of taste. “It appears as if she [the model] is lying in bed,” said Grasso. “The reclining pose isn’t flattering and the poor bedroom lighting doesn’t help at all.”
Do!: Leaning over the top of a chair or couch adds form and structure to a photo. A pose of a person just standing there can look awkward, but using furniture as a prop comes across as genuine and authentic. “It’s also great to get them to laugh,” said Grosso, who suggests telling the subject a corny joke. “In this picture, the model presents herself as really good fun.”
Don’t!: Focusing on the middle distance equates our depressed-looking model with a wannabe influencer in need of some sponsors. “She’s channeling a lot of the unnatural, unsmiling poses you see on Instagram,” Grosso noted. “I can’t imagine anyone wanting to talk to her with that resting bitch face.”
Do!: Grosso maintains that sitting poses are sensible options for dilettantes because they’re “easier” to pull off and “less complex.” She said: “Some people stand awkwardly and don’t know what to do with their hands.” Meanwhile the tactic of casting your eyes slightly away from the camera creates an “interesting dynamic.” It looks much better than the deer-caught-in-headlights shot when you face the lens head on.
Save it for the bar, bro
Don’t! Even the most desperate dater would swipe left on a guy in a baggy football shirt giving a cheesy thumbs up. “It’s so casual,” said Grosso. “Men think it’s both dumb and funny. But I’m thinking: ‘Why are you making this choice for your on-line profile picture?’” She said the cringe-worthy pose was likely recommended by a clueless drinking buddy.
Without direction from an experienced photographer, such daters often resort to a clichéd shot like Ben Stiller’s hilarious “Blue Steel” catwalk expression. “Their confusion is deepened by all the pick-up artist types of advice [featured] online written by men for men,” added Grosso. The choice of background is equally perplexing. “The messaging is unclear,” she added. “The flower wall looks staged — like he’s trying too hard.”
Do!: According to Grosso, the model’s spruced-up collared shirt paired with fitted jeans suggests a readiness “for a casual date or Sunday brunch.” “He looks less like a college kid,” the photographer said. Not only that, he has a welcoming smile. “What makes a man attractive is the impression he’s a nice guy and a person you’re able to trust,” Grosso said. “There are no red flags here.”
You’re not one of the Blues Brothers
Don’t! Posing indoors — even outdoors — with sunglasses covering your eyes is a rookie Tinder mistake. The sinister shades are associated with seedy characters who have something to hide. She concluded: “The model is not smiling and way too cool for school.” She noted the way his arms crossed his upper body — an unappealing sign of a defensive attitude which “closes him off” from flirty interactions.
Do!: Grosso said the model’s megawatt smile “makes all the difference in the world” to this headshot. His wide grin exudes warmth and kindness. According to the expert, the tilt to his head suggests an engaged personality. “It says to your date: ‘I’m listening to you,’” she said. Grosso decided the trendy brick wall proved the perfect backdrop since it resembled the inside of an industrial warehouse.
Don’t! Another crime that daters commit is to moodily pose with direct sunshine behind them. Experts with the right equipment can adjust the exposure, but most of us find it a challenge. “This window image fails because the model’s face is almost completely in shadow,” said Grosso. Instead of channeling the album cover of a gloomy indie band, she said the look is just weird. Grosso also criticized her subject’s hunched shoulders: “They can mean a lack of self-confidence and worth.”
Do! Perched on the edge of his seat, our model comes across as interested, involved and keen to begin an intelligent conversation. “It’s like he’s leaning in to hear every word of the person opposite,” said Grosso, adding, “There’s active body communication going on — a truly engaging trait.” As a bonus, the pose subtly shows off a pair of firm biceps. No matter how ripped you are, other parts of your body — think of a six pack triumphantly displayed on a bare midriff — should never be shoved in a person’s face. “We are going for a lighter touch,” the photographer said. “It’s much sexier to leave certain things to the imagination.”
Photos: Charlie Grosso; Stylist: Nicole Zane; Hair: Luca Blandi; Makeup: Markphong using Westmore Beauty/MP-IMC; Hair Assistant: Nikoletta Kola. Models: Omar and Courtney from Wilhelmina.
On male model: “Avery” shirt, $195 at Rag & Bone; A.P.C “Petit New Standard” stretch jeans, $220 at East Dane; Ermenegildo Zegna XXX “Triple Stitch” sneakers, $750 at Zegna; De Ville Trésor white gold watch with a leather strap, price upon request at Omega Watches; Gold chain necklace, models own.
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