About Dating Headshots

Everything you need to know about what to wear, how to pose, and what backgrounds to use for the perfect dating headshots.

What Are Dating Headshots?

Dating headshots are a type of lifestyle portrait photography typically used for dating apps like Hinge, Tinder, Bumble, and a host of other smaller matchmaking services.

Dating headshots focus on showcasing the client’s intelligence, friendliness, and “coolness” to the outside world.

While you certainly don’t want every photo in your dating app profile to be a professional shot (or at least it shouldn’t look that way) – one or two strategically taken dating headshots can help your profile stand out.

dating headshot example
dating headshot example

Are Dating Headshots Important?

Have you ever met someone that you instantly either liked, or disliked?

Perhaps you knew why you felt that way about them, or perhaps you didn’t, but most people generate “first impressions” of other people in just 1/8th of a single second. These first impressions can have dramatic impact on who they hire, buy from, and otherwise listen to.

In dating apps, most people will first review your top photo, create a first impression, and then decide if they’d like to learn a bit more about you. 

When most people are swiping, they’re making a decision about their selections in just a couple seconds, so it’s critical to have several good photos of yourself that you can use to peak some initial interest. A bad first photo will ruin your chances with many matches that might have otherwise been interested. 

What Do I Wear for Dating Headshots?

It depends on your personality, age, and type of person you’re aiming to attract!

In general, solid-colored new clothing tends to photograph well. Busy patterns or faded clothing will be distracting.   

You want to make yourself look “cool” – while not totally misrepresenting how you actually dress on a day-to-day basis.  What “cool” means to you is based completely on your own personality and style choices, so we’ll refrain from making specific recommendations here.

If you’re hopelessly lost, after you book your session, just ask us! We’re happy to help you. 

dating headshot example
dating headshot example

How Do I Pose for Dating Headshots?

No need to go crazy on your poses for dating headshots. In our sessions, we tend to focus on minimalist poses. We’ve seen other photographers force clients into some truly bizarre poses. But, we avoid this practice like the plague.

In an ideal shoot, we’ll capture some poses/situations that feel authentic to your life, but perhaps just needed a bit of staging so that a professional photographer was ready to capture the moment. The final photos shouldn’t feel staged…even if it felt that way during the shoot. If you have something specific in mind, feel free to ask us.

Example: Want us to come with you to the beach and catch you running with a surfboard? We’re game!

But, in most scenarios, we can come up with some great shots just hanging out around a park or urban center.


What Backdrops are Best for Dating Headshots?

A studio photo will feel too formal/staged for a proper dating headshot. So, you should definitely go with one of our outdoor On-Demand headshot sessions.

We’re constantly moving around the city for corporate, acting, and dating sessions – so we know all of the good spots for cool/unique photos.

While we’re totally OK with using locations that have prominent landmarks in the background, we don’t recommend focusing too hard on the exact background location.

Ideal dating headshots will make YOU the primary focus, not a pretty background. Nobody wants to date a pretty photo of the Bay Bridge.


business headshot backgrounds

HeadShots Inc Offers 9 Colored Studio Backdrops + Pure White

dating head shot example brad

How Should I Prepare for Dating Headshots?

There are three keys to preparing for your headshot ahead of time.

First, if possible, try to get some sleep, exercise, and sunshine in the weeks before your session. Our editing team airbrushes your selected photos before delivering them to you, but your preparation will help ensure that the photos look as natural as possible.

Second, make sure to briefly wear your desired clothing a couple days before your session. You want to make sure that your outfits still fits properly and doesn’t need dry cleaning.

Third, take a look at some prior photos of yourself and see if there are any that you particularly like. When you arrive at the session, show those photos to your photographer, and that will help us find an angle that you find flattering.


What If I’m Not Photogenic or Hate Getting My Photo Taken?

We’ve got you covered! Most portrait photographers are unfortunately guilty of creating a cringe-y environment for their clients. They force you into awkward poses and don’t truly understand what clients are looking for from their session. Either that, or they rush you through the session.

There are also many photographers who refuse to specialize in one form of photography, so they’re frankly not very skilled at any specific type of session.

At HeadShots Inc, we strive to create a fun & stress-free environment for every client. We only offer headshots (not even full-body portraits) and so we’ve mastered one service that we do exceptionally well. 


dating headshot example in san francisco
dating headshot example outdoors

How Much Do Dating Headshots Cost?

Dating headshots cost between $65 and $750 depending on geography, package, and provider. The upper end is likely a complete rip-off unless you’re looking for an extremely specific style. The bottom end is going to produce some truly terrible photos.

When considering pricing, remember to look at a) licensing (who owns the photos) and b) retouching fees.

In terms of licensing, photographers typically only give you ownership for photos that you “buy” from them. This fee is separate from your “session fee,” which just covers the time spent inside their studio. If you want to use your photos on a billboard, or in print, or somewhere else, you may have to pay additional fees.

For retouching, many photographers charge between $50 and $100 per photo. Calculate those fees into your total session cost.

For reference, HeadShots Inc sessions cost between $150 and $400, you get 100% rights to all original photos, and  you get one airbrushed photo included (additional are just $25 each.)

Looking for Dating Headshot Pricing?

Find the perfect headshot package for your goals and budget below.

Individual Sessions

See pricing for individals and small groups of up to three people. Packages range from $150 to $400 based on session length and location.

Team Sessions

Want to book for a big group of single friends? Contact us and we’ll use our hourly pricing to create a fun event anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ready to Book Your Session?

Book studio sessions using our online scheduling calendar or request an outdoor/group session below.

Or start a website chat to ask a question.