How can hiring a professional
photographer to shoot your online photo help you meet the man or
woman of your dreams? Learn all about it in an in-depth
conversation with LookBetterOnline photographer Susan Alvarez.
Q: What are the advantages of
having your picture taken professionally?
A: If a friend or family member takes a picture of you they most
likely won’t understand lighting and background. A professional
photographer can tell you what type of outfits are going to work
best for you and that’s the main thing too because people,
especially guys, will pick a t-shirt with a big logo on it. Or
lots of times they’ll wear a shirt that’s not ironed. I’ve even
ironed for them a few times. One guy showed up and all his
clothes were thrown in the back seat of his car. So we went into
the studio and I ironed them. He said, “Well, they’re not that
bad, are they?” And I said, “Yes they’re really bad and the
camera will pick up every wrinkle and every stain.” As for
wrinkles on your face, lighting can soften it up. You used
LookBetterOnline because you didn’t want staged or glamorous
pictures, you were looking for something more natural. Not the
kind they use for business executives. When it comes to online
dating photos you want to look approachable.
Q: What are some dos and don’ts
for people being photographed for online pictures?
A: You want to take natural looking photos and you don’t want
any props in your picture, like your dog. I had a client who
wanted a picture with his soccer ball. I asked him if he was a
soccer player and he said, “Well I play once in a while?” What
do you do? I’m a real estate agent… Another guy wanted a picture
with his surfboard.
I normally advise women to not
try out a new hairdo for the pictures, they should wear their
hair the way they normally wear it. And they should wear some
makeup because the makeup accentuates your features. As for
clothing, women should make sure they don’t wear a blouse that’s
too busy…and white normally washes out your face. Black is
always elegant and can be casual as well. It shows up well in
pictures and it’s thinning. Also, bring a couple of outfits
along because when you wear different outfits you project
something different. It’s a different side of you. Wear
something casual like if you’re going to dinner and a movie and
then maybe something a little more dressy.
Q: How do you get people to
feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera?
A: I chat people up right away. It puts them at ease and it
gives me a chance to see their expressions and I start taking
pictures in my head before I even start shooting…And they start
to relax and I encourage them to try different poses. A lot of
times people are nervous in front the camera, especially if they
haven’t ever taken a professional photo. It’s my job to relax
them. And they won’t even know what really happened during the
shoot until they’ve seen the final photo.
Q: Do you recommend any
A: Once I know what the person looks like I can tell when
they’re slouching, which angle will be the best for them, how to
hold their hands so they don’t look stiff, how to stand so their
legs don’t look like they’re toy soldiers.
Q: What do you look for in your
A: The minute I start looking through the lens I start seeing
things. I know this sounds cheesy but I see beauty. I always do.
I find beauty the minute I start looking through the lens. I
will continue to shoot until I know we’ve gotten some amazing
stuff. I know sometimes right away but sometimes it takes a
while. Even though the person doesn’t know what’s going on, I
already know what I have in the can.
Q: Any funny experiences?
A: This one guy said we could stop shooting if I agree to go out
with him. He said we could save all this time and energy. I saw
the nice side of him in my lens but that’s where it ended.
Q: Are most of your
LookBetterOnline clients men or women?
Q: Do you prefer to photograph clients in a
studio or someplace else?
A: I get 95% more men through LookBetterOnline. Men have all
told me that they want their photos taken by a woman.
A: Location is always better. When you’re outside you become
more comfortable. We can walk around and try new things… Even
when people are in their home they think it’s more comfortable
but not really because there’s a stranger in their house. I
prefer to take pictures outdoors. I use the studio when the
weather’s really bad. I have standard locations where I like to
shoot. Usually around the water with lush tropical beach
backdrops and that’s where I usually meet clients.
5 Helpful Hints to Taking a
1. A smile always works. It doesn’t have to be a big wide grin
with lots of teeth. The smile is going to come from your eyes. I
shoot the eyes and sometimes I don’t even know what the rest of
a person’s body is doing. The eyes are it.
2. You want to look approachable.
3. No big logo t-shirts, nothing staged and no props
4. No new hairdos
5. Natural makeup
For more info:
or contact photographer Susa Alvarez at SoBe Head Shots (305)