The company started in 2018 and employs photographers in Vancouver, Kelowna, Los Angeles and Seattle.
For those who are temporarily dipping their toes into the Vancouver online dating scene again and may be thinking that their two-year-old bathroom selfie is not cutting it anymore, there is a local company that specializes in authentically renewing your online dating feature.
Justin Veenema created Photos for Tinder in 2018 with the goal of getting people who had almost given up online dating back on stage.
Over time, Veenema found a nice photo, while it was useful, it was not the recipe for matches. Fortunately, Veenema’s background lies in marketing and analysis, so by setting up panels to analyze decisions about many left and right swipes, he was able to reset the matching formula.
“The best photos that work on any dating app are actually not when the person looks really cool and looks really bad,” Veenema said in a recent interview with Vancouver is amazing. “It’s actually when they laugh and have fun and smile and are really authentic themselves.”
‘The sexiest thing on planet Earth’
Getting an authentic, toothy smile can sometimes be a challenge in a photoshoot, Veenema said. He explained that many of his clients seek his services because online dating has been such a bad experience that they feel they have no choice but to try something new.
“They are in a vulnerable state,” Veenema said. “They don’t like, ‘Oh, I can’ t wait to have a photoshoot. ‘ They go into this less than excitedly. “
This can be particularly challenging for male clients, but this is where the relationship between the client and the photographer comes into play, Veenema said.
“Guys, I think we’re just taught not to really laugh and smile, like free. I do not know what it is,” he added. “The biggest thing is smile, show your teeth. It’s the sexiest thing on planet Earth when you’re sure.”
Pictures not only for Tinder
Of the people who use Photos for Tinder, Veenema said it’s about 80 percent men and 20 percent women; however, most women use the images in professional pursuits as their personal brand or websites.
“Most people do not really have the opportunity to get good pictures of themselves, especially guys,” Veenema continued. “For many guys, we just use a mishmash of old photos that someone snapped at us at once.”
While some may raise a judgmental eyebrow over the seemingly futile nature of Photos for Tinder, Veenema maintained that the work comes from a place of care.
“I can actually help really, really amazing men and women in this area of their lives that are destroying their confidence,” he said. “Not being able to find love is a really devastating feeling.”
A strict policy of authenticity
Judging a person on photos and a profile they create can be a game especially in a world where Photoshop exists. Photos for Tinder, however, have a strict copyright policy.
“We will never try to make anyone look better than they actually do,” Veenema said, adding that he has had the odd request to “make it look like” a client has more hair than they actually makes or looks slimmer.
“We just do not want to work with these clients because there is no point in cat fishing. You are going to meet these people eventually,” he said.
To know you
If you have ever stared blankly at the flashing cursor point when you need to figure out how to sum up your entire personality with 100 words or less, there is help for that too.
Last year, Veenema produced a professional copywriter who creates a unique biography for tongue in cheek for clients based on their answers to a personal questionnaire.
“It goes through everything from their interests and their tastes, and what they like and dislike, to the type of people they are interested in and their goals for dating,” Veenema explained.
Over the past few years, Veenema has been able to hire photographers in Kelowna, Los Angeles and Seattle to help renew many online dating profiles.
In Vancouver, photoshoot locations include Gastown, a photography favorite for its mix of old-school charm, exposed brick walls and colorful alleys. There is also Metrotown for outdoor photography and Canada Place for its upscale architecture.