Perfect your profile shot with top tips from Saskia Nelson, founder of award winning online dating photography business Saturday Night’s Alright. Read on for our exclusive interview.
- First off tell us a bit about your background and how you got into dating photography?
Hi, thanks for interviewing me. So, I was a senior manager in a charity for many years and photography was just a hobby. I was too nervous to work with people so I did street photography mainly. Then a couple of years ago, I joined a couple of photography groups on Meetup and started going out most weekends taking photos of models with other amateur photographers and I absolutely loved it. I posted the photos on Facebook and got lots of amazing feedback from friends and family and then I realised a lot of the models requested to work with me again – they loved my work too. At that point, I realised a couple of things – I loved working with people and I had a natural talent for it. It finally dawned on me that people loved my work so much they’d be willing to pay for it so I decided to set up as a photographer.
Having done online dating for over 7 years on and off, I realised that there was a definite gap in the market for photographers offering a specific service to people who were dating and I knew there was a huge need for it, having seen hundreds and hundreds of poor dating photos on people’s profiles. So I thought I would launch the business and see how online daters would respond to a bespoke dating photography service. It took a few months for word to get round but then it really took off and I’m super busy, so much so that I work with a freelance photographer, Nicole, who supports me on weekends with shoots. She’s wonderful and totally gets the Saturday Night’s Alright brand.
- What’s the most common mistake people make when creating their online dating profiles?
I think my pet hates when I was online dating was just seeing page after page of dark, blurry photos, so uninspiring. Often it was hard to make out a face and sometimes there was even more than one people in the shot – talk about distracting. Selfies are another no-no – they are usually poorly lit, taken from an odd angle and make people think you have no friends. And another pet hate is when there is something distracting about the background – it might be really busy with lots going on behind the subject so you’re not really sure what you’re looking at.
- Describe a typical client? What are they hoping to achieve and how do you help them?
A typical client of mine is literally anyone who is single, who is at the stage where they are ready to find someone to share their life with and who is willing to invest a bit of time and money to give themselves the best chance. They come from all walks of life, male, female, all ages (22 – 67 so far), all races and all religions but what they have in common is that they are serious about finding love and what to prove to themselves that they have done everything they can to make this happen.
- Three top tips for a compelling online profile?
1. Well firstly, if your photo is light, bright and in focus it is already going to stand out from the sea of poorly lit dating photos.
2. If you look relaxed, happy and natural your photo will be really appealing. I aim to make sure all the photos I take of clients are channeling this relaxed, happy vibe. Although I’m a professional photographer, I try to make it look like the photos were taken while my client was out with friends having a good time and one of their friends happens to be into photography. This means it won’t be obvious to people looking at their profile that they hired a professional photographer to sort out their photos – which is a bit naff.
3. Finally, if you can show a bit of your personality in your photo that is the icing on the cake. It might be by what you’re wearing, a prop you’re holding, a location you like. There are many different ways to showcase your personality and if you can, that makes a compelling online profile. You are starting to tell the story of how you are, leaving them wanting to know more.
- Finally congratulations on winning Best New Dating Individual at the UK Dating Awards – what’s your take on the Awards, how important are they to consumers of online dating?
I’m delighted with my recent award, thank you. I think the Awards were fantastic and a great addition to the dating industry. I know for me having these awards will help set me apart from any potential competitors. I have worked hard to establish myself as a part of the dating industry, indeed as the first dedicated dating photographer, and so it means a lot to be recognised as an industry leader in what I do.
I think my clients will value the fact that I have this award as it gives me credibility in the industry and if other photographers come along and copy my idea, it helps set me apart from them.
Bio – Saskia Nelson | Saturday Night’s Alright
Saskia Nelson is the talent behind the award-winning Saturday Night’s Alright, the UK’s only dedicated dating photography business. She is passionate about helping the UK’s eclectic range of single people to shine online and ultimately find love, friends and happiness. She specialises in creating gorgeous photos for her clients to help them build awesome online dating profiles that help tell the story of who they really are. She also puts her extensive online dating experiences to good use by sharing her experiences and wisdom on her blog and by organising dating workshops that focus on helping people create irresistible dating profiles.