If eyes are the window into the soul, Tinder is the window into the pants. (#True.) And there are people out there who want to make that reality...easier. Like this guy, Max Schwartz, an NYC-based photographer whose Craigslist ad for Tinder Headshots recently went slightly viral.
“The key to success on Tinder is using a picture that speaks to your strengths and irresistible charm better than the most highly trained wingman,” Schwartz says.
We wanted to see Mr. Schwartz in action, so last week we summoned him into the Supercompressor offices to help improve our interweb dating games. Like any true "before and after" situation, we chatted about why we chose our original Tinder photos and had Max give us his (brutally honest) professional opinion. Afterwards we got snapping, gave our best Blue Steels, and in the end, came out with (kind of) better-looking versions of ourselves.
Here are the results.
Model, Influencer & Entrepreneur Lindsey Pelas Reveals Celebrity Pick Up Stories
Why she chose it: “It was a good hair day for sure. Also, I look super mysterious. Like a blonde Carmen Sandiego playing cards." Max weighs in: Mysterious. To me, I only know what one eye looks like. I would never be able to recognize her in real life. Does she have an awful smile? Probably. I can’t see behind those cards.
Finished product: “I went for the Steve Jobs look, clearly I nailed it. I also look like your doctor on ZocDoc.”
Ryan C. - Thrillist Travel Editor
Why he chose it: “My roommate (female) suggested I include a photo with ladies in my profile. I obliged. The logic: It shows that attractive women like me (still single, ladies). Because my friends pictured are attractive.” Max weighs in: This dude looks like a total player and not in a good way. I wouldn’t use girls in your photo, you don’t wanna come off greedy and creepy.
Finished product: “I look less like a party boy/player, but more like a potential crazy. The photo is well-shot and composed, but the glint in my eyes makes it look like I'll either date you or kidnap you.”
Keller P. - Associate Editor
Why she chose it: "It screams 'spontaneous, adaptable, adorable.' Rough-and-tumble enough to house a burrito on the street, but still looks classy doing it. Plus it's ironic, and dudes love that, right?" Max weighs in: "I’m lonely and this burrito will keep me company more than you can" is what this photo really says. Doesn’t show much, just your love of unhealthy food.
Finished product: “This definitely ups the sophistication level, but I look a little mean and off-putting. Whatever, I’m cool with it.”
Owen M. - Intern
Why he chose it: “It was my profile picture so it went up automatically.” Max weighs in: There’s two of them! I can’t figure out which one is actually Owen…The dude with the hat, is he bald? Is he the dude with all the buttons missing on his gingham shirt? The world may never know. So confused.
Finished Product: “On the upside, there is no mistaking whose profile this is. On the downside, it looks like I'm posing for my high school yearbook photo.”
Why she chose it: “Just look at that homemade batch of Bloody Marys; I must be a whiz in the kitchen! Observe how thoughtfully I gaze off into the distance. You want to take me home to your mother.” Max weighs in: This girl likes to drink and party judging from this picture. I'm sure there’s more to her than that. Whew, thank god I am here.
Finished Product: "Before, I looked aloof and disinterested. But check out that piercing gaze! Now, you can see I really want to connect with you. I'm ready for love, world."
Ryan H. - Deputy Editor
Why he chose it: “When in doubt, plaid on plaid. Girls swoon. Duh.” Max weighs in: Not terrible. Odd crop and crazy popped-collar-flannel going on. Simplifying this would work way better.
Finished Product: “I don't have cancer. It's just summer. Hair will be back by fall. Oh and yeah the second photo's not overly exposed and is more honest. But gotta say, I'm more into plaid shirts days.”
Conclusion? There is no doubt the photos are better in nearly every scenario, but...it seems Tinder is supposed to have candid pictures, you know? Like, Hey, you just caught me on the fly here, but wanna grab a drink later? So perhaps call up Max, have him shoot the hell out of your beautiful face...and throw the photo at the end of your roll. Or on LinkedIn.