BetterMatches.com was founded by Justin Veenema in 2018. The company has since grown to a team of 10 part-time photographers across North America, including NYC, LA, Vancouver and Chicago.
Justin, the founder of BetterMatches.com, photographed a co-worker for a company blog post for the startup they were working at. Later that evening, his co-worker used those photos on Tinder. He came in the next day and explained how well the photos worked for him. "I've literally never matched with that many people before."
Having a background in marketing, Justin was intrigued why certain photos would lead to a better conversion rate than others. He asked his friends about their experiences on dating apps. "How many matches were they getting? What was their average match rate?".
Out of sheer curiosity, he wanted to see if people used better photos, if it could realistically boost their match-rate on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Over the next few weeks he recruited friends of his (both men and women) to take part in the experiment. After photographing each person, he asked them to use the photos on Tinder and compare their match-rate (before and after).
The results were extremely clear - by using better photos each participant was able to increase the number of matches they received. Not only that, but we were seeing better quality matches and a greater number of first-message responses.
As word got out, friends-of-friends started inquiring about getting "tinder headshots" done. It all seemed kinda crazy. We initially weren't going to pursue it further, but the feedback from each person was overwhelmingly positive. Not only were the photos helping them with online dating, but it gave them a huge confidence boost as well. They started using their photos on Instagram and LinkedIn profiles, too.
In the age of online dating, we rely on our photographs to communicate what we bring to the table in a relationship. But how can we communicate properly when we're all just scrapping together janky photos that don't show our best selves?
Most people, specifically guys, don't have recent photos of themselves (let alone good photos). So we set out on a mission to offer the average guy/girl a way to get stunning photos that:
• Showcase their authentic charisma, charm and confidence
• Highlight their best attributes - like their cheeky smile and unique personality
• Are designed to visually stand-out and catch people's attention
• Are based on research/data to work best on dating apps
We ended up building a landing page with a basic offering and putting it online. Within our first month we had our first real clients. Then it just kept evolving from there. 🎉
Our goal is to use data-analysis to help men and women improve their experience on dating apps, so they can meet & connect with amazing people. We believe in being authentic, always.
What we do:
What we don't do:
We hire photographers very carefully. In fact, we approve less than 0.5% of photography applicants. We hire based on skill, personality and willingness to shoot for a very specific result.
There are no shortage of photographers out there, but we require photographers who operate in a data-centric mindset. Any photographer can take photos; but we take a specific type of photo that generates a targeted, measurable result for our clients.
50% of our hiring decision is based on their sheer technical ability (ie. how well they photograph people). The other 50% is based on how they handle themselves with clients. We specifically looked for photographers who were extremely personable, professional, friendly and accommodating.
There's a difference between taking a nice photo and an effective photo. All of our photographers are driven by our underlying goal of helping people connect and find love. They love hearing back from clients about what worked and didn't work. They're trying to change lives, not just take nice photos.
Our photographers are experts at working with beginners. They know exactly how to get people out of their shell. Most of our clients have never had a photoshoot before, so our photographers are naturals at coaching them through the process to help them feel natural and relaxed.
Our photographers will make you laugh and ensure you're enjoying yourself during the shoot.
Our photographers are results-driven. We have an internal wiki and slack channel where we share data, results and learnings. We also collect client feedback and results, which we share internally.
From a technical perspective, we all shoot with modern-cameras and roughly the same focal ranges. Our approach is similar and consistent, while still allowing a bit of flexibility and flare for each photographers personal style.
Our team shares access to an internal wiki and slack channel complete with guides, case-studies, data and testing results based on what works (and what doesn't).
After 6 weeks we follow up with our clients to learn what worked best for them (and what didn't). We share these learnings with the team so we can all better our approach.
We're proudly based 80% off of referrals, so it's in all of our best interests to help our clients get the best results possible. If our photographer can help you improve your experience with online dating, you'll probably tell your friends.
We will do everything in our power to help you increase your match-rate, but unfortunately we cannot offer any guarantees (nor should you trust anyone that claims to offer one).
We take COVID-19 precautions seriously and adhere to all local regulations and mandates.
Before your shoot, your photographer will:
• Ensure that outdoor shoots are currently allowed in your local area.
• Recommend a location that isn't too crowded with people.
• Monitor themselves for symptoms and pre-emptively postpone the shoot if they are sick.
During your photoshoot:
• Photographers will stay at least 6 feet away at all times (our lenses shoot far, don't worry).
• If an area becomes too crowded, the photographer may suggest another nearby location.
What we ask of our clients:
• If you aren't feeling well, please let our photographer know so you can postpone your shoot.
• If you have travelled recently or may have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, postpone your shoot.
• If you have been ordered to quarantine, or are awaiting test results, postpone your shoot.
• During the outdoor shoot, you may remove your mask as long as the 6-feet distance can be maintained.