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Nicholas Goodden: Online Dating + Photography

Selene

dating online-dating-photography

 

Raise your hand if you haven’t downloaded a dating app at least once in your life.

Dating online, yea. We’ve all been there.

We all went through the struggle of creating a killer bio that could make us look funny, smart, easy-going and intriguing. I still remember the bio I wrote on Hinge. I thought it was the best thing I’ve ever written in my life. As a matter of fact, it was NOT. It was boring and predictable but at least it was - in my boyfriend’s words - genuine and made me look like an interesting person.

As if writing a bio wasn’t hard enough, we haven’t even said anything about the daunting task of choosing those fateful 4 photos that will decide your future! I will never understand why women write in their bio that they are looking for a serious relationship and then post a mugshot of their boobs or when they post selfies with Snapchat dog and cat filters. I can assure you that if a potential partner wants a dog or a cat... a dating app is not the place where they would look. On the other hand, men usually choose to post horrible selfies where - in the best scenario - half their head is cut off or photos showing off their abs. As if I just want to date some abs…

topless man with black beard

At this point you’ve got 2 options that will help you choose the best photos that will make you stand out:

- Ask your friends (preferably from the opposite sex) to give an honest feedback on your photos

or

- Hire an online dating photographer.

I had the pleasure to interview Nico Goodden, a professional urban/street photographer whose work has been published internationally and who also takes care of dating website photography. Since he used to date successfully online and he knows how to take great photos, Nico thought he had “something to offer to others struggling”.

If you're interested in Nico's services you are going to find all the information at the bottom of the page. You can also follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Online dating photography and street photography are quite similar to each other. It wasn’t really difficult for Nico to switch from one to the other. “Street photography normally is candid, not posed. I always try and achieve this sort of candid look, it is more natural, people reveal their real self in a way when not forced to pose a certain way”.

Ladbroke Grove

Since people have different opinions on selfies, I was curious to know the thoughts of a professional photographer. Nico believes in freedom of choice and self-expression. 

He says: “Even if at times I think something isn’t to my taste I don’t go to people and tell them that. There is enough hate in this world for me not to add to it. I try instead to encourage and inspire people when it comes to photography. So, if selfies are your thing, go for it!”.

I mentioned that selfies could be perceived as a synonym of over self-confidence and narcissism and I got really impressed by his answer: 

“I think if you look closely some of those shooting the most selfies aren’t necessarily the most confident at all, instead they need reassurance from others, hence why they post them.

You mention narcissism, but aren’t we all a little like that anyway? Don’t we all look in the mirror a bit more than we should?

I’m not a guy you’ll see posting selfies much, maybe one every 6 months, just in case people wonder if my face has dramatically changed in the past half year”.

If you look at some of Nicholas Goodden’s photos you will notice that he gave them a surrealistic touch. But... What’s the message he is trying to send?

“You are referring to my new series “Captured London””, he says.
“I’ve always been a fan of sci-fi and of London. So I decided to blend them together. Of course there is also a play on words with the Captured London title. 2020 has felt like a year when London has been kept in captivity or captured. This series was in fact developed during lockdown and captured in a photographic sense.

The rest is up to the viewer to decide.”

Captured London #5

2020 has been the year that never was and the year that forced us to social distance. Offline dating has never been more difficult. Speaking of Online Dating vs Offline Dating. I asked our guest to tell us one thing he likes and one he dislikes of both.

“Although I am now happily married to a woman I met offline, this was following quite some years dating through dating websites.

Ideally don’t we all want to meet someone in real life. But in reality it is difficult and it is possible to meet amazing people just as much online as off.

I liked online dating because it makes it a lot easier to meet people. I dislike it because there are lots of weirdos. Even as a guy I once was cat-fished. Someone on a popular dating website using the photo of an actress and wanting to grab a coffee. When I exposed her… or him… their reply was “I used this photo as we look alike”. Needless to say we never met. Be safe when online dating.

Whereas meeting in real life, I can only see pros. This is where the real magic happens. Where strange laws of attraction are at play.

My wife came from Australia so we could meet in London and live a happy life together, quite spectacular.”

People who are truly committed in finding love and finding someone to start a long-term relationship with are keen on investing money to build a winning profile. They could decide to hire dating websites photographers to get better photos. Nico though warns us: “I always tell people to beware of overly professional looking photos because they could make you appear vain. Instead, when you hire me, I ensure you look like YOU. Just on a very good day. Not as if you hired a pro. It’s a fine line.”

In 2015 and 2016, Match.com asked him to shoot their #loveyourimperfection campaign. It was a good job and Nico tells us more about it. “I was asked to stop people in the street and ask them to share what they perceived as their imperfection (not physical imperfections, more behavioural) but also how that has helped them. I then asked if I could photograph them to be on Match’s social media. 

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It taught me that people are in fact very open and I was surprised how many were happy to take part and open-up. Of course a few refused, but that’s ok too. I really don’t like to make people feel uncomfortable by being too persistent”.

Nico thinks that online dating photography is a service that probably will become more popular in the future. “I’m here for those who want to make a better impact. But I never put all my eggs in the same basket, that’s why I do so many things. I like to multiply revenue streams”.

Being a photographer during a pandemic is not easy. Nico left London a couple of years ago and now lives “literally in the middle of a field and woods. So lockdown has been easier than for some. But not easy. In terms of measures, it’s straight forward, I follow guidelines from the government. When allowed to meet people, I shoot outdoors and wear all the PPE required whilst social distancing”.

Nico has left his job as Head of Sales and Marketing for a 4* hotel in London and now he can work as a photographer full time. “I’m working like never before and seeing signs it’s all going to be fine. I have a lot of self-belief. I strive in struggle, I guess it’s the artist's life”.

 

To reach out to Nicholas Goodden for his professional photography services, visit his website: Nico Goodden

You can follow him on:

Facebook: @nicholasgooddenphotography

Twitter: @NicholasGoodden

Instagram: @nicholasgoodden