One of my good friends Yuri is one of the top stock photographers in the world, many of his photos appear in ads all over the world from everything from life insurance to medical sales, but the one place I was quite disturbed to find his photos was on not only one but several matchmakers websites, and of all places, IN THE TESTIMONIALS!
The more and more I dug into this, the more false testimonials I found there was even a model Yuri frequently uses from South Africa that was in two separate matchmakers’s testimonials, with two different names, married to TWO different women!
Now, I will tell you upfront, my agency uses stock photos only one place on our website, and that is in our animated header, and they are very obviously stock photos as no female client of mine would allow me to display their image so prominently.
Besides those, all the photos on our site are real. For a long time, the only female clients who would give us permission to post their photos were models and actresses, and as a result our site was beginning to look more like a modeling agency then an actual matchmaking service, this was actually giving our prospective clients the wrong impression, some thought the photos were just a bunch of fake modeling pictures that we had put up, some were turned off since most men who are looking for commitment are NOT looking to meet a model. Photos in which a woman even looks remotely posed or overly made up is actually a big turn off to men, they either assume the lady is high maintenence or fake, or they wonder what imperfection has been photoshopped out.
So, a few days ago, I instituted a little change on the website. I went into my database and contacted as many women as I could encouraging them to send me REAL photos of themselves, real as in, not taken with professional lighting, make up and hair all done by professionals, just a photo shot with their iPhone or by a friend at a party, in my experience most male clients of our respond better to the real photos as opposed to the professional modeling photos.