Today’s competitive photography industry can make it difficult to pay the bills for full-time professionals. When the industry is swamped with photographers, finding business, no matter how good you are, can be difficult. One of the commonly prescribed solutions to this problem is to find and exploit niche submarkets that may be untapped by others in the industry. This is precisely what New York-based photographer Max Schwartz has done with his “Tinder Headshots” project.
Tinder is a popular app that connects users with people around them based on mutually “liking” each others’ profiles. While Tinder describes the app as "the fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you,” it is commonly used by singles as a dating app. Users view profiles of other users near them who have the app. If they like the person, they swipe right to “like.” If they’re not interested, they swipe left. If both users swipe right on each other, then the app connects both users to begin chatting. With a maximum of five photos and a short bio (which users may or may not even read before making a decision), appearances are key for success.
Schwartz has created a unique photography market for himself by marketing specifically to users of this app. With the 1.2 billion tinder profile “swipes" each day, the market is enormous. Schwartz positioned himself to take advantage of this huge and relatively untapped market with a need of good photography.
According to an article by the NY Post, Schwartz started Tinder Headshots as a joke, at first. Since then, Tinder headshots have taken off. He is now regularly helping singles find romance. “Everybody is so quick to be judgmental, unfortunately, on first impressions. I figured people wanted to look the best they can, especially for dating. Why put up a bad photo?” said Schwartz in an interview with the NY Post.
Although Schwartz is primarily a lifestyle and men’s fashion photographer, the income from Tinder Headshots certainly can’t hurt. This is just one example of how a little creativity could help you find a new, unexploited customer base to bolster your photography income. Who could complain about that?
Make sure to check out Schwartz’s amazing portfolio, as well as his Instagram and Tinder Headshots website.