The Little Known Side-effects of Professional Headshots

Consider yourself warned...

If you think you may be susceptible to an over-inflated ego, please, please do not attempt the following. Do not, under any circumstances, for any reason, attempt to have a professional headshot taken of you in the near future. Past victims have reported experiencing side effects such as: a dizzying number of new "likes," a nauseous amount of friend requests, frequent episodes of over-active notification checks, and worst of all...heart palpitations from the sheer excitement and pride that comes from looking so dang professional. 


Job Catcher

In all seriousness, professional headshots can cause all of these "side-effects" and many others. Several past clients have given credit to their professional headshot as being the catalyst that landed them new jobs. Obviously this is not the guaranteed outcome of getting a new headshot, but recruiters will definitely give a second look to a profile with professional photography. Like it or not, your headshot has become a critically important part of your online profile. It has been referred to as your digital handshake and that analogy couldn't be more accurate. 

That's discrimination! Or is it?

A recent study showed that 90% of recruiters/human resources people check out social media profiles like Facebook and LinkedIn before inviting potential candidates to an interview! It's serious biz! Never before have we been so connected and simultaneously disconnected as we are today. We "connect" on LinkedIn with hundreds of people...most of which we have never met or may never meet face-to-face. Headshots that provide little incentive for a person to connect (for example, poorly lit, too far away, too close, other people in the frame, bad expression, etc) are detrimental to your personal brand. Recruiters are trained to find people suitable for positions with the company they represent. If you don't look like a person serious about your profession, you will likely be passed over by recruiters looking for candidates that have that inexplicable edge to their profile picture. 

If you need a stunning headshot that jumps off the screen and grabs the viewer by the eyeballs, (sorry for the mental image) drop us a line at or head over to the contact page. Our headshot packages start at $125.

Client(FOCUS) - Prosound


It was a pleasure to work with Chester Hull of Prosound this past summer. I traveled up to his studio just outside of Charlottesville, Va to photograph him in an environmental type setting. Chester is THE guru of on-hold marketing. An "on-hold caller experience expert," to put it another way.

Prosound as a company is incredible at making their clients feel completely taken care of. From consultation, recording and installation through completion, Prosound handles the whole phone system and caller experience.

Environmental Portrait

Working with very limited space, I created an environmental portrait of Chester that brought some of what he does and the tools he uses into the picture. We took the following shot in a room that he uses for recording and mixing audio. I liked the texture and visual interest of the sound-dampening foam on the walls, so I chose to uplight it to bring out the shape and texture...I should mention, the room was about 8'X8'.


I actually shot this picture with my back jammed into the corner AND underneath a desk.


Have a great weekend everybody! And remember, when it comes to on-hold phone systems, Chester with Prosound is your man.

What Is A Headshot?

What does a headshot look like?

A headshot is typically a close-up photo (from just below the neckline to the top of the head) that is free of distractions, up to date, shows true expression in the eyes, and most importantly, shows the viewer that you are serious about your personal brand.

What are headshots used for?

A headshot can be used for applications such as -

1. LinkedIn profiles

2. Facebook profiles

3. Acting portfolios

4. Corporate "Team" pages

Depending on the industry, a headshot can show your serious side or your creative side. Generally headshots are used to show your business/professional image. However, in professions such as acting, a headshot can be used to portray characters or expressions that would not be appropriate for professional platforms like LinkedIn.


How important is it to have a professional headshot?

A headshot is more than just a photo of your head. It is your #1 online selling tool and possibly the weightiest part of your personal brand. A recent study was conducted with 30 professional recruiters looking through LinkedIn profiles. Eye tracking technology was used to create a heat map of what the recruiters focused on. They found that most recruiters look at your picture first and spend more time looking at that than ANY other part of the profile. That says a lot about the important part that good photography plays in your career and personal brand. Not having a picture in your profile is equal to committing social media suicide. Nobody wants to connect with the default gray "mystery man" that automatically appears when you do not upload a profile picture. Some people will avoid using a profile picture based on a fear of being prejudged but I urge you to shelf that fear. By not having a profile picture you may ultimately lose the chance to connect with countless people who could add value to your career. People want to connect with people who have faces.

What should a good headshot say about me?

A great headshot should convey professionalism, trustworthiness, friendliness and approachability. Your headshot is like your new digital handshake. Make sure your digital handshake inspires confidence and trust in the viewer. Remember, you only have ONE shot to make a first impression online and people will make a judgment about you within the first couple of seconds. A professional headshot will insure that the first impression the viewer has is favorable.


All Hail The GQ-ness of The Gray Background

Here's a little sneak peek from my shoot this afternoon. Klaus needed something other than a white background for his new headshot, so I tried a slightly darker style and was pleased with the results. It is very simple to go from white background to gray. It only requires turning your background light off and pulling your subject a little farther away from the background to prevent spill from your main light from getting on it.

Headshot on gray background.

I have been shooting more and more on gray or black backgrounds and I love the element of moodiness that it adds to a portrait. It is a different feel than my normal headshot style for sure. Here are a few more examples of recent gray background portraits.

Singh, Jyot

And another.

Wintsch, Richard

That's it for now, have a great Labor Day weekend everybody!

Professional Recruiters Looking At Photos First

To Have A Professional Profile Picture or Not?

A recent study conducted by TheLadders using eye-tracking heat maps showed that 19% of time spent on LinkedIn profile pages by professional recruiters is spent looking at the profile picture. It's the first item viewed and for a longer time than any other part of the profile. This alone speaks to the importance that the photo plays! Some people refrain from putting a picture on their profile. This may be for a variety of reasons, but the message that it potentially sends to recruiters is that you either lack the confidence to put your picture out there or you don't know how to upload a photo. Both messages are bad for your presentation. The good news is you can avoid sending those messages at all cost  without breaking the bank. Contact me today or head over to the Rates page and choose your headshot package. Your career may wait for you but that first impression will only happen once.

eye-tracking heat map

The Importance of Professional Headshots - Video

I want to go on record by saying that I am not a professional actor, nor do I look like one. I'd also like to say that I am not a professional videographer or editor. Those disclaimers aside, I would like to show you a little video I made explaining some of my opinions about why headshots are the best improvement you can make to your online profiles. Without further ado, I present to you "Importance of Professional Headshots." (I should also point out that I am not a professional writer...but I can whip up a killer headshot!)


You're never too young (or too old) for a headshot

**Caution: if you are sensitive to unrestrained bragging you may want to go ahead and close this post. Go ahead...I'll give you a minute.** I was finishing up from a headshot session the other day when I decided to set my little girl up on the stool and see what happened. I'm just slightly more than proud of the results.

Baby Headshot

If I could take any credit for how cute she is I would. However, I'm fairly certain she takes after her beautiful mom. I never cease to be amazed at how much I want to squeeze her little cheeks every time I look at her. She has brought so much joy to our life.


She keeps Laurie and I laughing with her jabbering and clever tricks. Her new favorite thing to do is to hide toys, books and just about anything she can pick up in the most random places imaginable. We found a little Shrek figurine inside a coffee mug, a massive fairytale book inside the laundry basket, a pacifier inside my work boot, and on and on. Never a dull moment with a one year old around. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.