The Importance of a Great Headshot / by Joshua Cook

High key white background and a smile.

High key white background and a smile.

Branding is everything. OK, maybe not everything, but it is certainly more important than ever in today's digital world. Whether you're looking for a new job, vying for a career change or just wanting to look your professional best online, a great headshot is a key ingredient in taking control of your personal brand. That's what brought us together with the talented Alanna, an Austin, Texas model, for a recent headshot photography session.

Low key black background headshot.

Low key black background headshot.

Alanna's used to people taking great photographs of her. Headshots, though, are different. We simplify the scene so the main focus is on you. We want the viewer to connect with you instantly. We use lighting in a way that illuminates the face fully, but is still quite flattering and makes your eyes stand out instantly. That's also why we focus on using the high key white and low key black backgrounds for headshots.

Headshots offer that clean, professional and modern look that ensures the viewer is focused on you, not the background or something else in the photograph. The goal is to bring out your personality, help you connect and make you look your absolute best in the most simple package possible. In our shoot with Alanna, we stuck with a simple, classic black dress and spent our time capturing just the right expression... especially in the eyes.

The classic black and white headshot.

The classic black and white headshot.

In a throwback to the classic actor headshots, we even took some time to shoot directly in black and white. It really conveys a sense of simple elegance. And again, the real focus as you look at the photograph is on the eyes and expression. That's what we work to achieve and Alanna was absolutely amazing.

In case you're still wandering why you need a professional headshot, let's look at a few final realities. Brace yourself because this may come as a shock, but people WILL Google you. Whether they're friends, colleagues, future employers or just someone you knew in high school, don't you want them to see you at your best? Now take a look at your Facebook profile photo, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, etc. Do you really look your best online? If not, maybe it's time you took control of your own personal branding.