If you want to get ahead, get a professional headshot

In the age of 20 megapixel smartphone cameras with six-element lenses, it’s never been easier for people to take decent quality photographs without the help of the professionals. But when it comes to your headshots, getting the professionals in makes solid gold business sense. Here are four good reasons why you should go pro:

Because first impressions still count – bigly

Studies tell us that your image is the first thing people register when they see your profile online. It takes a fraction of a second for them decide whether your headshot – or head portrait – is good enough for them to take the time to find out more. So, your CV and life story may be worth a Hollywood script. But if the picture above them is below standard, no-one will ever read them. Which means your headshot is the gatekeeper to opportunity.

It takes a professional photographer to bring out your professional strengths

Professional photographers are trained – primarily through experience – to bring out your qualities in a photograph. Including qualities you didn’t know you had. Even if you think you’re not photogenic, a pro will find the right angles, head tilts and secret tips to make you look your best professional self. They also have the right lenses, lights, studio spaces and post-production expertise. That’s why you’re paying them.

SPECIAL OFFER for February: we’re offering a 10% discount on all professional studio portraits. Go on, show your online profile a bit of love. If you work for a registered NGO or NPO, we’ll give you an extra 5% off. Contact Patrick today to book your slot. 

A professional headshot is a versatile, high-value online calling card

The return on your investment in a well-executed selection of professional headshots is huge to the point of no-brainer. Count up the number of online platforms you appear on and you’ll quickly get the picture. There’re your website, your Facebook business page and Twitter and Instagram profiles. Then there’s your blog and your guest blogs. That’s before we count your comments in discussion forums or even conference profiles. If you want to maximise returns on exposure opportunities, you need the right headshots. Get the picture?

Investing in a professional tells the world you’re a professional

When you pay a professional photographer to take your professional headshot, you are sending out a subliminal message to clients and potential clients that you care about yourself and your image – and you will care about their image just as much. The opposite applies: if you choose to post a no-cost amateur image, you’re telling the world that you believe average is OK. Probably not the best way to win business and influence people.

SPECIAL OFFER for February: we’re offering a 10% discount on all professional studio portraits. Go on, show your online profile a bit of love. If you work for a registered NGO or NPO, we’ll give you an extra 5% off. Contact Patrick today to book your slot. Contact Patrick today to book your slot. 

Composition showcase: Racing Colours

I’ve always been fascinated by horse racing. It’s nothing to do with gambling: I’ve never laid a bet. It’s about the speed, power and grace of the animals. The physical and visual energy of the spectacle. The endless play between triumph, defeat and near misses. The colours.

But in post-apartheid South Africa, racing colours have taken on a different meaning as horse racing parades as the last outpost of the pre-1994 order.

Behind the glamour and bling of high-profile events such as the Durban July, Queen’s Plate and Sun Met lies a business built on feudal lines that have barely shifted for almost a century.

Racing Colours is a continuing photo essay into the conspicuous differences between the horse owners, trainers and race-goers and the underpaid, often under-qualified and largely unrecognised grooms who are responsible for millions of rands-worth of thoroughbred horseflesh.

Introducing Composition



Welcome to Composition, the new face and name for Top Copy Communications. This is a new chapter in our story.

Where we started

In 1997, Patrick left the agency world to kick off his career as a freelance writer. He launched Top Copy Communications in April of that year. Back then, printer’s proofs were delivered by courier, client instructions were issued by fax and people still called each other on the phone when they wanted to talk.

Hilary joined the business in 2007, fresh from a career in marketing management, PR and advertising. She was responding to the siren call of her first love: writing. Times had changed even within those ten short years. The iPhone had made its debut on the world stage, Facebook was still a fledgling and Google was starting to monopolize the world’s search habits.

In 2009, Top Copy Communications opened its doors in Cape Town. Rapidly advancing technology was making it even more possible to work from anywhere. We continued to service clients in the UK and elsewhere, while setting down deep roots on the African continent. At that point, people were just starting to get their heads around Twitter’s micro-blogging format, Android was beginning to raise its green head above the parapet and video games where going mobile.

Our own evolution

By 2017, global nuclear policy was being debated in 280 characters, housewives were investing in Bitcoin and machine learning was moving from sci-fi fantasy into an inevitable reality. In the same way that technology was evolving, we were too. In that same year we decided to take Top Copy Communications into a new era. We gave our wardrobe a bit of a shake up and gave ourselves a new name, new logo and new look. This website is our new shop window. We expanded our services to incorporate photography, and focused more deliberately on the kind of work we do. The result is Composition, conceived to tell your stories through words and images.

Welcome to our next new chapter. We’d love to know what you think, and of course, to work with you. How can we help you tell your story?