Headshots & portraits; which should I use & when?

Headshots & portraits are both photographs of a persons head & shoulders right? As a very basic principle you could be easily forgiven for the simplification, however Professional Headshot photography & Professional Portrait Photography have some key differentials. Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of technique, usage & also editing. In this post, we are going to take a look at the differences between a professional headshot and portrait in further detail. 


Aren’t headshots and portraits the same thing?

A headshot is a more neutral & professional representation of a person - the very best ones showing great personality. It is most often used in a professional setting, for example, corporate headshots are used on websites, so an audience can identify easily with the personalities in a team of people. There is a good case that every person should have an excellent headshot as part of their LinkedIn/Facebook/media profiles to maximise on all opportunities. Professional connections can easily cross over into social media so it’s a great idea to have a cohesive image across channels. Headshots are also excellent if you appear in press releases &/or editorials or appear as a speaker. Depending on the publication & if it is a creative article it may be more relevant to have a portrait represent you to your audience. Actors and models will all need to have an up-to-date outstanding headshot for their portfolios to win new work.


A headshot is a more neutral professional representation.

A headshot is a more neutral & professional representation of a person - the very best ones showing great personality. It is most often used in a professional setting, for example, corporate headshots are used on websites, so an audience can identify easily with the personalities in a team of people. There is a good case that every person should have an excellent headshot as part of their LinkedIn/Facebook/media profiles to maximise on all opportunities. Professional connections can easily cross over into social media so it’s a great idea to have a cohesive image across channels. Headshots are also excellent if you appear in press releases &/or editorials or appear as a speaker. Depending on the publication & if it is a creative article it may be more relevant to have a portrait represent you to your audience. Actors and models will all need to have an up-to-date outstanding headshot for their portfolios to win new work. 


Portraits can offer much more artistic license.

On the other hand, a portrait is designed to tell a story often utilising a setting in which the person would usually be found in - their natural habitat so to speak. It can illuminate the person who is having the photograph taken or leave more to the imagination by playing with shadows. Portraits offer a lot more flexibility in terms of how the photographs are taken. While portraits often only include head and shoulders, the crop can be a very close view of the face or from the waist up. In fact, you can even use a portrait to describe a photograph of someone’s entire figure. The difference between the two types of photography is that portraits can offer a higher degree of artistic license, whilst headshots are designed to provide a clearer view of the face & allow instant connection & recognition. Both are best when emotive & compelling.


The use of light, shade, and colour in photographs. 

When taking a portrait, it is acceptable to use light and shadows to create a compelling story. Props are used very often in portraits too - chairs/desks/outside locations/awards/city backdrops. However, with a headshot we’re looking at a photograph of the face in it’s purest sense. A truly great headshot will also show personality in a more neutral & professional manner.


The vast majority of headshots will use fairly even lighting and be edited in natural colour. After all, headshots show a true life representation of a person. On the other hand, portraits can be amazing in black and white, and many other artistic colour schemes which can be created in the editing process.


Thanks so much for reading. Let me know what you’d most prefer for yourself - a headshot, a portrait …or both for different things :)


The Benefits of Headshot Photography

3 Reasons To Have Killer
Headshots


Your Headshot is your opportunity to engage and
communicate with your audience fully. Everyone has a beautiful headshot within
them and getting this connection with your audience will enable you to make that all
important and amazing first impression for your business and of course for you
as an individual. By utilising your professional headshot, together with your
branding is a powerful way to promote yourself  and to create a connection in the most
relevant and authentic way for wherever you want to go.

Here are some of the biggest benefits to getting a professional
headshot taken for your corporate or personal profile:

Humans Relate To Other Humans!

There is so much that you can read about someone, but you need to see
the person to know if they are the right fit for a company. Did you know that
84% of people simply scan a page before they decide if they want to read it?
Your headshot is authentic, its only relevant to you and its going to connect
with the Audience its  going to capture
the eye, and by having headshots taken by a professional, you’re going to have
a connection that remains in the individuals mind as it shows off your soul,
humans connect with humans.

They Can Help You Sell Yourself

When you are out in the world and you are looking
for a new job, you need to find ways of capturing the attention of those around
you so if it’s a new job or a new business you need to find ways of
communication effectively and efficiently with your desired network. It doesn’t
matter what your profession is; people want to know that they can relate to
you. In a world of many faces, when a contact sees you online it’s
going to help you form a working relationship right for the start with the
right network for you. Your shots are you own public face, you just have
to ensure a professional gets you out there and you start connecting with different networks by using the most relevant
& authentic message.  

Your People Are Your Advert

There is nothing worse than trying to pass your company image off with a
photograph of you from twenty years ago. It just doesn’t work.
Updating your professional image sends out the message that you are relevant,
have a high level of competence & are demonstrating expertise in best
business practice. It’s the photo that your clients, prospective clients and future
employers will see; and you want to make sure that the face you use is the one
you’re wearing! If your headshots for your whole team are on your business
website, you are going to be recognised everywhere. Cohesive
brand messaging allows you to connect better to your audience!

Professional headshots can make a difference with the image you are
putting out into the world. There’s only so much that you can do with a friend
and a smartphone. Professional shots allow the viewer
to feel that you are a true professional as the quality of the image will
reflect on your own personal level of professionalism. It’s more likely you will be chosen
for the job you are applying for or the contract that you are trying to win if
you are looking to win a new client. Think about how you want to be perceived,
and then book your appointment today.


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