A headshot is sternum up, tightly cropped, with a standard backdrop. Some even refer to them as mug shots. Simple, direct, and predictable stylization, which is usually shot at the studio. A portrait, on the other hand, includes more of the body, an expression/portrayal of the individual’s personality within their environment, and allows for more artistic license from the photographer in general. These photo shoots are customized for each individual and can be shot at various locations with creative lighting. *Post-production is more stylized and the image gallery has a richer and more diverse variety to choose from. Pricing is also a distinctive factor. Headshots take less time, require less post-production, and therefore cost less than portraits. However, portraits give you a variety of stylized images and usually includes some headshot like images for wider application. *post production is the editing and color correction/enhancement of the image by the photographer after the shoot.
In the context of online and social media, it’s essential to have good photography for building and representing your personal brand. One thing that is clearly being blogged about these days is what a turnoff stuffy profile photos and headshots can be. In the arena of online social networking, some say this can be detrimental to your personal branding. We advise you run to your Linkdln/Facebook/Twitter page, take down your suit-and-tie headshot now, and consult a professional! A professional photographer that is.
Where do we stand?
Headshots are essential in many contexts and we’re not buying into the negative mug shot perception. You can see by our own examples that if you find a good photographer, a headshot can be very complimentary, not making you look like an insurance agent (even if you are one;). Dare we even say, sexy?