Portrait vs Headshot
We realize we’ve been throwing around the words Headshot and Portrait a lot recently, without defining either of them. While some people believe the names to be interchangeable, they are actually two very different forms of photography. Today we’ll give you a quick overview of some of the distinctions.
As we talk about photo composition, we are talking about how we place the subjects of the photo. Basically, how all of the visual elements are coming together.
Headshots are close-ups on one subject. These photos tend to show one’s head and shoulders, along with a white, or neutral, background and not much more. Usually shot in either a studio or onsite (ie. a business office), the purpose of the neutral background is to avoid any distraction in order make the subject stand out with an air of professionalism and confidence.
Portraits on the other hand are usually further back, showing ¾ or full body images. The background tends to be more colorful and add to the story the photo is telling rather than just provide a neutral background. Portraits contain one subject, or many, such as a family portrait. They can be a little more complex to arrange, but as a Pittsburgh portrait photographer I am trained and have been doing them for years. I will help you create the perfect photo to tell your story.
Facial expressions show different emotions, adding different tones, based on the goals of the photo.
In headshots, you want the subject to look approachable yet confident. Our headshot photographers will help you find the facial expression that works for you in order to achieve this look.
When it comes to portraits, your facial expression might really be anything. Your goal would be to match the story you are telling with the photo.
The goals of the two photos are the biggest distinction. Here is where you will determine which type of photo is right for you.
Headshots are created and used mainly for the use of business, to create an image for yourself. Where might you use them? Anywhere you are representing yourself, either as a brand, or your career.
Social Media Marketing platforms (Instagram, Facebook, twitter)
Professional profile pictures (Facebook, LinkedIn)
Certain professions, such as i.e. actors, will use them as a part of a resume.
Portraits are more so used as a storytelling method. They tend to get used in more creative environments, such as magazines. Portraits get used more frequently on a personal level as well. You might have them hanging in your house, or in a family album in your living room.