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Headshots vs. Branding Photos: What's the Real Difference?

Professional man smiling with his arms crossed in front of a dark marine blue backdrop in a corporate headshot

What is a headshot session?

headshots showcase who you are

A headshot session is a professional photography shoot focused primarily on capturing a clear and concise image of an individual’s face. The main purpose of a headshot is to provide a professional portrayal of who you are. These are often for use on resumes, corporate websites, LinkedIn profiles, and other professional networks. Headshots are usually close-up photographs. The backdrop is often neutral, and the focus is to highlight your features in a straightforward manner.

What are the essentials of a headshot?

headshot sessions are about clarity, simplicity and professionalism

In a headshot, the emphasis is on clarity, simplicity, and professionalism. People typically wear business attire and present a clean, polished look. The facial expression is key in a headshot—it should convey confidence and approachability. There are no props or branding elements; the focus is solely on you.

What is a Branding Photo Shoot?

personal branding is about your story and your brand

A personal branding photo shoot, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive approach to capturing a your professional image. It’s not just about your face; it’s about your story. These shoots are designed to showcase your personality, profession, and the essence of your personal brand. Unlike the headshot’s neutral setting, branding photo shoots often take place in a variety of environments that reflect your business and brand identity.

Crafting Your Brand's Visual Story

letting people know who you are and what you do

During a branding photo shoot, you may use props, change into different outfits, and use various backdrops or locations to communicate what it is you do. These images are dynamic, often showing you in action, engaging with your work. The goal is to create a narrative through the images that give insight into who you are and what you do.

The Bottom Line: The Difference Between Headshots and Branding Photos is the Purpose and Use

headshots: the professional staple

To sum up, headshots are a staple of professional presentation. They are intended for situations where you need to be recognized in a professional capacity. Think of it as a visual handshake—a first impression that conveys professionalism and competence.

branding shoots: telling your story

Branding shoots go beyond the basic introduction of a headshot and delve into your professional narrative. They’re perfect for entrepreneurs, creatives, and business professionals who want to showcase their brand’s personality and what makes them unique. These images can be used across a variety of media, from websites to promotional materials, to tell a cohesive and compelling brand story.

If you’d like more information about booking your branding photoshoot, get in touch today.


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