A Headshot or a Business Portrait? Which is the Right Choice for You ?

 
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You might be an actor, a plumber, an artist, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a salesperson, musician or physician and you need of a new picture for your professional use.

# Do you need a business portrait or a headshot?

To answer that I’d like to tell you one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever received and it’s the foundation of why virtually every successful business is successful. No matter if you are an actor or doctor or baker you are an artist. What you do for a living is your art/skill/craft/vocation - call it what you will - this is your passion - it’s your art. If you focus only on your art you may love doing it, but you are on a course to fail. If on the only hand you say “I own a business … and it just happens to be a deli, or a doctor’s office or creating art” you realize that you must balance the books, do marketing to get clients, dream up new ideas so that you will continue to be able to do what you love to do.

Anyway, that’s where I start my thinking when someone comes in for a headshot - how is your business structured and what type of picture will best help you achieve your business goals.

# The Business portrait and the headshot - The Difference

First lets look at both, how they are the same and how they differ.

Both types of images need to get the feeling that you want to get from whomever seeing the picture. Are you welcoming, commanding, solid, sincere, in charge, affluent, competent, stunning, handsome, friendly, “the buck stops here”,?

The Business Portrait - formal dress, professional pose, elegant props, lit with some drama and has rich colors. This is the type of image you might see in the lobby of a hotel or on the board of directors page of a company’s website.

 

The Headshot - To be candid, it’a a product shot and you’re the product. You’ll typically smile or (in the case of an actor) be in character, but the look is fairly generic and welcoming. But I suggest the headshot even for the executive so they will something less formal, maybe for a company seminar they are hosting or blog post.

And then there is the headshot which is purely for commercial use; such as a print ad, website or brochure. These are very fun and bright.

 

Both the business portrait and the headshot can be critical parts of every company’s business marketing plan. Just a nice picture of the person without finding out what the person wants the image to convey is not enough. Today many potential clients are surfing the net and choosing their vendors on the strength of an image.

So think about how the images will be used to help you reach your business goals and you will know what types of pictures you need.

# NC Headshot Studio’s Headshot & Business Portrait Difference

# Once upon a time, a headshot was a traditional portrait

….used for marketing yourself as an actor or business person. And then the digital revolution hit. And, headshots devolved into a candid snap shot, taken with very little thought to light, background, expression etc.

It got thrown up on facebook, linkedin, myspace, twitter etc, without a thought of who might be looking at it or what it says about you. And, it became a sloppy, amateur marketing tool that was right up there, in terms of usefulness, as a driver’s license photo.

# Along came the Business Portrait.

A direct reaction to the vacation snap shots that are permeating the online profiles, business portraits are in demand by CEOs, Actors, and other people who are concerned about how their image is perceived by their target audience.

The biggest difference between the “modern headshot” and a “business portrait” is philosophical. Every part of the business portrait, from the light, composition, clothing, makeup, jewelry, background, expression, etc, is a conscious decision, on the part of the photographer and the subject, to create an image designed to stand out. The image that is created, is designed that way specifically because it will help your audience accept you as their choice.

# Business portraits are about marketing, branding and the business of your industry.  Corporate Headshots are about the person and the brand of the individual.

They are a visual representation of your competence and reputation.

So, if you call us and ask about “headshots” for you or your company, don’t be surprised if we prob you for more understand to gain a better insight into your actual needs of the photography session.

Adrian Creary