What You Need To Know For Your Session
One of my favorite types of photography is doing portrait photography and headshot photography. I'm a local photographer in Jersey City, NJ and there are a lot of businesses and professionals in the city. It's a city growing at a rapid pace so there are a lot of opportunities to work with amazing people and families.
In today's world where everyone has a smartphone its incredible how many photos I see that are not the most professional for social media profiles, websites, or other mediums where branding is important. You can take good photos with a smartphone but there are limitations.
Good reads for Beginner Photographers:
A good headshot for your business website or Linkedin profile can make the difference between landing the next client or getting the next dream job. As superficial as it sounds it matters in this visual world we're in.
Why you should invest in professional headshot photography
A professional photographer has spent years learning their craft to ensure that they know how to get a great photograph in challenging conditions. It requires the right camera, lenses, lighting, and more depending on the situation.
We often take for granted the higher quality of a professional camera since we are able to take photos anytime with our phones. However, there is really no comparison and the sensor, lenses, and manual features are far superior to a smartphone especially for those without photography experience.
Headshots vs Portraits
Portrait photography and headshot photography are interchangeable terms depending on who you ask. A headshot typically is done solo and not with others, while a portrait can be done solo or with others. For instance, a family portrait would never be called a family headshot. However, there are some further differences to point out between them.
A headshot is pretty self explanatory. It focuses on the face and some of the shoulders at times and it meant to sell the person's face, expression, and emotion. Usually a headshot is not an artistic endeavor the way a portrait can be. Headshots are used more for a business purposes like corporate headshot profiles rather than to create art.
Key Elements of professional headshots are:
Even lighting across the face to minimize shadows
The person is fully aware a photo is being taken
Facing forward looking into the camera / symmetrical
The background is most likely a solid color to put an emphasis on the face
Tightly cropped since it will likely viewed small
The goal is a clean look with no distractions
Best uses are for corporate headshots, real estate agent business cards and materials, websites, actor/actress bios, and social media profiles.
In contrast to headshots, portrait photography is a bit more of a grey area. How a portrait is done is completely about the intent. Portrait photography can be used for many different purposes and relies heavily on what it will used for. You are only limited by your imagination.
Key elements of professional portrait photography
Lighting can be artistic
Composition is usually waste up
Posing is totally about intent / asymmetrical
Person doesn't have to look into camera unless desired
Background can vary from solid, patterns, or environment.
Can include more than one person if desired
Tells a story or sells the person and/or product if used
Best uses are for family portraits, actor bios, model portfolios, wedding photography, engagement photography, product photography, selling clothing, environmental, and casual use.
As you can see there is some overlap with headshots and portraits but also some differences to keep in mind. You can talk to your photographer to get a sense of the possibilities.
Here are some further examples of portraits and headshots.
Environmental Portraits makes use of the background in the photo.
My name is Jason Logan. I'm a freelance photographer and content creator from Jersey City, NJ. I specialize in headshots, portraits, and event photography. You can get more familiar with my work at www.jmtphotographymedia.com. You can also follow me on Instagram and Facebook. If you have any questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.