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What is a Headshot Anyway?

When photographers differentiate their work between portraits and headshots, we are drawing attention to two distinct styles of capturing a person's likeness. Technically, headshots fall under the portrait category but these days most clients understand their main value is a means to a professional end. Great portraiture, on the other hand, is a subtle marriage between authenticity and artistic license that draws a reaction or emotion from the viewer. It has been said a portrait that answers all the questions is boring, whereas good portraits leave the viewer with more questions than answers.

Indeed, no matter your profession, a great headshot can be a strong first impression that creates an instant connection with your viewer. This type of portraiture is used extensively both online and off. It is meant to showcase your personality, style and charisma in a way that should be direct and attractive. A great headshot sells you at your best while supporting your personal brand.

Portraits whether in photos, paintings, drawings or sculptures are a direct reflection of how the artist sees, and therefor wishes to interpret her subject. From glamour to fine art, the photographer's decisions regarding location, lighting, posing, cropping, focus and a whole host of other creative choices before, during and after the shoot, are what define her creative style. But I would go so far as to say that a photographer's work is only ever as good as her ability to connect and establish trust with her subject. Only then can we create space for the alluring, fun or quirky moments to take place and reveal something that is uniquely captivating about the person in front of the lens.

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