When it comes to professional photography, there are a lot of terms that get thrown around. Two of the most common are "headshots" and "portraits." While both of these types of photography involve taking pictures of people, there are some key differences between the two.
A headshot is a type of portrait that focuses specifically on the person's head and shoulders. The goal of a headshot is to capture the subject's likeness and personality in a single image. Headshots are often used for professional purposes such as business cards, social media profiles, and actor or model portfolios. They are designed to generate a great first impression and serve as communication, marketing, and branding tools for the subject.
A portrait, on the other hand, is a broader term that refers to any photograph of a person or group of people. Portraits can be full-body or close-up, posed or candid, and can be used for a variety of purposes including family photos, editorial shoots, and artistic expression. Unlike headshots, portraits are less revealing about the subject and the audience is typically more familiar with the subject(s).
A business portrait is also a branding tool, that complements a headshot, by adding some contextual information about the subject activity. It's less focused on the likeness and personality than a head shot. A few examples are the Artist in his studio, the researcher in his lab, the cook in his kitchen.
The main difference between headshots and portraits is the scope of the image and their intended use. Headshots are focused specifically on the subject's head and shoulders, with the goal of capturing their likeness and personality in a single image. They are designed to make a strong first impression and serve as a communication, marketing, and branding tool for the subject. Portraits, on the other hand, can be much broader in scope, and can include full-body shots, candid moments, and more artistic expressions. They are typically used for personal use, editorial shoots, and artistic expression.
Whether you're looking for a headshot or a portrait, it's important to find a photographer who understands your needs and can help you achieve your goals.