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Headshot vs Professional Portrait: Understanding the Differences

Updated: May 3, 2023

A headshot and a professional portrait are two types of photographs that have different purposes and styles.


Headshot for Gina Ditta-Donahue - alternative medicine practitioner

A headshot is a close-up photograph of a person's head, typically used in a professional settings such as forresumes, social media profiles, or acting and modeling portfolios. The focus of a headshot is on the person's face, and it is usually taken in a neutral or plain background to keep the focus on the subject.


Headshot for John Larkin - Investigative professional

On the other hand, a professional portrait is a photograph that captures a person's likeness in a more artistic or creative way. The portrait can be a full-body or close-up image, and it often includes the person's surroundings or context. Professional portraits can be used for various purposes such as personal branding, corporate profiles, magazine editorials, or as a gift for a loved one.


Portrait of Bob Stargel for GA Tech

Portrait of Darren Waller - Football Player

It's important to think about how you intend to use the images when scheduling a session. If you need a tight photo of your face to put on your LinkedIn profile, a headshot is all you need. If you want to give your audience more a sense of who you are, you need to schedule a professional portrait session.


For each session, whether a headshot or a portrait, I include tips for helping you get the best final image possible. I also work with talented Hair & Makeup Artists and Stylists if you want help with your look. Each session is custom-built with your needs in mind. Reach out today!


Portrait of Coco Papy for The Bitter Southerner

All images Copyright Kaylinn Gilstrap.

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