Portrait Photography vs Headshots Image

May 24, 2010

What is the difference between what we describe as portrait photography versus an headshot image?

Ten years ago I this article about headshot definition photography for the difference between portrait photography vs headshots image, but lots have changed since then, in 2009 some agencies and individuals were barely learning about this new phenomenon called social media while others were adverse to change. Ten years later and now it’s different, we no longer have phone books, marketing and advertising we rely on Google, Instagram, Facebook and countless other social media to survive as a business or solopreneur.

Wikipedia Actor Headshot of Michelle Borromeo
Actor Headshots by Carlos of Michelle

What is a Headshot?

Headshot is a synonim word for portrait photography but applied to refer to professional profile images used to brand an individual or match the corporate branding identity of a corporation. Often people make the mistake in thinking that its an image of a perons head but contrary from the name is can be full body or a closeup but the intention is to understand the individual.

“A head shot or headshot is a modern (usually digital) portrait in which the focus is on the person. The term is applied usually for professional profile images on social media, images used on online dating profiles, the ‘about us page’ or a corporate website and promotional pictures of actorsmodels, and authors.” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_shot

What is a Portrait Photograph?

Portrait photograph now is referred to images of people or people’s pre-social media era. Photographers would be hired to capture the portrait of important people to be printed and displayed.

Portrait of a Parisian boy suffering
Parisian Boy Suffering photographed by Carlos Taylhardat in 1992.

Portrait photography or portraiture in photography is a photograph of a person or group of people that captures the personality of the subject by using effective lighting, backdrops, and poses.[1] A portrait picture might be artistic, or it might be clinical, as part of a medical study.[1] Frequently, portraits are commissioned for special occasions, such as weddings or school events.[1] Portraits can serve many purposes, from usage on a personal Web site to display in the lobby of a business.[1] “, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_photography

Main differences between headshots and Portraiture

The following are some of the common differences when one refers to portraiture vs headshot photography.

  1. Portrait photography can be one individual or group of individuals and also includes event sessions such as weddings and graduations.
  2. Headshots are referred to a singular image of an individuals.
  3. Portraits are printed.
  4. Headshots are rarely printed unless used as an 8×10 for actors audition or as a gift.
  5. Most portrait photography are captured through a film camera and processed in chemical labs.
  6. Headshots are usually photographed digitally and may be photoshop’d for enhancements.
  7. Headshot images are produced in 72 dpi for monitor visualization or 300 dpi for printing.
  8. Portrait photography are archived in film emulsion.

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