Headshot photography and personal branding photography. What is the difference?
Before investing in headshot photography or personal branding photography, learn about the differences and find out which one’s right for your business?
People buy from people
In our digitally connected world it’s more important than ever to create a great first impression. Taking control of your personal brand is essential if you want to communicate a consistent message that connects with your target audience.
Many business owners will use headshots and personal branding photos in different situations, depending on their marketing objectives or where the images are being used.
So let’s take a look at the differences.
What’s a headshot?
You’re probably familiar with the term headshot photography. It’s your head and shoulders business photo that shows you looking your best.
You may have a few versions of your headshot on social media, your website or your email signature. Think of your headshot as a visual handshake. It allows people to connect with you quickly and put a face to the name.
A headshot is usually tightly cropped, showing your head and shoulders or a slightly wider image cropped midway down the chest.
Whatever style you choose, it’s essential you’re at the heart of the image and all the attention is on you. Your eyes should be looking at the camera, engaged and in focus.
Good lighting is important too. Most business headshots will use soft light, reducing harsh shadows and delivering great skin tones.
Make sure your headshot “pops”
When we’re scanning a website or a social post, you only have a few seconds to grab the reader’s attention. So if your headshot is cluttered or distracting you won’t get the immediate connection. Keep it simple.
You’re looking for an image jumps off the page and connect with the reader.
Your headshots should:
- Show you looking your best
- Be consistent
- Connect with your brand
- and finally, images you feel proud to share?
When should you use a headshot and who are they best for?
Headshots are perfect for profile pictures. The focus is on you with very few distractions.
They’re ideally suited to social media platforms, such as LinkedIn with a focus on business to business communications.
Headshots are also great when you want consistency. If you have a board of directors or you’re showcasing your team, by photographing with a consistent style the headshots are easier to view and more engaging. You can also present the same style across your business, keeping everything on brand.
What is personal branding photography?
Put simply, it allows you to combine YOUR images with all of your other marketing activities to reinforce your brand message.
Wikipedia’s definition of Personal branding is
"The practice of marketing people and their careers as brands. It’s an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation and impression of an individual, group, or organisation."
How does a personal branding photo differ from a headshot?
Headshot are an engaging image focused on your head and shoulders. It’s typically a profile picture and we want a quick connection.
With personal branding photography we’re showing your ideal client who you are and what you do, while being consistent with your brand.
The images you show are just one element of your personal brand, but it’s essential those images sit comfortably with your tone of voice, your branding and the copy on your website.
You’ll show a little more personality too
Your photos will include more context with a sense of place, along with elements that show what you do. You could show a client interaction or images of you at work in your studio or office space.
Stylistically we also have more scope to make you stand out from the crowd. Your personal branding photos should feel very personal, because they tell a story about you and your business.
They allow your ideal client to get to know you and make a connection. Subconsciously they’re saying “I think we’d get on, we’d work well together”. You’re starting to build connections and making it more likely a new client will reach out and get in touch.
So when should you use personal branding photos and who are they best for?
Personal branding images are perfect for small and medium sized businesses where you or your team are an integral part of the service you offer.
If your clients will connect and work with you directly, and the personal relationship is an important part of what you do, then personal branding photos are perfect for your business.
They’re great for creatives, health instructors, financial advisors, business coaches, virtual assistants or any profession where you’re an intrinsic part of your brand.
If you have a few minutes, have a think about your business and how you could showcase what you offer through personal branding photography.
What makes you stand out from your competitors?
I am always happy to chat over a cup of coffee about how a branding photoshoot may help your business, drop me a message for a non obligation chat.
PS. Elevate Your Brand, capture your clients attention. Book your branding photoshoot today :)