Headshot or Portrait ?

What is the difference between a headshot and a business portrait ?

Headshots and portraits are among the most popular images requested by our clients. Like any kind of professional photography, each serves a specific purpose.

So, what exactly distinguishes them from each other ?

And what should you think about before choosing a photographer to work with ?


What are the differences ?

Put simply, the main difference between the two is what you intend to use the images for. Headshots are usually close-up images that just show your head and shoulders in a professional, setting.

They are most often used for images on Linkedin profiles, ID cards, ’Meet the Team’ pages on business websites, marketing materials or that require a professional identity.

Their main point of a headshot is to provide something recognisable that can be used for the ends you require. This could be for your company, acting work or modelling portfolio.

By contrast, a corporate portrait tends to be a strong image of an individual in a variety of environments, shot from a greater distance, that can have a multitude of applications. A portrait session lasts a lot longer and enables you to create a greater volume of content, which lends themselves to a better return for your investment.

These allow for greater creativity and can include framing, colouring and a variety of backgrounds. You can involve different outfits, even include other individuals, or give yourself the freedom to create a range of feelings or styles.

Both genres are dependent on a photographer’s ability and experience. A skilled professional can capture you in a striking image, or exercise creative ability to get the style of portrait or selection of headshot you’re after.


Before deciding to commission a portrait or headshot photographer, it’s a good idea to think about what you’re wanting to get from the session.

Some aspects to include:

Your specific use: 

How are the images going to be used ? Sharing some examples you want to emulate is a great way of communicating with your photographer.

Your Character: 

What emotions are you trying to portray in your images ? Do you want to be approachable, relaxed and smiling, or a more serious and professional appearance ? This could depend on your job role.

Lighting and background: 

What setting do you want to bring across in your images ? Do you want images taken in your office or working environment ? Or might the neutral setting of a studio work better ? Think of how you dress when meeting a client for the first time. If you don’t wear a suit to work, then it isn’t a good idea to wear one in your images.

What is possible ? 

It’s worth remembering that any professional photographer will have a wealth of experience that allows them to produce striking visual elements. Meet up and chat through your ideas and try to be receptive to suggestions. Ask for reference images from their portfolio is a good way of seeing if their style of work matches your requirements.

 What to do next ?

If you are in need of a new high-quality headshot, corporate portrait collection or content for your digital marketing – Dave Dodge Photography Ltd can help you.

We have experience of working with a range of clients and industries, we ensure the highest standards of bespoke care, ensuring all of our clients receive a great experience from every session.

We always try to make you feel at ease, ensuring the approach we take is best for you.

If you have any specific requests, questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us directly and let us know exactly what you require.