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The 5 Types of Headshots - Why one look doesn't work for all

A headshot is a unique experience, and one that shouldn’t be treated as a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

When you decide to book your headshot, there are many things you need to consider, but none more important than, what am I trying to sell? That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of headshots, and discuss with your photographer what you’re trying to convey through your image(s).

There are five different headshots that I commonly shoot with my clients. They each have their own look and feel, so let’s take a close look at each.


#1 COMMERCIAL

In the acting and modelling world, it’s recommended to have at least two different headshots. This is because not all roles/jobs are the same, and your agents will want at least two different headshots to send to casting directors to make you the most marketable for different opportunities. A commercial headshot is for exactly as it sounds, to get you a job in a commercial or a similar role. The expression should be happy and smiling.

 

Alexa Steponchev
MUA | Lisa Hallam Makeup Artistry

 

#2 ARTIST | THEATRICAL

The ‘artist’ headshot is the more serious headshot option for an artist. Used for a more dramatic role, this is an opportunity to really show your acting diversity. The lighting may have more shadows and have a moodier feel, and the expression is serious and straight, and there is a strong connection with the eyes.

 

Gary Gable

 

#3 CORPORATE | EXECUTIVE

It’s important that the corporate headshots fit the image of the profession and/or the brand that you represent. Typically with a law firm, medical practice, and creative agencies the headshots are done all at once, and have a matching feel, lighting, and personality. If your company personality is more light hearted, the personality of the headshots may be more candid and smiley. However if you’re a more serious law firm, the expression must match.

 

Robertson Stromberg LLP

 

#4 GLAMOUR | PAGEANT

The glamour headshot, is for that glamour girl. Often times, this will be a celebrity, Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, YouTube personality, or the Pageant Queen. These typically have a brightly lit scene (more high key lighting), heavier on the makeup, the expression is usually smirky, and the crop is tight to the face. The final image will also be more retouched than the other style of headshots.

 

Laurie Morrison
MUA | Holly Decker
HAIR | Meaghan Carr

 

#5 PORTRAIT

The portrait is a far more artistic representation of yourself. When I take portraits of artists and people, they take place in the person’s habitat. I want you to think of the sculptor or painter in their studio, the cowboy and his horse, or the musician with their instrument. When I take portraits, I like the person to engage with the camera in the most natural way to give away the essence of the person and their craft.

 

Nicole Ostertag
MUA | Kaylee Smisko
HAIR | Mel Corkum
LOCATION | The Movement YXE

 

Now that you understand the different styles of headshots, give yourself some time to think about exactly what it is that you’re selling. Once you decide, talk to your photographer (or me!) and work together to create a look that represents YOU! The result will make a world of difference!


WHAt kind of headshot do you need? mention this blog post to save 10% (offer valid until march 31st).

Nicole.