What is the difference between portrait and headshot photography?

FAQ: What is the difference between portrait and headshot photography?

While both portrait and headshot photography focus on capturing a person’s image, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Composition: In portrait photography, the subject is typically shown in a full or half-body shot, whereas in headshot photography, the subject’s head and shoulders are the primary focus. A portrait may show more of the subject’s environment or surroundings, while a headshot is more tightly cropped to focus on the subject.
  2. Purpose: The purpose of a portrait is to capture the subject’s character and personality, while a headshot is more focused on the subject’s professional image. Portraits can be more artistic and creative, while headshots are often more straightforward and functional.
  3. Lighting: While lighting is important in both types of photography, it is typically more dramatic and varied in portrait photography, where the photographer may use more elaborate lighting setups to create a particular mood or effect. In headshot photography, the lighting is typically more even and natural-looking to create a clear, accurate representation of the subject.
  4. Retouching: Both portrait and headshot photography may involve some degree of retouching or post-processing, but headshots are typically retouched more extensively to ensure that the subject looks their best for professional purposes. This may involve smoothing skin, brightening eyes, and adjusting the color balance.

Overall, while there is some overlap between portrait and headshot photography, the two types of photography have different goals and techniques, and are suited to different types of subjects and purposes.


A fantastic session from one of the best and friendliest photographers around. The rates are cheap and also competitive for such amazing professionalism. I would whole heartily recommend considering Mark for anyone’s headshots and always do.

Our goal is to achieve a range of looks and styles for all our individual clients.

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