Headshots versus Branding Photos: Which One Do You Need?

Headshot of roller derby player

Many different terms are thrown around in the world of business photography. We often hear about headshots, branding images, behind-the-scenes photos, and more. How do you keep them all straight and know what you even need? As you likely know, the way you present yourself online can make a significant impact on your business. The photography you use in your marketing influences how your people see you.  So how do you know the difference between professional headshots and branding photos? And how do you know which to choose?

What is a professional headshot?

A professional headshot is a simple, straightforward photo of your face. Traditionally, you’ll see headshots taken from the waist up on a neutral background. It’s often used for social media profiles, business cards, email signatures, and other professional materials. The goal is to present yourself in a polished and professional manner. In a typical headshot session, you’ll receive a handful of similar images that you will use interchangeably. 

professional headshot of woman with curly hair and glasses smiling at the camera

Branding Photo Session Defined

On the other hand, branding photography entails a more extensive photo session that captures a variety of images that align with your personal brand. This can include photos of you in different settings, such as your office or a location representing your work. It can also include lifestyle shots that showcase your personality and interests. A branding photo session aims to tell a story about who you are and what you do. At the end, you will have various images you can use across different platforms, such as your website, social media, and marketing materials.

Service dog waits alone patiently for trainer in branding photo session

How to Choose

So, how do you know which one you need? It depends on your needs and the image you want to present. If you’re just starting out and need an Instagram or Facebook profile photo, a professional headshot may be the way to go. It is simple, affordable, and makes you look like the badass you are. 

Headshot of smiling woman standing in the doorway of her office space

However, a branding photo session may be the better choice if you’re looking to create a more comprehensive, authentic image of yourself and your brand. Having a photographer to capture planned, well-thought-out photos of your business, you create months’ worth of content that invites potential customers into your world. 

Close-up photo of massage therapist working on the temples and forehead of a client during branding photo session

Most photographers will offer simple headshot sessions, but it takes a true storyteller to master great brand photography. When selecting a photographer, it is crucial to research their experience in branding photos. An excellent professional photographer will help you figure out what type of photo shoot is best for you, and will guide you through the process of getting the perfect shot.

The Bottom Line

Of course, we’re biased, but we believe you can never have too many amazing photos of yourself doing what you love. Branding sessions are the perfect way to show off what you do, how you do it, and why you love it. So, when you’re ready to take your marketing to the next level, contact us, and let’s talk!