• Introduction
  • What is a headshot?
  • What is a portrait?
  • Headshot vs. Portrait. What’s the difference?
  • The importance of a photographer
  • Conclusion

Headshot vs. Portrait Photography

There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.

—Ansel Adams

Have you ever thought of that beautiful lady on her influencer’s posts being somehow superficial? … or of that bodybuilder being quite “a narrow,” showing off but muscled mass? Well, let me tell you: portraits and headshots are a brain thing. Portraits and headshots are so powerful that chances are that when somebody mentions to you a person, especially a wide-known one, the very image of how this person looks crosses your mind. What you most probably ignore is that cognitive memory prefers snapping still images rather than images in movement and this explains the fact that people are more predisposed to note people who remain still. Think about it—no matter how smart or basic you think you are, how young or old, in any building you enter, you may localize with exactitude people who remain still with amazing precision such as the security guards or the attention center, and everybody moving around will be ignored by your memory as “irrelevant” or as “not important” unless you possess a unique photographic memory.

A picture taken by an artist behind the lenses is a memorable experience that not simply immortalizes a person in the eyes of the viewer: it also helps your brain 1. sculpture your perceptions, 2. determine what attracts you or not, 3. broaden perspectives of how life is in its limitless variations and sophisticated ways of human-built, personality, and expression. Pictures allow us to grow. Pictures allow us to impose a self-correctional attitude for undeniably we look at others in four cases: what those people in the picture mean to us in our personal lives; how those people affect us in our professional lives; how those people relate to our perception for “who we are”; and, how relevant memorizing their face is to either our survival or success.

  • What is a headshot?

A headshot is a subtype of a portrait which seeks to make the subject identifiable and represented in a good way, usually with a glance of confidence or artistic individuality. Its goal is to make the person marketable, so to speak, to tell as many good attributes about the subject as possible in a single shot. Models, actors, and public figures such as speakers and business negotiators are required to add a headshot in their resume, and it’s better to be good because the opportunity often lands in the lap of those who cause a good first impression. Besides, recruiters rarely pay a second glance to the very same resume unless remarkably modified, which with modern AI-Based Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS systems) is reduced to fewer chances since the selection process allows Human Resources (HR) to discard you automatically in the next processes.

Let’s not confuse a headshot with an ID photograph like the one in your work badge or your passport. A headshot is an artistic augment of your physical appearance on the adequate background in a way that doesn’t conceal your identity. Let me explain it to you: if you have a scar, the headshot must show it. It also must be frequently updated so it shows how you really look as of the most recent date, and many talent selection agencies make you even sign that pictures being submitted are no older than a month or three. Headshots must show your head at shoulder’s height but some requirements may state that a close-up headshot is needed as in the case with models who work for cosmetic firms that depend largely on selecting candidates with the very concrete skin complexion and particularities.

  • What is a portrait?

In the strict sense of the word, a portrait is “a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders; denoting a format of printed matter which is higher than it is wide.” 1

Ever since the invention of photography, the main subject of this art form has been the human figure, and never before having a professional portrait has been so affordable to the masses. A portrait gives the photographer more creative freedom for it isn’t even strictly necessary that the subject looks at the camera. Serving no strict bureaucratic purpose, a portrait is a piece of art and can have a range of possible lengths: full length, half-length, three quarters, etc.

  • The Importance of a Photographer

Whether you are a model, an actor, an influencer, a speaker, or a star of any other kind, a headshot is a very first important thing in your portfolio that sets forth your personal branding. It allows the recruiter, talent scout, or casting directors to decide what role you can get in production much before your personal talent being tested for, even when some prefer to deny it, the world functions on sympathies, and most of the time we assume that if you have paid to have your headshot professionally taken, you will value higher opportunities and will put more effort into defending your position once given the chance.

High-rank executives and politicians are two categories apart from other society members, left aside royal families and people of noble lineage. Taking successful corporate headshots is an art that largely depends on the photographer’s capacity to see how to underline this self-branding that has to emanate from a picture—Lost Arts Studios is very conscious of that. We don’t take mug shots: we take your headshots, showing your authentic self with small liberty of posing. While still looking at the camera, we do not force you to be in the exact center of the frame but do make sure that you are identifiable on a simple glance.

  • Headshot vs. Portrait. What’s the difference?

Whereas the headshot is a picture of one person, portraits can be of a couple or a group of persons.

  • Conclusion

Both headshots and portraits are a form of establishing your personal brand more effectively than a mere verbal description or a few-pages resume. A famous English adage says “a picture is worth a thousand words” for this kind of self-expression can often translate complex and sometimes multiple ideas of “who you are” or “what you do” by a single still image, and showing to the world more than meets the eye is what Lost Art Studios specializes in.

You are unique. Your striking, playful, solemn, and ultimately unique persona deserves our professional attention, and we are here for you to take that headshot or portrait. Making sure that your image in the social media or corporate profiles is taken in the very best professional way, Lost Art Studios anticipates how the human eye perceives traits of uniqueness and beauty and will do our best to immortalize the reflection of your beautiful soul without stealing it from you.

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