If you are not sure about what makes a corporate headshot and what makes an editorial portrait, you aren’t alone.
In this article, we will discuss the key differences between both to help you decide what’s right for you.
What is in the Frame
Corporate headshots or professional headshots are specifically framed for the head and shoulders. Think of the profile image on LinkedIn and most other social platforms, the emphasis is much on the face. Editorial portraits tend to be framed more loosely and often in landscape however they can be framed any way. They can be full-body, waist-up, three-quarter body, or head and shoulders. Both types of portraits in some way tell a story or illuminate the person been photographed.
One of the major differences between a corporate headshot and an editorial portrait is what the images are used for. Professional headshots are commonly used for LinkedIn profiles, team pages for business and corporate websites. On the other hand, editorial portraits are used for magazines, press releases, about me pages, blogs, etc.
Mood and Feel
Headshots are about introducing yourself to the observer while editorial portraits are about telling a story.
The corporate headshots in Sydney we take at Hero Shot Photography or out on location normally have a relaxed feel and the subject often smiles. This is because the subject most often needs to communicate a message to the observer like trust, friendliness or approachability. They tend to appeal more to the logical side of the brain to create a sense of familiarity with a person and this information is often registered in a fraction of a second. Editorial portraits, on the other hand convey a message of emotion and create a feeling. The subject(s) can look directly at the camera or away engaging in some kind of activity.
Lighting can completely change the story of the image. The lighting for corporate headshots is often softer and natural. The subject’s face is the focus and softer shadows can help create a flattering and less dramatic look, normally a good thing if you’re just introducing yourself to someone. Compared to headshots, editorial portraits often have dramatic lighting to draw a viewer’s attention. However, the lighting can also be soft, experimental, or anything that the photographer chooses to get the desired mood or effect to sell the narrative. Further artistic effects can be obtained using accessories or props like glass, mirrors and coloured lights or gels to add more layers of visual interest.
Background and Foreground
A headshot is about locking the attention of the observer on the subject’s face. This is why the corporate headshots taken in our Sydney studio have a neutral, clean or lightly textured background whilst those taken outside have a blurry background. The background and foreground in an editorial portrait allow to enrich it so an increased depth of field (focus) is often beneficial. These images also have more visual elements that contribute to the story or message it needs to convey placing a much greater emphasis on angles and composition.