What Is Headshot Photography and What Are the Benefits?

head shot photography, professional headshots, career advancement photography, Emily Shafer Photography, WV, West Virginia, Charleston

Do you need a headshot for your business or personal website? Are you wondering what headshot photography is and what its benefits are? Headshots are a type of portrait photography that are typically used for business or professional purposes. They differ from traditional portraits in that they focus on the head and shoulders of the subject, rather than the entire body. Here we will discuss what headshot photography is, the difference between a headshot and a portrait, and the top 5 reasons to get professional headshots with a reputable and experienced photographer.

What Is Headshot Photography? What's the Difference Between a Portrait and a Headshot?

Portrait photography is an umbrella term for capturing a subject who may or may not be looking at the camera. This can include whole-body photography or a wider lens on the client in general. In contrast, a headshot is defined as the type of portrait that is a close-up of the face, neck, and shoulders in which the subject is typically looking right at the camera. This is the type of portrait often reserved for professionals interested in advancing their careers—from models and actors to real estate agents and entrepreneurs.

What Are the Top 5 Reasons to Get Professional Headshots?

Here at Emily Shafer Photography, we pride ourselves on taking high-quality headshots that help our clients achieve a wide array of goals. Our specialized headshots can do everything from providing a confidence boost to helping you advance your career! Here are the top five reasons to invest in professional headshots:

1.     Instantly become more professional and credible: No matter what line of work you’re in currently, it’s tough to deny that most markets are incredibly competitive at the moment—between a fluctuating economy and the aftereffects of the pandemic. As such, you’ll need every tool in your belt to make yourself stand out from a sea of competitors. Providing potential clients and collaborators with a picture of your face not only introduces them to you without saying a word, but it also indicates that you are proud enough of your work to associate it with your name and your face. This makes you seem more professional and credible in the eyes of both prospective clients and future employers!

2.     Build your brand: What do you bring to the table in your field that is unique to your values? Professional headshots can be an opportunity to express those values and communicate a message to your contemporaries and future customers, beyond simply capturing your face. In fact, building your brand this way gives clients a sense of what to expect from your services while building a strong reputation brick by brick.

3.     Advance your career through online profiles and professional connections: In an age where social media plays such a large role in connecting us with career opportunities, potential collaborators, and plenty of high-drive employers, it’s important to build your online presence in addition to your brand. When was the last time you updated your webpage or professional networking profile with a quality headshot? Make it easier on yourself when it comes time to start conversations with other professionals in your field by looking the part and investing in your career in this way.

4.     It’s a reason to look and feel your best: Let’s face it—the role of a photographer is to capture their subject at their honest best. Whether that involves controlled lighting, suggested poses and guidance, or even retouching, having your headshots taken can be a great way to feel great in your own skin and celebrate how far you’ve come! We could all use a little ego boost every now and then, right?

5.     You can use headshots for personal gain, too: There’s no rule saying that headshots have to be for professional applications only. Are you trying to get back into the world of dating but want to be taken seriously as a life partner? Headshots on your dating profile suggest that you are not only professionally-driven but willing to invest in yourself as well—attractive qualities for potential mates. Set the bar high with a professional headshot! Anyone can take a quick bathroom selfie.

what is headshot photography, benefits of professional headshots, Emily Shafer Photography, West Virginia, Charleston, WV

Can You Use a Selfie as a Headshot?

While it is technically possible to achieve a similar portrait frame and camera awareness with the average selfie, you would be hard-pressed to recreate studio-quality portraits with the average cell phone camera. When it comes to moving your career forward, celebrating the hurdles you’ve overcome, and investing in your brand, why would you want second-rate photos that will likely come off as cheap and unprofessional?

Of course, you can use whatever pictures you like to promote your brand and your career—we won’t judge! But we find that studio-quality headshots are often received with more gravitas and professionally-driven inquiry, and have a better chance at clearly sharing your best self to those in your field without ever saying a word. It’s fun to take selfies, but there is a time and a place for personal photos and high-quality professional portraits…so pick your battles!

Professional Headshot Photography With Emily Shafer Photos

So what do you think? Are you ready to invest in yourself and your career with professional headshot photography? Whether you capture these portraits as a celebration of a recent achievement or as a way to look forward toward brighter career options, a good headshot can sometimes mean the difference between an engaged prospective employer and one unwilling to take a chance on a faceless application. Why not give yourself every advantage possible to further your career and achieve your dreams?

Emily Shafer Photography specializes in headshot photography for professional career development. With years of experience, she will help guide your poses, suggest movement and wardrobe, and capture you in the best possible light so you can share your professional photos with confidence! Want to know more? Contact us today for booking options!