A “headshot” generally refers to a photograph used as a profile image, usually for corporate reasons. There are many kinds of headshot styles and its important to communicate which style you would like to have, to your photographer. We have compiled the four most important headshot styles that any working professional might need. Each of these styles are suitable for different reasons. Let’s have a look!
1. The Traditional Corporate Studio Headshot with Flash
This style usually uses a plain white, black, or grey background with strong artificial lighting from an external flash. It creates a crisp and professional look which is great for businesses and industries that need to maintain a very corporate and business-like image. Some people prefer a textured background that still maintains the plain black look as shown below. It makes the image look more dramatic. These are variations of the traditional corporate headshot style for those who need it. However, it doesn’t mean that all corporate headshots need to look like this.
2. The Natural Light Corporate Studio Headshot
This style uses natural light instead of a flash. The person is positioned near a window with natural light streaming in. We have sheer white curtains at our studio. Drawing these curtains helps to diffuse harsh light, allowing just the right amount of light to come through.
This headshot style makes you look more natural and approachable because it captures how people see you in real life, with real light! This style works well for companies and business professionals with a brand personality that is approachable and relatable to their stakeholders, customers, and community. We have different coloured backgrounds available in the studio for you to experiment with. It doesn’t always have to be white or black.
3. The Semi-Casual Lifestyle Headshot
As you can see, these headshots involve more than just the person. The use of props, textures, complementing colours, and certain furniture, helps to create a more everyday lifestyle look and feel. It can be taken at our studio or even at your home if you have suitable indoor space with natural light.
This headshot style captures a person looking more relaxed and at ease, even while maintaining a professional look. It can also involve the use of work-related props to tell a story or reveal a bit about what your profession is. Used these photos for your personal website, a magazine article that you might be featured in, or just as social media content for your platform. Photos like these are great for people whose jobs directly involve building good relationships with people and improving a person’s life: coaches, educationists, health and beauty, consultants, and more.
4. The Outdoor Headshot
The Outdoor Headshot is similar to the natural light headshot, but taken outdoors. Because it relies on natural light, the best time of day to take a shot like this would be whenever the sunlight isn’t harsh. That’s usually between 7am – 9am and 5pm – 7pm (based on Malaysian sunrise and sunset times). This can be with your corporate outfit or a casual outfit. Plain colours (neutral or bright) instead of patterns are best so that any patterns or objects in the background don’t compete for attention with what you’re wearing. We use a very high depth of field camera setting which creates a “bokeh” effect in the background for most outdoor shots. This puts the focus more on you so your background setting becomes secondary.
Photos that are taken with greenery in the background like this one, give a natural, fresh, and casual look. If you take it with a cityscape setting, that can look very exciting as well. The options are endless! We just have to hope the weather is on our side on the day of the shoot.
We hope this is helpful. The next time you get your headshot taken, you can refer to this post to communicate clearly with your photographer. Photos are subjective so its always good to show your photographer an example of what you have in mind beforehand.