Headshot vs. Brand Photography - Which is Right For You?

I need a new headshot, but I keep seeing, hearing, and reading about brand photography. Brand this and brand that! I want new portraits and someone to help me get them.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry, we have you covered. We have included a few differences on Headshot Photos vs. Branding Photography below or give us a call, and we will help guide you to the portraits that best fit your need and desire to engage with your customers, employers, or partners.

What is a Headshot Portrait?

As the name would suggest, it is generally a portrait of your head. Headshots usually stick to the shoulders up; however, they may go three-quarters or full length depending on the session and message you want to send. The purpose of your headshot is to communicate that friendly, welcoming smile to the world. It is your first impression (See: Top 5 Reasons Your LinkedIn Profile Matters).

Where headshots and brand portraits are similar is that they both need to be “on brand“. Meaning they should represent you and your personal brand as well as your business brand. A headshot in a suit when you’re a Chef with branding photos in an apron, on location at your restaurant, isn’t on brand. Keep them consistent.
Ever see the term Business Portraits? Yep, that’s just a headshot, don’t let us photogs confuse you with fancy language.


Who needs a headshot or business portrait, or professional headshot?

Everyone! If you have any presence online, may be seeking employment (now or in the future), are a solopreneur, entrepreneur, business owner, hustler.

Teams can also be included in the headshot category. Check out our team headshot rates here. Ensure consistency in your brand with a team headshot session by your professional photographer, and ensure you have photos in the format(s) that work best for web vs. print.

Sacramento Headshot Photographer

What is Branding Photography?

Well, let’s start with what defines a brand. My favorite definition from Websters: a public image, reputation, or identity conceived of as something to be marketed or promoted”.

Branding photography should focus on purposefully shaping customer and client perceptions.

Brand portraits are often more specific to small business owners, entrepreneurs, content creators, and artists. You and your team are your brand. How you show up online and in social interactions determines your image and reputation. Your branding photography session is planned and designed to speak to your ideal customer and help differentiate you from others by showing who you are, how you work, what you offer, and the value you give your clients and customers.

Beyond a headshot, your brand represents you in your environment. Often planned on location and shot to tell a story. It’s a peek behind the scenes of your business and what your customers, clients, prospects can expect when engaging with you. Images of you engaging with a customer, your team preparing your product, and pictures of your product, all sell the story.

Build trust, tell your story with good branding portraits.

Headshot vs. Brand
Sacramento Branding Photographer

Other Key Differences Between a Headshot and Brand Portrait

Headshot sessions generally last between 15-45 minutes, where branding sessions can last hours and spread across multiple days and locations.

Another key difference is the investment, naturally. Headshot sessions vary across the region. Individual headshot sessions with us start at $297. While branding session rates are highly dependent on what we are creating, most sessions run between $2,000 to $5,000. See our rates here.

Ultimately, what you need is dependent on what you do for a living and the story you want to tell. Branding portraits are an investment in your business, helping to elevate your marketing efforts and shape your future customers’ expectations.

Give us a call or shoot us a note here, and we will help you along your journey to the portraits you need.

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