What’s the Difference Between Headshots and Personal Branding Photography?

Headshots, Personal Branding

What’s the Difference Between Headshots and Personal Branding Photography?

Understanding the difference between headshots and personal branding photography will help you decide what’s right for your business. Most of us will know exactly what a headshot is, but what about personal branding? Whatever you decide is the best fit for you, I make it my priority to take time to really connect with you, understand your business and help you relax so that your shoot is enjoyable which will result in great images!

Choosing Between Headshots and Personal Branding Photography

If your need for images is fairly minimal or you work as part of a team in a larger company, headshots might be perfect for you. These are simple head and shoulders portraits to help your clients recognise you and get a feel for who you are before you meet. It’s worth having more than one so that you can bring variety to your online presence.

In contrast, if you are a solopreneur and you’ll want to take your customers on a journey and give them an insight into who you are and what you do. Having a beautiful gallery of on-brand images will help you do that so you’ll always have something to post and share. This is what personal branding or brand photography is all about – telling the story of who you are, what you do/make, perhaps your environment and showing your ideal customers how you do it brilliantly! Infusing personality into your images is important and there are ways to do that creatively without you feeling self-conscious.

How To Decide What Images You Need For Your Business

Let’s make a plan.  Your answers to the following questions will shape the personality and vibe that your images bring to your business and brand so that you and your business really shine!

  1. What is the purpose of the images you need? What do they need to achieve for your business? What do they need to achieve for you – can they elevate your perception of yourself in the marketplace?
  2. How do you want to educate your customers about what you do? How do you want them to feel when they interact with your brand and do business with you?
  3. What’s the overall vibe you’re going for?  Formal, relaxed, quirky, stylish, creative, irreverent, fresh – or something else? Your brand words (3-5 words that capture the essence and vibe of your business) will help here. How can your choice of location and what you wear align with your brand?
  4. Is there an obvious story or client journey you want to communicate to your customers? Do you make a product and want to show the process and care that goes into creating it?
  5. Consider where and how your images will be used. Do you need specific aspect ratios for sharing on socials or wider images for website banners for example? Do you need to incorporate negative space for text or a logo? Having an idea of what images you need for specific pages on a website, PDF magazine or upcoming promotions will bring focus to a shoot.


A simple headshot has multiple uses, not least on social media platforms where they usually appear within a circle.  A studio setting will give a clean, polished look. 

Personal Branding

If your business is focussed around you as an individual and the services you offer, then your images will need to feature you more! Julie is a fellow photographer and wanted some fresh personal branding images to use in her marketing. Naturally, as a portrait photographer, her images have more of a ‘portrait’ feel to them which is reflected in the choice of wardrobe, lighting and the painted canvas backdrop:

The following personal branding images were created for holistic coach, Isabel Gondar. Using an outside location was important to her:

Brand Photography

Brand photography is all about showing the personality and vibe of your business through your visuals. Wouldn’t it be great if your brand was instantly recognisable because you have original, on-brand images that are true to you and your business’ personality? Brand photography will tend to have a balance between images of people and images of your environment and what you do or create.

The brand images below were for Huntleys, a property agency in Loughborough and included headshots of the team and various images to use on their website. They have a great-looking space and it was important to incorporate that in their images:

If you have a creative business, you may be after some brand photography that tells more of a story of who you are and what you create.  The images below are a snapshot of a portfolio I did for Naomi Sisson when she launched her fabric and homewares company, Seed Home Designs.  I photographed her outside where she seeks her inspiration and does initial sketches before designing her beautiful fabrics. People love to see the process of what you do so don’t be afraid to show it!

Logo designed by Naomi Sisson

If you need some fresh, new images of you and your business then do get in touch to discuss your ideas!



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