Different Types of Headshots PART TWO

different types of headshots

Watch  This Episode of Mwah TV

In this video, I’m gonna talk you through the five different types of headshots photography PART TWO.

Understanding these differences is gonna give you the right information so that you can find the perfect headshots photographer for your business needs.

If you’ve been researching headshots photography recently and you’re a little bit confused as to how there are so many different types and styles and names for all of these headshots, this is the episode for you.READ PART ONE HERE

What are the 5 Different Types of Headshot? PART TWO

We’re gonna dive into all of the five categories of different types of headshots so that you’re in a much better position when it comes to finding the right headshots photographer for you. You’re gonna feel a lot more in control on how you’re gonna debrief your headshots photographer.

And let’s face it, with this new information, you can dazzle people at the next cocktail party you’re at. You never know, you might book work if you’re in the creative industries and people are gonna swoon at your new different types of headshots knowledge!


Now, this was the hot buzzword a little while before branded headshots became the buzzword. But actually, these two types of headshots are very different. The lifestyle headshot, is similar to the branded headshot session, in that it takes some of its prompts from a composition point of view, but there’s a lot more of an emotional space, so the lense is expanded and we’re looking a lot more at the emotional side of the person within the headshot.

What to expect from a Lifestyle Headshot

Think about Barack Obama hanging out with Michelle and the kids and a beautiful picnic. Of course, they’re still perfectly on message, their clothes are beautifully clean, the picnic is wonderfully prepared. But as a result of looking at these images, you’re gonna see, the former president, in a whole new family light. There’s a good chance that you’re gonna be endeared to him as a father and as a husband, not just as a politician, and that could potentially affect your voting decision. That is the place of a very carefully orchestrated lifestyle headshot. A lifestyle headshot shows you on the edges of your branding message. So you’re almost forcing yourself a little more out of context of a very specific and focused business message that you’re gonna get from a branded headshot. Lifestyle headshots like this, usually mark a single occasion.

So you might wanna think about this style of headshot to mark a certain milestone in your business or to show a very clear part of you on the edge of your personal branding message. These types of photos need to be replenished quite regularly though.

With lifestyle headshots, you’re gonna see a lot more of the photographers’ personal style and approach to headshot photography. So you might notice the stuff they shoot in the same sort of lighting and exposure. They might like to go to the same sort of venue and location maybe they’re they have a love affair with the beach, so they like to photograph people on the beach. You’re gonna know is there’s a very a lot more of a coherence when it comes to the colour ray and the type of focus they use in their pictures as well. Think about the lifestyle headshots photographer who specialises in working with just mummy bloggers, and they have great child photography skills as well, so they know how to capture mummy and baby, or mother and child headshots photography in a really beautiful, bright, colourful way. Or maybe there’s a photographer out there who is a pet enthusiast they love dogs. So they are the person that you go to for the lifestyle headshot of you with your hound. These niche down photographers exist and they are incredibly good at what they do because they’ve specialised in such a way.

Let’s take a look at one of my Lifestyle Headshot Examples…

different types of headshots
Shot by Laura Pearman Photography

So in this image, you see Helen, she’s also known as Fitness With Helen, and she wanted to get a lot more of lifestyle vibe in her headshot session. So what we had some of her real-life clients come down to the beach, to catch up with us after we had done some personal individual shots that were a lot more in branded headshot style of Helen.

And here’s she is, she was literally going through one of the routines that she does with her clients when they’re booking a mini session with her on the beach. And this is what it feels like to enjoy spending time with Helen, as well as hang out with maybe your friends or some of your siblings when you go and work out together. It’s a lot more emotional. And although it’s not completely on the edges of Helen’s lifestyle message, it is definitely in the vein of lifestyle headshots photography.  


Number four is no, that’s a portrait, not a headshot. A portrait, actually says very little about the subject. In the simplest and raw form.

What to expect from a Portrait

Think about a passport photo. It’s you at that moment, nothing more, nothing less. Usually on a plain white backdrop. Moving right through to its most considered iteration. The photographer is trying to get you to ask a question or think a certain way about the subject. They wanna talk the microphones on them when they create their portrait. When it’s all about the creator’s voice, it’s all about their message. Now, that could be a huge honour, if that photographer is well known for raising certain questions or talking about things in a way that you feel an affinity to. But if it’s a photographer who likes to push the envelope, and is a little bit more taboo, it could potentially be quite damaging to use that shot in a headshots context.

What I see most commonly though, is a really well-shot portrait photo being used in the wrong way, and it’s basically just a pretty picture of you that says nothing about who you are and what you do in business, so you shouldn’t be using that shot for commercial gains.

Let’s take a look at one of my examples of a Portrait…

different types of headshots
Shot by Laura Pearman Photography

Here’s Louise, she is a very successful English literature lecturer. She likes vintage styling and enjoys alternative entertainment. So a cool example I have this is a story I remember her telling me while we were doing this shoot, that she was once an extra in a zombie film so she got all zombied up. How cool is that? You see none of Louise’s professional message because we’ve shot her here in the style of the famous portrait of Rosie the Riveter. This was shot back in my days of when I used to do vintage pinups, and shoots like this are always on a real scream.


Cast and crew headshots are most prevalent in show business, but you’ll also find it in the professional world as well as in the sports arena.

What to expect from Cast n Crew Headshots

When I think about this, I like to think of the uniform collection of headshots that I see at the beginning of my theatre programme when I go to the ballet or think about wintertime when the Strictly stars are all announced and you see their glitzy ballroom headshots with their professional dance partner. In another world though, you might well see an event organiser who has all of their speakers’ headshots done in a certain style to set the tone and mood for that event. Or in sports, you might think of Iron Man or the Champions League. Now that team member shot of Cristiano Ronaldo that flashes up, doesn’t tell you anything about his work and charity, or his latest endorsement. Is purely to show what position he’s gonna be playing at the start of the match.

Let’s take a look at one of my examples of Cast n Crew Headshots…

different types of headshots
Shot by Laura Pearman Photography

This is an extract from a much wider collection of team members shots I did for a training company called Northeast Training Solutions a few years ago. To make sure that the full team looked uniform. I shot each of them in the exact same style and lighting. So when you visit the About Us page, you’re gonna get a very uniform look of who works there. 

Learn more about my approach to Branded Headshots  

In this episode of Mwah TV, I mentioned my preferred approach to headshots photography.  You can see how I do this in more detail by taking a copy of my latest services here.  I’ll send a copy to your inbox. 

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You can head directly to the Business Headshots Gallery to see an array of my clients’ results and get ideas for how you would like to shoot with me for yourself. GALLERIES

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