I guess the first question to clear up is ‘what is a headshot?’ For most people there is a tangible difference between a headshot and a portrait, therefore it is important to clarify this at the beginning. The content below is drawn from Wikipedia because I couldn’t have put it much better:
A head shot or headshot is a specific type of portrait (usually a photograph) that realistically demonstrates a person’s appearance for branding or casting. Many head shots are promotional pictures of actors, models, authors. Headshots could be a portrait of a face or full body with a background that clearly illustrate the personality inside the person photographed.
Modeling head shots or comp cards, sometimes also called tear sheets, are a compilation of images for casting in one sheet with a résumé of work, name and relevant statistics. They are often done in color; however in some jurisdictions, such as the UK, they may be in black-and-white. Models often use them for castings and modeling work applications. A close-up head shot is often required to show a model’s skin complexion for beauty work.
Corporate head shots are portraits often produced digitally and used for engaging in social media, the ‘about us’ page and industry specialty sites. A headshot or head shot is often used for branding and to showcase the business leader’s life, style and personality while corporations will use the headshot to merge branding between the people working for them and its agency. Traditional head shots are still taken in a studio setting, though shots “on-location” or “in-the-field” continue to increase in popularity. In both cases, backgrounds tend to be simple. Subjects are often shown head-to-chest or head-to-torso.
Source – Wikipedia
So, in essence a headshot is a subset of portraiture, usually simpler in form, often with a plain background. We shoot both portraits and headshots, occasionally the line between becomes blurred.
Headshot Photography Options
Although we don’t print and frame in-house and we rarely do work for non-commercial end-use we do get asked to deal with both (See FAQ’s).
Our photos are generally supplied in both hi-res and lo-res forms and are created for different applications. We will support clients who are uncertain about handling files.
For most clients a simple white, black or neutral background will allow full expression of their headshot. Many of our sittings will allow a variety of these options, our, folio pages serve to highlight the differing feel of the resulting images.
Some clients prefer an outdoors setting or maybe have a specific location in mind although with these shoots the end results may be more of a portrait than a pure headshot.
Headshot Photography Applications
Our headshots are generally, though not exclusively for commercial use and we are geared up to deliver:
Photos to accompany press releases
Photographs for theatrical agents
Photographs for modelling agents
Corporate photos to use on profiles
Corporate portraits for websites