Bridget Corke Photography
Home »
Headshots Vs Portrait

Headshot vs Portrait

Although the terms "headshot" and "portrait" are often used interchangeably, they have distinct differences in purpose, composition, and usage.

Here is a breakdown of the key differences.



Primarily for professional uses such as business profiles, acting portfolios, corporate websites, social media profiles like LinkedIn, and sometimes for promotional materials.

To identify the subject's face with a neutral or professional expression.


Headshots focus on the head and shoulders of the subject.

Typically, it has a plain or blurred background to ensure the face is the central focus.

Emphasis is on capturing a clear, detailed, and flattering image of the face.


Professional and corporate environments.

Where a clear and direct representation of the person's appearance is important.



It is more artistic and used for various purposes, including personal, creative, or editorial.

It aims to capture the subject's personality, mood, and essence, often telling a story or conveying an emotion.


It can include the head, shoulders, and sometimes the entire body.

Allows for creative license and freedom with backgrounds, lighting, and poses.

It can be taken in various settings, such as outdoors, in a studio, or in a specific environment that adds to the narrative.


Personal collections, editorial spreads, artistic galleries, family albums and creative projects.

They are used where the context and environment add to the understanding or impact of the subject.


Headshot: Focuses on the face, used for professional purposes, neutral background, simple composition.

Portrait: It can include more of the body, be used for artistic or personal purposes, have a creative background and composition, and convey more personality and storytelling.


© 2005 -2024 Bridget Corke Photography

Blairgowrie, 2194, SOUTH AFRICA

International Master's in portrait photography from The Portrait Masters, one of only two in Africa. +27828814044