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  • Writer's pictureCat Markel

Headshots vs. Branding Lifestyle Shots: Choosing the Right Photos for Your Brand




Ever scroll through Instagram and feel like everyone has their photo life figured out? Yeah, me too. But hold on....striking poses and picking the perfect pics doesn't have to be a mystery-especially when it comes to your professional image. Let's talk headshots vs. branding lifestyle shots – two popular choices to level up your online presence. I'll break down the key differences and who each style works best for, so you can choose the photos that make you shine (without the stress).


Headshots: A Classic for Professional Presence

Think of a headshot as your professional calling card. Typically, headshots are close-up portraits that showcase your face and upper body. The background is usually plain and neutral, ensuring the focus remains on you. A good headshot is....


Formal and polished: Headshots convey professionalism and competence. They're ideal for professional profiles on LinkedIn, business cards, websites, resumes, or company directories.

Consistent and clean: A headshot should offer a consistent visual across platforms. It's good practice to update your headshot every few years to reflect your current appearance.

Focus on the face:   Headshots are all about those subtle details. A warm smile? A confident gaze? These become your superpowers. This is where you audience meets you and decides who you are so show them you.



Who Needs Headshots?

Professionals: Everyone from lawyers and doctors to entrepreneurs and consultants can benefit from a professional headshot for their online profiles.

Speakers and presenters: If you frequently give presentations or attend industry events, a headshot is a must to create a strong first impression.

Anyone building a professional online presence: Whether you're freelancing or building your personal brand, a headshot projects professionalism and builds trust with potential clients or collaborators.


Branding Lifestyle Shots: Telling Your Story Through Action

Branding lifestyle shots go beyond just capturing your face. Lifestyle shots show you in action, living your brand life. They aim to tell your brand story showcasing your personality, work environment, and the overall "vibe" of your brand. These photographs bring you to life and create a connect between you and the viewer. Here's what sets them apart...


Storytelling and authenticity: Lifestyle shots capture you in action, interacting with your environment or products. This creates a more personal and relatable connection with your audience.

Brand cohesion: These photos should visually represent your brand identity, from color palettes and backdrops to props and clothing choices.

Variety and dynamism: Lifestyle shots can be more diverse, showcasing different aspects of your work, team, or creative process.


Who Needs Branding Lifestyle Shots?

Creatives and entrepreneurs: Branding lifestyle shots are perfect for designers, artists, photographers, or any business owner who wants to showcase their creative space or work process.

Service-based businesses: From consultants to coaches, lifestyle shots can depict client interactions, workshops, or the overall experience you offer.

Brands with a strong personality: If your brand is energetic, playful, or adventurous, lifestyle shots can effectively convey that essence to your audience.


Both headshots and branding lifestyle shots are important in building you as your brand. However, if you work in a more corporate setting, headshots may be the way to go. They offer a professional and polished look, ideal for building trust and credibility. If, on the other hand, you are a freelancer, independent worker, entrepreneur or small business owner, branding lifestyle shots will add another level to your image. They go deeper, allowing you to tell your brand story and connect with your audience on a more personal level, showcasing you and your personality.


Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs and goals. For a formal and professional presence, a headshot is the way to go. If you want to showcase your personality, work environment, or brand story, then branding lifestyle shots are your best bet. Of course, you can use both types of photography, allowing for a well-rounded online presence that not only introduces you to your followers and prospects but connects with them as well.





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