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Difference Between a Headshot and a Brand Photography Session: The Ultimate Guide

May 15, 2022

Molly, the owner and chief dreamer at Molly Hebda Photography, has a passion for helping creative, purpose-driven women in business feel seen with confidence and strength. Without compromising their femininity.

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Did you know there is a difference between headshots and brand images?⁠

They go hand in hand, but they are very different and are used very differently across your business platforms. ⁠

⁠What is a headshot?

HEADSHOTS are a professional portrait of you and your staff. A good headshot will show your personality and the vibe you want your ideal clients, and your colleagues to see. ⁠

⁠Where do you use your headshots?

Think of a headshot as your way to introduce yourself to the world. ⁠A visual handshake if you will. Your profile pictures on social media are your first introduction to many of your clients, colleagues, and those researching companies to work with, so you will want to add your headshot to these first.

  • Social media profiles
  • Website about me
  • Podcasts
  • Interview marketing
  • Social media post introducing you
  • Email signature

Think of a headshot as your way to introdce yourself to the world. ⁠A visual handshake if you will.

Molly Hebda

Different types of headshots

When a client asks for a headshot, I typically will ask them to describe or show me examples of what they are looking for. Your description and mine may differ greatly and the definition of headshot has grown to include many different setups and crops. There are many different styles of headshots to choose from, it’s all up to you, and how you want to be seen in the world.

From traditional portraits to lifestyle portraits, from on-location to a simple backdrop or in an office setting. And from there the crop can vary from traditionally, just below the shoulders, to 1/2 length to 3/4 length and full body. You can also be standing, sitting on a chair or at your desk, or leaning on something like a stairwell or table. I personally think that there are so many more variations because so many smaller businesses are choosing to book brand photography sessions so the line is blurred. And I think that is ok. As long as you know why you need images, where you want to use them and the overall feeling you want to convey, you can get the headshot that will open the doors to meeting new clients.

Not just one image

With so many options of different types of headshots, I always suggest having a couple of different looks for your headshots so that there are variations of you on multiple platforms. A linked-in profile might be different than the feel of your personal social media posts and a speaking profile image will be different than the one on your company’s website. And of course, a dating app profile image should be different than your professional. Still all you, but the different sides of you. We as humans are multifaceted, so when you plan for your headshots, your images should help to showcase that too.

When you start to make a plan for your headshots and you find that you need more than a handful of images, in various situations, then that’s when we start to look at brand images.

Ready to book your headshot session? Join the waitlist here and we will notify you about our next available headshot dates.

⁠What are brand images?

BRAND IMAGES are more of a way to tell your and/or your business’s visual story. These images showcase what you do in your business and how you interact with your employees/customers. They show your products or how you conduct your services. It’s like a sneak peek into your and your company’s world. ⁠

Brand images help you build trust, create consistency across all of your online platforms and ultimately get you more engagement and higher sales. When people can see into your life and into the inner working of your company, they are able to connect with the people behind your name and logo. ⁠

If you throw up generic stock images that do not align with your values, your story, and with your personality, people will keep scrolling. Show them something unique, real and with real people, that’s when they see something special.

⁠It’s like a sneak peek into your and your company’s world. ⁠

Molly Hebda

Where do you use your brand images?

  • Website – different for each page built out
  • Social media cover images
  • Social media posts, stories
  • Brochures and marketing materials
  • Blog posts
  • Storefront and in-store posters
  • Packaging
  • Banners/Billboards
  • Courses
  • Newsletters

Different types of brand images

It’s important for us to take a deeper dive into your business values, goals, and your ideal client’s profiles when we are planning your brand photography session. When we do the homework and make a detailed plan for your images, it will help make sure you get the catalog of images that will help move your business forward.

Brand images can have a wide range of you representing the various parts you hold within the business and as a person. Images of you in your space, your space itself, you interacting with your physical products, creating/planning your virtual products, in various settings that will help you talk about the subjects from your content calendar. It can even be you with a plain backdrop so that you can communicate on topics and teachings. It can include clients, staff, and sometimes your family if they are part of your online story or simply just be you.

Not just a couple of photos

Many clients come to me with the idea that they want one or two photos for their business, but after digging deeper, what they really want is to have a bank of beautifully branded images that will help them easily show their audience who you are, why you do what you do, build trust and ultimately help them decide to work with you.

Each client and company are different. Some clients have been able to come to one shoot and utilize each of their images in multiple ways throughout a year or more. Other clients need more content throughout the year which can range from quarterly to monthly sessions, making sure they have a constant flow of updated images that help them with their launches and seasons.

Ready to talk about your brand photography session? Book a discovery call here!

Professional images of you matter

No matter what you do, remember that it is so important for you to show up in your business and on social media. People connect with people and if your audience sees you and is able to make a connection to the people that are your company, that will help you stand out amongst your competition who is also online. Adding the element of professional images to your business will help you look legit, and elevate that trust factor to your audience too. If you take yourself seriously, so will they. Plus, professional images will boost your own self-confidence and help you feel pride in sharing the amazing work that you are doing.

If you are above the hobby phase of your business, it is time to look like the professional that you are. Starting out with an approachable and powerful headshot will make your audience want to dig deeper and when they find beautiful brand images drawing them deeper into your social feed, website, and story, you will see how these two types of photography will help your business grow.

Interested in finding out if a headshot session or a brand photography session is right for you? Then sign up for a free discovery call and we can make sure that we are the right fit for your photos.

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On this podcast, host, Molly Hebda, and her brand photography clients as they cozy up on the emerald green couch to have fun, intimate conversations about their transformational journeys. These conversations are meant to inspire other women on their entrepreneurial journey, so they don’t feel so alone in their struggles, fears, and doubts. 

Mondays with Molly

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