412-370-4520 jen@jenworley.com

Headshot or Full Length?


Full Length

Today it is very popular on bio pages to use a full length image of the person with in the article or off to the one side. It creates an interesting modern approach. Since we see the entire body, it has more of an active look. The downside though is that it is kind of like seeing someone on the far side of the room. It is not a good distance if we want to connect or feel connected to the person. Some photographers like the look because they are quicker to take, just having a person move around and take a lot of photos and then let the person pick one out on their own later. Also little photoshop work is needed because the face is smaller. Some people look good full length, but if a person is over weight they may not feel comfortable and the impression could just be that that person is overweight.

Head and Shoulder

This has been the standard business portrait for many years. It has more of a traditional look and is not as “active” as the full length. Since it is much closer to the person’s face, the photography is far more critical. The body position and in particular the head position is far more important. If the nose is up a 1/4 inch too much it can look snobby, off center it can look suspicious. Too much smile they can look silly and if the head is bent the wrong way, weird. It takes more time to do a really good head shot and photoshop is critical. However if you want to really connect with you client, this is ideal. Again it is like looking at someone across the room who will not go over, and having a personal conversation face to face.

Several things are needed.

Time: It normally takes more time to get the head pose just right and experiment with smiles, and non-smiles (a warm look though).

Selection consultation: Next a good photography will not leave the selection up to the person but will take the time (sometimes it takes more time to select the right photo than to take the picture) to give the client the professional assistance to find the best photo and also discuss any concerns and needed photoshop work. Photoshop: Everyone needs it. And the photographer will do whatever it takes to make the person look good.