Lifestyle Sessions vs. Headshots: What’s the Difference?

September 11, 2019  •  1 Comment

Lifestyle Sessions vs. Headshots: What's the Difference? | Photos by Cheryl Photos by Cheryl - Lifestyle Sessions vs. Headshots: What's the Difference? With the rise of casual business photos and social media in this digital age, how you present yourself as a professional is changing. Did you know that there is a term for appearing as more casual while also being professional? This style of photography is becoming well-known as a ‘lifestyle session’ or ‘lifestyle photography’.

Today, I’d like to help you better understand the choice in how you can appear in your business’s profile and photos online. Learn what the difference between a standard headshot is versus a lifestyle session, and why more and more people are leaning toward the latter.

Professional Headshots

A headshot is a portrait that focuses on the person in the photo. The term applies to actors, models, and authors, as well as professionals and CEOs. The intention is to show the person as they appear currently, reflecting their best qualities while professionally posed by the photographer either in the office or in a studio. 

With business headshots for corporations, the image is to convey the individual’s or a corporation’s brand identity. The corporation usually chooses a simplified background for all its headshots, while an individual may choose action, experience, or background objects to best communicate their brand. Corporations and other businesses may have a manual for the type and style of headshot they require. 

Other uses of headshots include:

  • LinkedIn personal and publisher profiles
  • Facebook business pages
  • About Us pages
  • Professional Resumes
  • Corporate catalogs, brochures, and advertising material 
  • Company publications and websites, both internal and external
  • Press releases and other announcements
  • Articles and newspapers
  • Author pages

Lifestyle Photo Sessions

If you were to open a magazine and flip to the contributors’ page, you will see a bunch of headshots. Most of them now tend to be of the lifestyle variety, with an example being a freelance writer poking her smiling face in between the gaps of a tree, or a photographer holding their camera. Lifestyle headshots are becoming increasingly popular for their more candid and casual style. Seeing a person in their element is more appealing nowadays than a purposefully posed picture.

Lifestyle headshots, or lifestyle photos, incorporate “real-life events” into the photo session, like an author at a library or bookstore or a family at a park or beach. Since lifestyle sessions are more candid, the poses are candid too, with little to no direction from the photographer which can end up capturing a “rawer” moment in the professional’s life.

The person in the photo may not even be focused on the camera; they could be looking aside, looking out of a window, or doing something that’s part of their business, like a hairstylist cutting or colouring hair. In the lifestyle photos, they are more relaxed and comfortable and are usually in a location setting rather than a portrait studio. One or more outfits may be used, and the choice usually up to the client, but you can ask your professional photographer on what attire you should wear as to what message you wish to convey via your lifestyle photo.

This type of photography can distinguish you from others in your field by your willingness to be different in a modern but professional way, representing your choice of contemporary imagery, attire, location, and facial expression. It can also be used to celebrate an achievement, such as training for a fitness competition.

Using expressive imagery can reinforce a desired personality, which speaks to potential clients as creative and/or self-employed professionals, personal, and business personas are 100% blended. Lifestyle is also great for the solo entrepreneur who wants to showcase different sides of them throughout their website. Often they bring props that help to get that point across.

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Would you like your next photo session to reveal those thousands of words? Contact me today to see if you and I would be the best fit for your photography needs. A lifestyle session could be exactly the key to help you stand out in the business world and look amazing, too!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.


nice blog
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