Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos

January 17, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos

Headshot photos are meant to make a statement. Not only do they show people a picture of you, but also they reveal your personality. Choosing a location for this type of photoshoot can add to that glimpse of yourself. However, you have a choice: indoors or outdoors. Which one is better? How do you decide? Let’s go over the pros and cons of each before you make your decision.

What an Outdoor Photoshoot Would Consist of

When getting headshots taken outside, you have a variety of options when it comes to location, such as a staircase, a brick wall, or greenery. Many effects can be digitally added, such as blurring the background and adjusting the lighting.

Outdoor photoshoots offer natural lighting, which gives you more mobility to pose for pictures without having to worry about your photographer setting up or tearing down an entire set. This gives headshot photos a more organic and authentic feel and look to them. These types of headshots are becoming more popular as time goes on, since they are more adaptable for social media and online profiles. 

For those who work outdoors or want to showcase their products in natural light, this kind of headshot photo session can show you working in your element. 

What an Indoor Photoshoot May Consist of

With an indoor studio photoshoot, everything is controlled by the photographer. There will be adjustable lighting and backgrounds options available to suit you. You can use faux outdoor backgrounds and various lighting options. Without people in the background while outdoors, when indoors you can open up more to the camera if you are shy. It is easy to change your wardrobe if need be, and a bathroom is usually readily available when needed for makeup applications and touch-ups. 

Indoor headshots allow for comfort and little to no distractions. 

Photos by Cheryl - Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos (Indoor Studio Example)Photos by Cheryl - Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos (Indoor Studio Example)

Advantages of Outdoor and Indoor Photoshoots


• Unlimited background options. From the ocean, to the grass, to brick walls, staircases, beaches, and so on, the possibilities are endless. 

• Natural sunlight. There’s no need to worry about fixing the lighting too much; just some tools to help guide the light when needed.

• You can create an atmosphere or theme. Make use of the surroundings, the buildings, trees, sky, beach, etc. For someone who works outdoors, they can be captured in their element.

• No time or space restrictions. Studios can be big, but the outdoors goes above and beyond. When doing an outdoor shoot, be sure you make the time to not be rushed. This will ensure you get the best photos. 

• You see the beauty of nature at its finest. You can experience the changing of the seasons, the leaves on the trees, the soft rain, or the piercing sun. Like I said, the possibilities are completely endless. 

• If you are really nervous about getting your photos taken, there is something about being outdoors that puts people at ease. I've seen many clients relax so much more when they are outside.


• No weather worries. When indoors, you won’t get wet or overheat. 

• Your and your headshot photographer can play with effects and studio lighting. There’s no worrying about additional ambient light sources. 

• Comfort and convenience. Indoor areas can provide air conditioning, clean toilets, electric sockets, dressing rooms, and other amenities to help to create a relaxing environment. You can control the environment and set up the photoshoot according to your needs and preferences.

• Privacy. You can choose who is with you during the photo session. No looky loos from passersby or distractions. 

Disadvantages of Outdoor and Indoor Photoshoots


• Not much privacy or security. Your location is wide open, with anyone able to watch the photoshoot. Public places are public, meaning they are more often than not filled with people. It can be a challenge if you’re going for something specific.

• Possible inconvenience of no toilet or washroom nearby. Or, any other facilities that might make a headshot photoshoot more comfortable and convenient. 

• Unpredictable weather. Even if you are prepared, it can still put a damper on your photoshoot if it starts to rain depending on what you’re going for. 


• Limited time due to rented or borrowed space if you’re getting headshot photos inside a studio, room, or space. This means working with a schedule is absolutely necessary. Every minute matters. 

• There can be location restrictions or rules depending on the venue. This can cause problems if the rules interfere with how you want to have your headshots framed.

No matter what you choose for a headshot photoshoot, make sure to put your trust in your photographer. They will know how to work with the space and location to give you great headshot photos. In my case, I excel at coming up with a schedule for indoor photoshoots, so no minute is wasted on my watch.

Do you think I’d be a good fit? Do you feel more confident in choosing your location? If you answered yes to both of those questions, give me a call! I’d love to find out more about you and your preference in location!

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.


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