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Headshots and portraits
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Headshots and portraits

I shot both, and to be honest I give equal attention to either and use the same lighting considerations and attention to detail for each.

But I find the market distinguishes headshots and portraits when it comes to price. People are prepared to spend more for a portrait, (or fine art portrait) and less for a "simple" headshot.

So, not wanting to over price (in my local market) for headshots, but wanting to maximise revenue for portraits, I'm wondering how I can differentiate between each.

No point in limiting styles or backdrop types. My lighting for either is finely tuned to the subject. I can achieve a quality portrait in the same time that I can achieve a quality headshot. I offer retouching work with either service.

The only thing I can think of is to limit resolution of the headshots to print at 10x8" but that's not much of a limitation.

For those offering headshots and portraits, do you make a distinction - and if you do, how?

Sep 17, 2017 at 10:17 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Headshots and portraits

Headshots: 10-30 minutes.
Portrait Sessions: 45 minutes - 2 hours.

Sep 17, 2017 at 10:51 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Headshots and portraits

mikethevilla wrote:
Headshots: 10-30 minutes.
Portrait Sessions: 45 minutes - 2 hours.

Agree with the above

Did my fair share of headshots, mainly for company use (not really my kind of thing, consequently also didn't do 'school' photography. even if the big money can be found there for that type of photography)

Used to shoot it with a simple lighting set up, or just plain daylight (open shadow with a reflector), with no more attention to styling other then avoiding possible wardrobe malfunctions and bad hair
Shooting time maybe 5 to 10 minutes per person (very, very rarely spent more then that on one person)

But for a portrait, studio or outside, much more preparation, attention to detail, shooting time and shots taken
More complex lighting, and a pre shoot discussion over client wishes for the 'look' of the final results
Much more attention
- to clothing and styling : if possible the client would be asked to bring along a wider choice of clothes, or a
selection based on the pre shoot discussion
- make up and hair
men: light powder to avoid shiny greasy skin, perhaps (very) light foundation in case of a unflattering
rough (eg due to ance) skin
women: flattering - as in not showing each pore, crease and pimple - lighting, extra attention to make up
and hair
And last but not least (quite the opposite) much more time to make the client feel at ease in front of the
camera and find a 'pose' the client feels comfortable with (and not in the last place looks 'good' in)

Admittedly I, coming from a fashion/beauty background, perhaps am a bit over concentrating on the above

But I think that if a client is to pay a premium for having a portrait rather then a headshot taken, it should look better then / have an additional value over just another run of the mill ID card headshot, no matter how technically professional/proficient the latter may be shot

Sep 18, 2017 at 10:24 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Headshots and portraits

I guess my problem is that I lavish a similar care with respect to lighting / pose / detail with my headshots and the difference between a "portrait" and a "headshot" with me is not very big - but client perception is tat headshots are cheaper.

I aim for 45 min sessions for a headshot when dealing with one client and aim to deliver just 3-4 poses with one costume. We take our time and fine tune the detail of the shot/pose.

But some of my best portraits have been shot in 10 mins, and with less lighting. (But more arty in style).

I offer retouching for both services and each receives similar care with a similar charge.

I'd like to be able to charge more for being more "arty" but that's a harder sell to clients - particularly as I offer a variety of looks for headshot sessions and not just a white background. (Heck, the white background usually requires more lighting and time to set - ha).

Sep 19, 2017 at 11:01 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Headshots and portraits

I do business headshots and actor headshots in addition to portraiture.

The differences worked themselves out naturally for me as portraiture has almost completely disappeared whereas business portraits and headshots have increased.

A business portrait (studio) gets about 20+ images from which the client selects one. Additional images are extra.
All are retouched and delivered full res.

Actor headshots are priced by a flat fee for 3 looks. Extra looks cost more per look.

Both can also be done on location but I add a location fee to the price.

Portraiture is funny as no one requests a single portrait any more. I get family portrait requests but even those have dropped a lot.
OTOH I do market only to business.

Sep 25, 2017 at 02:33 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Headshots and portraits

Whenever I have this type of business service differentiation question on my mind, I always swing it around to the customer perspective.

I've found that generally customers don't think of a headshot as being different from a portrait. There's definitely some customers that think of a business headshot as a fairly formal, tightly defined thing, but I've found that's more and more rare especially when it comes to marketing/sales people (who generally comprise the majority of business headshots I take).

If a client has more than 30 mins and are open to playing around a bit, I will experiment with a few different looks and lighting approaches. This is the best case for me, as I can typically sell more retouching time as I can nail the intended "business headshot" ask, and then the client will often want me to retouch 1-2 more. If a client only has 15-20 mins though, I stick to the fundamentals and produce a well lit, flattering and engaging headshot and call it good. I don't really change my pricing for 15-20 min session versus an hour plus, but I will bring my price up or down depending on the number of retouches they need done, and if they need shots on location or in my studio, etc.

Sep 27, 2017 at 11:19 PM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Headshots and portraits

I offer indoor and outdoor headshots. It usually takes 20min for indoor and 20+ for out. Many times, they will book me over the others as i offer both. Most go with both.

Portraits - usually outside, as it's much more fun, numerous backgrounds, etc. 45min to 1.5 hrs

Oct 05, 2017 at 02:17 PM

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