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  • Writer's picturePhillip Destruge

Headshots Vs Personal Branding

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

So you’re here because you know you need a new & current professional photo. But as you scour the web in search of a photographer, you came across the term "personal branding" and now you are confused as to what’s the difference between that and a headshot.

Well don’t worry, I’ve got you.

You’re not the first person to ask this question and certainly won’t be the last.

Lately the words personal branding or personal branding photographer have been thrown around a lot and with this ever growing digital age it’s becoming a more popular term.

First let’s define a headshot which is pretty straight forward.

A Headshot is a modern portrait in which the focus is on the person. We know it as a ¾ shot which involves a photograph displaying a person from their elbows to their head or sometimes a little tighter crop of the subject which ends up becoming a true headshot. This style of imagery is usually associated to the corporate world where it’s used to easily identify someone within a company’s directory.

CEO’s use them for magazines or to be represented on the company website. A headshot is also used and frequently updated by actors or commercial models in order to help them land a casting for a TV commercial, show or movie.

A great headshot can help shape someone’s career or open opportunities that they did not think possible.

This photograph I shot while in NY for actress/model Nicole Bonifacio helped her land a casting with Nike who were also doing a collaborative project with the WNBA.

That’s great and all but what is the difference between a headshot vs a personal branding session?

Well to start, they both can have a significant impact but the difference depends on its usage. Headshots are usually 2-3 strong images with a different outfit in each image or slightly different styling.

Personal Branding images tell a much broader story. They also can be comprised of several outfits or looks but they can also include props that are relevant to your business. You also have the option of being photographed at your place of business. Some images could also include lifestyle pictures of you doing activities that pertain to your services or products.

Personal branding photography involves telling your audience a story about who you are, what you do, what you care about and how you can care for them.

If a personal brand is the reputation you will develop with your potential customers then personal branding photography will be the window in which they can see you through. You create the narrative and control how you want to be perceived. An experienced personal branding photographer can guide you in being able to show off your personality in a genuine way and facilitate the connection you want to create with your audience.

Quite a difference between the two, huh?

So, how do you know which one is the right fit for you?

That all depends on your goals & current situation.

Are you a solopreneur that depends on the referrals of your previous clients or do you work for a company where the work is consistent?

Are you an independent real estate agent or do you belong to a specific broker?

If you’re an actor, are you trying to build a fan base or you’re just concerned about your next casting?

Are you trying to build a following so you can sell a service, product or online education?

Or do you know all you need is a professional image that helps you come across as someone people want to work with?

In summary, a headshot can be sufficient for someone who has a good stable job and just wants to make sure he/she looks great across the board. Perhaps an updated LinkedIn profile, a business directory or a few updated images for an upcoming casting or maybe a good looking shot for their dating site profile.

Now if you want to hire a personal branding photographer such as myself, I’m located in Port St Lucie but I do travel often to NYC, Savannah Georgia or even Chicago (that was my shameless plug, thank you).

The point is, if you decide to go that route it’s because you’re most likely self-employed and you want to build a sustainable and extensive business. Your goals as an independent service provider involve developing not only a reputation but a community.

You’re most likely a real estate agent, personal trainer, yoga instructor, life coach, financial advisor, lawyer, or an instructor of some kind. Honestly, there are so many businesses that could benefit from personal branding. Each one has a specific audience they can connect to and by creating engaging content they can simultaneously build trust & attract new potential clients.

I hope I have been able to answer this question for you and if you are need of someone who can produce great results for you, feel free to reach out. If you need more information, take a look at my body of work and see how one can differ from the other. Best wishes on your search.


Headshot and personal branding photographer in the Treasure Coast, West Palm beach & New York City

My name is Phillip Destruge and I'm a Personal Branding Photographer based in The Treasure Coast. I help businesses stand out online and help them create a strong solid visual brand with professional images that are not only social media ready but magazine worthy. To book your session please click here and we can set up a "Discovery Call" at no charge. You can also visit my Home page or Instagram and get more familiar with my work.


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