Tampa Headshots Blog

Traditional Corporate Headshots or Modern Corporate Headshots?


During one of my shoots a client expresses to me that they think the older generation prefers traditional headshots and the younger generation is drawn to modern style headshots. Of course, it was a personal opinion but it got me to wondering if it had any merit. So, I decided to research a little and pull from my past experiences. Hopefully, this will help some that may be struggling a bit with deciding which type of headshot to go with.


First, let me distinguish the difference between the two, Traditional and Modern Corporate Headshots
Traditional corporate headshot are normally taken in a studio setting. Artificial lighting is used to light the subject. A backdrop is placed behind the subject and come in various colors, usually has some type of cloudy design. The pose is pretty consistent, 45 degree angle, good posture and look at the camera. Modern corporate headshots are taken in natural surroundings. In my case usually outdoors with natural lighting, but can be done indoors, with natural or artificial lighting. There is no real structure for this type of headshot. It's more spontaneous and you just work with your subject and location to capture a great image.


After my quick online research, I found many describing traditional corporate headshots as boring, stale, stiff, the old way or forced. Modern headshots were described as fun, engaging and dynamic. Online there is good mix of new and older genertaion taking advantage of both styles. In my photography, the younger generation most often choose the modern style. Oddly, while doing my research I didn't find any real good explanations as to why. Nevertheless, here's my take.


Most Traditional Headshots are of well-dressed and well groomed individuals. To me they give a sense of being an organized, structured, and professional company. The word consistent also comes to mind when I see a large company that has matching headshots on their website. Although, I have to agree that traditional headshots lack some in personality and character. It doesn't mean the headshots can't be pleasant, friendly and approachable. A confident smile goes a long way. Perhaps, this is good because it keeps the focus on the business and their reputation to getting the job done.


Modern headshots are similar in that they're both well dressed, well groomed and look professional. An advantage over the traditional is that they show individuality and personality. In a world where competition is everywhere this type of headshot can give edge over the next guy. The key is to look confident, friendly and smart. I believe this type of headshot is good because it's more personal, natural, visually appealing and more relatable to the public.


In the end, both types of headshots are good and there's no real preference by either generation. In my opinion, traditional headshots work well for large corporate businesses. The look of organized, structured, and professionalism makes me feel that I can do business them and they will be consistent in giving me results. On the other hand, modern headshots are perfect for small businesses, social networks like linkedin or Google+. Maybe, your company has a small footprint and few employees. Appealing to the public with your unique warm, welcoming character may just be what keeps your potential customer from moving on to the next website. If you really have a hard time choosing... why not get one of each and use them where they fit best.


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