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Headshot Styles: Environmental vs Studio

I offer two distinct headshot styles to choose from – studio-style and environmental. Understanding the differences between these two styles and their benefits will help you make an informed decision about which style(s) best suits your needs.

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Studio Style Headshot Styles

Studio-style headshots are captured at your location with a white, black or grey  background and up to 4 lights. This style of headshot is ideal for those who want a precisely lit headshot with a clean background. Additional background colors are available upon request for an additional fee. 

Choosing The Best Color Background For Your Studio Headshot

White Background

Opting for a white background in your headshot ensures versatility and a seamless look across most websites and social platforms, which typically use white backgrounds. This creates a cohesive and professional appearance, making your profile photo appear custom-made for these sites. White backgrounds also provide a clean, modern look that highlights your features and attire without distractions.

Studio Style Headshot
White Background

Black Background

A black background offers a bold and sophisticated aesthetic. It seamlessly blends into websites or social platforms with darker themes, creating a striking contrast that makes your headshot stand out. The dark background can add depth and focus to your image, enhancing your presence and giving a polished, professional feel to your profile.

studio style headshot
Black Background

Grey Background

A grey background offers a balanced and neutral option that looks great on a variety of websites and social feeds with different background colors. It blends well with both light and dark-themed sites, ensuring your headshot remains adaptable and versatile. This makes it an excellent choice for those who need a single headshot that works well across multiple platforms.

studio style headshots
Grey Background

Ring Light Headshots 

custom ring light
My custom built ring light
ring light headshot
Headshot captured with my custom built ring light. Note the catchlights in her eyes.

Looking for a headshot that’s modern, striking, and memorable? Consider a ring light style headshot. This unique and dramatic effect can only be achieved as part of a studio-style headshot session, using my custom-built 4ft by 4ft, 28 bulb ring light.

Not only are ring light headshots well-lit, but they also create striking and completely unique catchlights in the eyes. This makes them perfect for those looking to make a bold impression in creative fields or for those wanting a truly memorable headshot.

If you’re interested in this style, simply let me know when you book your session. I’ll be happy to discuss the details with you and help you achieve this look. 

Space Requirements for Studio Style Headshots

To create studio portraits at your location, we need a clear area that’s at least 12 feet wide, 14 feet long, and 8 feet tall. If you have more space, higher ceilings and better control over lighting, I can get even better results, but if not, that’s okay as long as you’re okay with the resulting style. Basically, if you have enough space for a car in your garage, that’s likely a great spot for me to bring the studio to you! Living rooms also make good spaces for my mobile studio as you can see from this post.

Environmental Headshots Style

Environmental Headshot
Environmental Headshot

Environmental headshots are captured using available lighting and augmented with up to one light. These headshots are set against backgrounds at your chosen indoor or outdoor location. Common locations include local parks or your office campus. 

One significant advantage of environmental headshots is their cost-effectiveness. Without the need for a mobile studio setup, you save on fees. Additionally, every environmental headshot is distinct due to the dynamic nature of backgrounds. However, for optimal outdoor lighting, it’s recommended to schedule sessions either an hour before sunset or an hour after sunrise. During these periods, the sun casts a warm, low light, enriching the depth and quality of the photo.

When selecting a location, consider spaces that resonate with your profession or passion. Your workplace or the interiors of your office can offer a meaningful context. If indoor options are limited, vibrant outdoor spots like parks or downtown areas can also work very well.

Studio Style vs Environmental Headshot Styles Which is Better?

Studio Headshot Styles
Studio Style Headshot
Environmental headshot styles
Environmental Style Headshot

In conclusion, both studio-style and environmental headshots have their own unique benefits and can be used for a variety of purposes. Studio-style headshots provide a clean and professional look, while environmental headshots offer a more relaxed and personable feel. If you’re on a budget, environmental headshots tend to be less expensive than studio-style headshots, making them a cost-effective option.

Ultimately, the choice between the two styles comes down to personal preference and the goals you have for your headshot. If you need help deciding which style is right for you, I’m here to provide guidance and advice. You can get in touch here and tell me a little bit about your intended session and I’ll help you figure out what would be best for you.

Jason Guy

I am a portrait photographer based out of Sonoma, California. I create portraits for people of all ages with the goal of making images that are timeless. Portraits you will look back on decades from now, and still love them just as much then as you do today. While flattering lighting and pose are important, capturing how others see you is what I ultimately strive for.

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