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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.

Studio Style Headshot Styles

Studio Style Headshot
White Background
studio style headshot
Black Background
studio style headshots
Grey Background

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 Background For Your Headshot

In addition to more precise lighting, studio style headshots also allow me to create a seamless look on white and black background websites or social platforms. This means that I can craft your headshot so the background will seamlessly blend from the background of your headshot to the background of your website or social feed. 

Note how the black background headshot above blends into the background of this website as described. You can also check out my X profile where I used my white background headshot to blend into the background of that social feed. If you’re leaning towards a single photo from your session, I strongly suggest you have your headshot captured on a white background. This is because most websites and social platforms have white backgrounds which will make your profile photo look like it was designed specifically for these sites.

When I create headshots for myself, I personally like to create studio style headshots on white, black and grey backgrounds. This way I have a profile photo ready to go for pretty much any circumstance. 

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?

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 provide a more relaxed and personable feel. 

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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