Headshots vs. Environmental Portraits

Really?  So we’re going from a fun vacation/travel post to one about HEAD SHOTS?

Yes.  Yes we are.  And I will tell you why.  It’s because I’m not just you’re “good time girl” photographer.  I’m going to educate you a little too, so hang in there people!  We’ll get back to the pretty pictures in a moment.

As most of you know, as of 2014 Whitney Scott Photography has officially dropped wedding commissions (unless you’re getting married in Europe – and if so… call me! ; ).  In it’s place, we’re picking up more commercial assignments – everything from the Big Rig Calendar we did for 4 State Trucks, to the monthly cover of Show Me the Ozarks Magazine, to several media campaigns for Freeman Health Systems.  Included in the big pot of commercial jobs is queries about “head shots”.  So let’s talk about that for a minute.

This is a “head shot”.  (I did not take this head shot, but chose it as an example because it’s a nice one, and has a photo credit smack dab up there in the right hand corner).  A head shot is just that.  A “shot”  of your head.  We can do these, but really don’t, because, as you’ll see – I prefer environmental portraits.
This is an environmental portrait, which is just what it sounds like:  a portrait of a person in their environment.  In this example, it’s some of the doctors and nurses we’ve photographed as part of a project we’re doing for Freeman Hospital.


Environmental portraits can be straightforward like those above, or a little more creative, such as this cover we did for last month’s Show Me the Ozarks magazine of Chef Eugene Deal at Mythos Restaurant.Cover1c-copy-1.jpg

Environmental portraits require some extra skill, since they are all shot on location and – in order to be of the highest quality – are photographed with supplemental studio-type lighting.  Below are some examples from the work we’ve done for 4 State Trucks, both in their calendar and for their catalog.BigRig11_0085-copy.jpg 4State020.jpg

Why would you choose an environmental portrait over a typical headshot?

Um, because they look better. : )  People tend to be more relaxed and natural in a setting in which they feel comfortable.  See Dallas and Priscilla from Little Bird Marketing?  Don’t they look super-cute and creative?


Environmental portraits should match the style of the personality.  For this portrait of painter Teresa Rankin, the mood is soft and the colors warm.  The environment is creative – just like her.


For the environmental portrait of the hospital chaplain, the look is more professional, but still warm and inviting.Freeman011.jpgInterested in environmental portraits for yourself or your business/organization?  Rates for a digital session start at just $250.  Contact us for more information!


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