Theatrical Headshots vs. Corporate Headshots

When in need of a headshot sometimes it can be confusing to determine which style of headshot is appropriate for you or your business. Theatrical Headshots are versatile tools used by those in the creative arts but often come with a hefty price tag. Corporate headshots are selling tools used by business professionals to establish a connection with a client, but these headshots are done very quickly with little to no intimacy between photographer and subject. This article is meant for those who wish to learn more about each category or who are up in arms about which option is best for them. In this article, we will discuss theatrical headshots and corporate headshots within their own identity as well as the differences between them.

Theatrical Headshots
Anyone who works in the entertainment industry knows that you need great theatrical headshots to get work. Typically, if your business is not involved with the creative arts then theatrical headshots aren’t for you. Theatrical headshots are meant to define qualities that someone in the creative arts would like to convey to their audience. Most often used by actors, theatrical headshots deliver nuances every actor possesses that helps them land the role. Many actors and comedians have many different ‘types’ or characters that they give off naturally and can portray honestly, so your theatrical headshots should represent versatility and be appealing to their audience. All theatrical headshots call for different lighting and background needs, and your photographer should always be able to adjust accordingly depending upon the looks one wishes to exude. For example, a man who wishes to portray villains in their theatrical headshots would need darker backgrounds with lower lighting.


Corporate Headshots

    From the small business owner to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, those involved in business need corporate headshots. The key to a great business is trust, so it’s no wonder that is what corporate headshots are meant to portray. A client is looking to establish a working relationship with a businessperson, so they seek the person who appeals to them on a personal level as a trusted authority. That is where your corporate headshots come in because in a world where there are so many to choose from a resume can only go so far. Corporate headshots offer a client the opportunity to get a first impression before they make their decision. Your corporate headshots should show any prospective client that you are a trustworthy, confident, and relatable person. Like theatrical headshots, corporate headshots are distinguishable between business types. No two corporate headshots are the same and your photographer should understand your business model as a means of bringing your mission closer to the viewer. This might be conveyed using different backdrops and lighting. For example, a CEO of a coffee company would be photographed differently than the owner of a yoga studio.

What’s the difference?

The main difference between theatrical headshots and corporate headshots is the subject and their individual business needs. All headshots are used as a marketing tool for business’ as a means of reaching a wider audience or client base. An actor uses theatrical headshots because they wish to distribute it to multiple industry professionals and bookwork, whereas a businessperson uses corporate headshots to emphasize that they are trustworthy in order to foster new business as well as retain existing clients.

Another thing to consider when comparing theatrical headshots and corporate headshots is that each call for a different set of lighting and background needs. Theatrical headshots always have enough lighting coverage to ensure that unique features are captured naturally. The background or backdrop of your theatrical headshots is dependent upon what enhances your features the best. Alternately, corporate headshots call for simple lighting. Imagine picture day at an elementary school, that simple one, and done situation, but this time you get to take multiple photos. Background needs for corporate headshots vary depending upon your business type. Corporate headshots should show your prospective client that you’re a trusted authority within your own realm. One might need to show how confident and serious they are if their business involves money managing, whereas one might need to show how loving and compassionate they are if they’re a nurse. It’s always to keep your business needs in mind when asking whether theatrical headshots or corporate headshots are right for you.

Finally, it’s important to consider the cost and effect your theatrical or corporate headshots will have upon your business before making any final decisions. There is a far greater need for theatrical headshots than there is for corporate headshots. That’s just because professional actors redo their headshots every 1-2 years to ensure that they are sending out the most accurate representation of themselves to their prospective employers. With that increased demand comes a spike in prices for theatrical headshots. Many photographer’s upcharges for every changed outfit or look and by the end of your hour-long session you’ve racked up $1000 bill. Don’t take the theatrical headshot road unless you’re certain that’s what you need if so then continue to search for a theatrical headshot photographer who can achieve your marketing goals and offers a financially reasonable package for your business needs. On the other hand, corporate headshots only need to be done every 5 years or so because age does not define your selling qualities. A session for corporate headshots may be much shorter than a theatrical headshot session because there’s no need to stop and change outfits of backgrounds. To a business professional often 30 minutes is all they have, which can make corporate headshot sessions seem cold and unintimate. It’s important to slow down your busy schedule to connect with the photographer and camera as this is what the viewer will see and take away when they consider your business. Bottom line corporate headshots are simple throughout and as such come with a much lower price tag.

This article was meant as an educational tool for those who may be new to an industry or business and wish to put their best foot forward with headshots as a marketing tool. Armed with this knowledge you should feel confident in finding a conclusion to the comparison of theatrical headshots and corporate headshots.