The purpose of all headshot photography is to represent you visually but also in a way that conveys as much of your personality as possible. Some headshots styles are there to inform the viewer of more information as well – one of those being the editorial style portrait.
When you are planning to have a new headshot photo taken, ask yourself:
- What is the purpose of the photograph?
- Where is it going to be used?
- What story do I want it to tell about me?
Essentially, an editorial headshot will help to tell a story about you. Want to know more? Read on to discover everything you need to know about Editorial Headshots, and some tips on how you should approach having yours taken.
What is an Editorial Headshot?
Throughout the history of editorial photography there have been many explanations as to what exactly defines an editorial headshot.
Sometimes referred to as environmental portraits, the editorial photograph aims to be much more than that – think of it as a Portrait Plus. In its essence, it is a complete picture to showcase as much information as possible about the subject, their character, the work they do and the world they live in.
This is achieved by including, or alluding to, this information in the background of the photograph.
For example – take a look at the photos below:
It’s not the person themselves that is giving you the extra data you need to answer that question; it’s the background and action that tells you more about the man in the second image. And that is what makes it an editorial style portrait.
The Purpose of your Editorial Style Portrait.
As mentioned above, the purpose of these types of images is to tell a story about you, the subject. Editorial headshots are most often taken to accompany a written article about the subject, hence the name.
The article may be about the subject’s work, about who they are, an experience they have had or something they have achieved in life. The accompanying photo should be able to encapsulate this main focus of the article in picture form.
Commonly the editorial headshot it taken at the subject’s place of work and the background will be carefully chosen to represent this. For example, someone in the legal profession is often photographed at their desk or standing in front of bookshelves. A chef would be at work in their kitchen.
As an example, this photo shows the subject, but also tells you a lot more about her; she works in a busy kitchen with her team. The smiling tells the story of a shared joke and a relaxed working environment where everyone fits in together. It conveys teamwork.
By contrast, this photo (more editorial portrait than headshot) tells you a very different story about its subject – which you would then learn more about in the article it accompanies. This would not be a good business headshot but would be perfect for a profile of a businessman who also participates in triathlons.
Editorial Photography Ideas
Remember, if it is a work-based editorial, then the photograph must promote not only you but the brand as well.
Compare the two images below:
If you have a place of work with prominent branding, make sure it is in the background.
If you have a uniform that promotes the company, make sure not only that you wear it, but that it is displayed clearly in the photograph!
To accompany an article, the magazine or website editor will usually have provided a quite specific brief for the photo but sometimes may leave it quite open. Make sure you work with your photographer to obtain the best image within the brief supplied.
Hire a Great Editorial Portrait Photographer.
Speaking of photographers, if you need an editorial headshot, make sure you hire a great one!
Editorial photographs require a much higher degree of creativity from the photographer, so it really goes without saying that they should be taken by a professional. This can take time, as you ideally will want to view the portfolios of a few photographers first, to find one who’s style suits the image you are after for yourself.
Once selected, take the time to discuss with your photographer not only the editor’s brief (if supplied) but also what story the photograph is going to tell.
Remember, it is about the background as much as it is you, so have some ideas of locations that could be used – but keep an open mind and listen to the photographer’s ideas as well. As usual with professional photography, the best results come from client-photographer teamwork.
Have you a great idea for telling your own story in an editorial headshot? Tell us about it in the comments below.
With headshot photography prices varying widely, you need to know that you are going to get the result you want from your photo session. Book a professional with experience and with a great headshot portfolio already established. Splento have experienced professional headshot photographers for a fixed hourly rate – just £99 – which includes retouching and editing.Take a look at their portfolio for some great examples of professional headshots , where you can also find out how to make your own booking for an editorial headshot photo session.
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