Headshots vs Branding Sessions | Which is right for your business?

various pictures of women in business

June 10, 2021

i’m jenn.
An ADHD millennial  with a love for sharing everything I've learned about being a business owner, a photographer, and a work from home mom.
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headshot of woman holding laptop standing in living room

Headshots or Branding Sessions? If you’re reading those two things and you have no CLUE what the difference is, you’ve come to the right place! I’m here to give you the facts and help you make the BEST decision for your business!


A few weeks ago I got a call from a potential new client. My phone rings, I do my happy dance (YASSS!!!!) and we chat about their business, what they do, where they work, so on and so forth. Then the conversation turns to their needs from me, so I ask “are you looking more for a headshot session or a branding session?” … guys, I got a GOOD 5 seconds of crickets, followed up with “I think just headshots?” 


I’ve come to realize that asking for headshots is the go-to request for business owners, and its been drilled into our brains forever. I need photos of myself = I need headshots. But, what if I told you that you might actually be looking for something else? That your needs might go BEYOND a headshot session and drift into the creative world that is a branding session? 


So…. what’s the difference between your traditional Headshots and the new, more modern Branding Photos? How do you know which one is right for you and your business? 


I’m going to outline them both for you, the differences between them, how they’re similar, and how to tell which one best fits your needs as a business owner!


various headshots and branding images of women in business




First, let me tell you what Headshot Sessions aren’t: stuffy, outdated, and irrelevant! There is a place in today’s world for a really good headshot. 


Headshot sessions are just that: a session where you get a shot of yourself, usually smiling at the camera (or sometimes not if you’re the serious type!), most often from the torso up. 


headshots of three women


These photos are usually used for LinkedIn profile photos, email signatures, maybe your Instagram profile, etc. 


Headshots have changed over the years, though, to include more fun, dynamic, and energetic photos of people in business. While there is still the need for a nice buttoned up photo sometimes , most creative entrepreneurs are looking for something a little more “free” that showcases their personality a bit! Either way, if your needs are just a few photos of yourself to show your face, then a headshot session may be perfect for you!




Alright, challenge time. I want you to either physically or mentally picture the inside of a magazine that is featuring some local business. Whether it’s Forest & Bluff or North Shore Magazine, you’re sure to find a feature or two in each issue. Got it? 


Okay. I would be willing to put MONEY on the fact that the business you are looking at features images that ARE NOT headshots. 


Am I right? Did I win?

So, what kind of images are they if not Headshots? BRING ON THE BRANDING SESSION!


branding session of wedding planner using computer with a cup of tea


Branding sessions are normally 3-4 hour sessions that DIVE DEEP into your business, your workflow, your personality, and all of the little nuances that make your BRAND irresistible! Anything from talking on the phone with clients to packaging and delivering your one of a kind products, Branding Sessions show your clients the behind the scenes MAGIC. 


These photos are used for more than just email signatures and profile pics. Brand photos are perfect for websites, blogs, proposals, social media posts, and so much more! And the best part? They are TAILORED to you and your specific business. 


branding session of woman straightening a cake stand on a set table


While you’ll still get a good amount of Headshot photos during your Branding Session, you’ll also get enough images to launch your businesses forward with brand specific, personal imagery.


So, how do you know what’s right for you and your business? How do you choose?


Braanding session Ann marie on the shore


DON’T YOU WORRY! I’ve got the perfect thing for you.

My Headshots vs Branding Session Guide will help you determine which type of session will help you elevate your business by narrowing down EXACTLY what you need from a professional session, including: How you’ll use your images, where you’ll use your images, your monthly/quarterly goals and how your images can have a positive impact, and so much more!


Are you ready to jump into your own business session? Let’s start planning!


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