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The Portrait Photographer’s Guide:

Pro Tips and Insights

Close-Up Headshot or Full-Body Portrait? How to Choose the Right Crop for Your Professional Persona

by | Actor Headshots, Headshot Tips, Personal Branding and Business Headshots

Whether you’re updating your LinkedIn profile or crafting your personal brand, the right headshot can set you apart in the bustling professional and creative worlds. But how do you decide between a close-up, a half-body, or a full-body shot? Let’s dive into how to pick the perfect style that not only meets your needs but enhances your professional image.

Understanding the Different Types of Headshots

LinkedIn and Professional Websites: The Close-Up and Half-Body


For professionals, whether in corporate or creative fields, a polished close-up headshot is essential for platforms like LinkedIn where making a memorable first impression is crucial. This type of headshot focuses tightly on the face, offering a clear view of your features and expression, which should convey reliability and confidence.


However, a half-body shot can be equally important, especially for use on professional websites. This style offers a bit more context, allowing room to include aspects of your attire and gestures that communicate your professional demeanor. For instance, a corporate professional might opt for a suit and a confident, approachable posture, while someone in a creative field might choose a more relaxed outfit and a candid pose to express creativity and openness.


When Full-Body Shots Make Sense

Actors and Personal Branding: The Full-Body Dynamic

Full-body shots are particularly relevant for actors who need to showcase their versatility and physicality for casting in various roles. Similarly, if you’re building a personal brand that emphasizes lifestyle or fashion, or if you’re crafting a profile for a dating site, a full-body photograph can capture your style and personality in a comprehensive way.

Visual Examples to Guide You

Incorporating visual examples into this discussion helps illustrate the impact of each type of headshot:

  • The LinkedIn Headshot: A professional close-up that highlights facial expressions suitable for corporate environments.
  • Professional headshot of a software developer in Chandler, AZ. A beautiful blond woman with a soft smile, wearing a black top on a black background, differentiated by high-quality lighting.
  • The Creative Half-Body: Ideal for creative professionals, this shot includes elements of the workspace or artistic tools, blending professionalism with creativity.
  • Gilbert, AZ business owner posing for a corporate headshot. A playful half-body portrait of him thinking with one finger on his lip, sitting at a table.
  • The Corporate Half Body: Polished and professional.
  • Half-body portrait of a smiling medical intern in a blue suit, white shirt, and flowery tie. Capturing the enthusiasm of a young medical professional against a light grey background
  • The Full-Body Shot of an Actress: Demonstrates how attire and posture can communicate the dynamic range needed for various roles.
  • Elegant full-body portrait of a black actress in a stunning red gown, gracefully seated on a bar stool and gazing away. Inspired by Mark Seliger's Vanity Fair Oscar Party Portraits, with a painted backdrop and hardwood floor.

Tailoring Your Headshot to Your Needs

No matter your profession, the key to a successful headshot is ensuring it aligns with your industry standards and personal brand. Actors might need a range of shots expressing different emotions and characters, while professionals should focus on conveying expertise and trustworthiness. Remember, clothing, setting, and even the crop of the photo play significant roles in crafting the image you want to project.

Choosing What to Wear

Here find additional guidance on how to dress appropriately for a headshot photoshoot:

What to wear for your headshot session

What color should you wear for your professional branding or headshot photoshoot?


Choosing the right type of headshot isn’t just about personal preference—it’s about what will best serve your professional objectives. Whether it’s a close-up for LinkedIn, a half-body for your website, or a full-body shot for acting auditions, each has its place. By carefully considering how each style of headshot will be perceived, you can strategically use your image to enhance your career prospects.

Armed with these insights and the ability to adapt your approach based on your professional landscape, you’re ready to make a visual statement that is not only striking but strategically spot-on.



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Meet The Author

High school senior girl with a bob haircut, wearing a light purple and gold dress, posing with her hand on her chest at Marie Feutrier's professional portrait studio in Gilbert, AZ, for her glamor senior photo.
 Marie Feutrier, a French transplant in Gilbert, AZ, masterfully captures personalities through her lens. With an accent as charming as her photos, she doesn’t just take your picture, she tells your story, one click at a time.

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