Headshots and portraits are a little different. Headshots are typically just the head and shoulders, on a plain background. Portraits usually are full body, decorative backgrounds, and different poses.


 portrait versus headshot peter istvan photography


Professional Headshots

The focus of a headshot is a person's face. There are an infinite different numbers of lightening techniques, so there isn't just one way. It really depends on the style of the photographer and the desired photo of the client. I use a lighting technique that I learned from Peter Hurley's Headshot Crew.

This is what my lighting set up for a professional headshot looks like. 

Three light set up for a professional headshot

In each of the Westcott modifiers, is a eVOLV 200 strobe flash. Lots of headshot photographers use constant light sources (e.g., LED panels). Are strobes better or worse then constant light sources? Well, not surprisingly, it depends, and there are pros and cons to each lighting system.

Final professional headshot images

I typically provide the images to you in three different sizes:

  1. WIDE - pretty much, as captured
  2. TIGHT - more captivating, emphasizes face and eyes,
  3. SQUARE - for social media profiles (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook) 

So, here are three different sizes of the "final" image.


example of a professional headshot with a wide crop

example of a professional headshot with a tight crop

example of a professional headshot with a square crop


Portrait Photography

According to the Merriam-Webster, a definition of portrait is:

  1. picture especially : a pictorial representation of a person usually showing the face
  2. a sculptured figure 
  3. a graphic portrayal in words

What does that mean? Well, how about anything that has person in it and is not a professional headshot? Portrait photography is only limited by the imagination of the photographer.

An example of a portrait photography set up

set up of portrait photography


Resulting images


different types of portrait images with peter istvan photography


Other examples


different examples of portrait photography


Depending on the purpose of your images, you may need a professional headshot, a portrait image, or perhaps both!



Read more about professional headshots:

  1. What makes a good headshot - Part 1
  2. What makes a good headshot - Part 2
  3. What makes a good headshot - Part 3
  4. General questions about professional headshots

Peter Istvan Photography

Peter is a professional headshot photographer. Available in studio, or on location. Serving Parry SoundMuskokaSudburyNorth Bay, Barrie, Toronto, and surrounding areas. View pricing and scheduling.

Peter Istvan