Headshots or Branding Photos: Helpful Things to Consider

So you’ve determined that you need a new professional photo. And you’ve found information about headshots and also about branding photos. And so you’re wondering, what’s the difference between headshots and branding photos? How do you determine which session is right for you?

In this post, I’ll be going over some helpful tips to make that decision.

What is the difference between headshots and branding photos?

The main difference between headshots and branding photos is this:

A headshot focus on the individual.

Branding photos showcase the personality and the brand.

This is why it’s important to chat with you before booking your photoshoot. You may think that you need a branding photoshoot, when in fact, a headshot session would suit you better. Or, on the flip side, you may think that you just need a new headshot. However, after a discovery call, it becomes apparent that you’d benefit from a whole branding shoot.

When do you need a headshot?

Most people who come to me for a headshot are looking for just that. A single headshot that they can use on a company website, a LinkedIn profile, social media profiles, or a business card.

They aren’t looking for much beyond that one or two photos. In most cases, someone who is looking for a headshot has been asked by someone else or an organization for a headshot.

And they realize that a selfie isn’t going to do it. And the headshot that they have is years old.

So they set out to get a new headshot. They usually don’t need more than one or two photos because they don’t have their own website and do not have a social media presence or require any other marketing materials.

When do you need branding photos?

brand photos for influencer

I generally recommend branding photos to anyone who is a business owner who also has a website, social media presence, marketing collateral, and is building a brand.

While you could get away with a headshot and stock photos to populate your website, it will be abundantly obvious if you’re using stock photos.

If you’re wanting to showcase your professionalism and expertise, I highly recommend investing in a branding photoshoot so that you can have custom photos.

Custom photos that showcase who you are, what you do, who you serve, as well as your personality enable you to build that know, like, trust factor with potential clients.

In fact, building a personal brand is the fastest way to create connections with your audience, build trust, and convert follower to customers. Why? Because there is only one you.

Your personal brand is the greatest asset you have in your business because no one can replicate it, steal it, or take it. It’s ALL YOU.

There may be thousands of others in your industry, but there’s only one you.

You are the secret sauce.

What is a branding shoot?

As I define is, a personal branding shoot is one that results in strategic brand photos that can be used in your marketing and promotion of your business. A good branding shoot will yield at least a quarter’s worth (if not more) of photos that you can use across your website, social platforms, email newsletters, business cards, marketing collateral, and more.

There should be a mix of lifestyle headshots, behind the scenes, tools of your trade, personality photos, as well as anything else that gives more insight into the business owner.

People like doing business with PEOPLE vs just the business, so I believe it’s key to build your personal brand and embrace being the face of your business as well.

Need to know what a branding shoot is? Check out this post all about what a branding photoshoot is and why you need one as a small business owner.

How do you plan a personal branding photoshoot?

A personal branding photoshoot with a true brand photographer should include a planning component. Because the goal of these photos is strategic in nature and meant to help attract ideal clients and customers, an element of planning should be included.

For me, about 4-6 weeks before the branding shoot, I’ll meet with my client over Zoom to discus their goals and vision for the photoshoot. I have them provide me with some sample inspiration imagery so that I can see what they are thinking. We’ll chat about location, outfits, and specific photos that they are looking for. We’ll also discuss any upcoming launches – whether it’s a website, branding, product, or service.

Wondering how to plan a personal branding photoshoot? Check out this post for all the details.

What is included in a branding photoshoot?

The typical branding photoshoot usually includes a set number of hours on set as well as either a set number of photos or the full gallery of photos. A brand photoshoot should include commercial licensing as well which allows business owners and entrepreneurs to use these photos for marketing purposes and income generating activities.

If you’re researching a brand photographer, talk to them about what’s included in a branding photoshoot. Do they offer help with location research, outfit styling, or implementation after the photoshoot.

I offer a couple of different options ranging from a mini session to a half day photoshoot to a full day photoshoot. Please inquire for more details or visit my services page.

headshots or branding photos? location ideas - how to start a photography business guide


If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur in the North Dallas area, including FriscoMcKinney, Prosper, Celina, Plano, Little Elm, and more – and you’re looking for a branding shoot with a photographer with a proven planning process in place, I’m ready to chat!

Step 1. Get in Touch – click and contact today

Step 2. Discovery Call – we’ll chat about your business and your vision for brand photos

Step 3. Book your Shoot – if we’re a “match” let’s get you on the schedule and start planning

I’m Catie, and I’m a personal branding photographer for female business owners who are ready to stand out online and increase their impact and income.

I'm based in North Dallas, serving the greater Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Here at Catie Ronquillo Photography, I provide strategic marketing photos that will help you grow your business.

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Meet Catie

I'm Catie! Brand photographer based in the North Dallas, Texas area.

I work with busy women CEOs who crave more thangeneric stock photos to promote their business. You want an effortless strategy to connecting with your ideal clients through personal branding photography




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