Our studio shoots somewhere between three to five-thousand headshots a year. The majority of those are for large companies or at conferences. Traditionally, a headshot is shot in portrait orientation (vertical) with one shoulder in the image and one shoulder cut out of the frame. More recently, the needs of clients and the technology involved has changed. Because of that evolution, we have switched to shooting most of our corporate and professional headshots in landscape (horizontal) orientation. As a result, clients and photographers have asked us (like, a lot) why we do it this way. In order to answer, here are a couple of reasons why we do it.
A Landscape Headshot Has More Cropping Options
The cameras that professionals use produce such high resolution images that the files are way bigger than most people need. Consider that a modern digital camera can easily produce an image 6,000 x 4,000 pixels. In contrast, an email signature photo is only 50 pixels x 50 pixels. That’s a lot of extra pixels to play with! When you shoot in landscape, the quality of an image doesn’t suffer whether you crop it vertically, horizontally or square. If your web designer suddenly decides that all of the employee photos on the site need to be square, you won’t have to run out and get all new headshots because your very clever photographer (see: Hughes Fioretti Photography) made sure to leave room for just such an event. In fact, we can even provide headshots in multiple crops for a client when we deliver them.
It’s Better for Design to Shoot Headshots Horizontally
Photographers take the photos and designers have to make those photos work in the final product. Giving designers more flexibility can make the process of creating marketing materials for a business more seamless. With modern digital editing, we can even take an image and completely replace the background with pretty much anything you can think of. For someone like a real estate agent, this could mean having a professional photo in front of every property they sell. For a large law firm, that means we can make sure that the background for every single person in the firm will match perfectly.
We discuss every client’s needs and expectations ahead of time so that the final product is exactly what they are looking for. In most cases, we make the decision together as to what is going to best serve the intended use of the image.
Want to discuss what your brand needs? Contact us and we can design the perfect images for you.