Portrait or Landscape Orientation Headshot?
A question that gets asked a ton around here in regard to the headshot photo orientation. Should your headshot photos be in horizontal or vertical orientation?
Going through different portfolios you’ll see that a few photographers plainly prefer one over the other. It’s all about a certain personal preference and there are a lot of basis for their choice and the reason I shoot mine Landscape over Portrait.
Portrait or Landscape?
There are both good and bad sides to vertical and horizontal headshots. Vertical or portrait headshots tend to show a bit more of your outfit which can be nice. However, I do think this can be distracting, taking away the focus on you and putting towards your outfit. Most lawyers tend to go with Portrait orientation headshots while most startups go for a horizontal orientated headshot.
Horizontal headshots are more modern and more photographers are starting to do their headshots that way. Horizontal orientated headshots tend to look better composition wise, mainly because the way our eyes see things. Our eyes pick up a wider field of view so we can quickly pick up more information from a horizontally oriented photo.
With auditions for actors, sale probability for realtors, and client relationship for lawyers – there is a ton of goals. Each industry has a different focus and target for marketing. Usually, what works for one does not work with the other. So you really need to know your priorities and goals. Your headshot could have an effect that can have you landing that audition, job or client than your thumbnail in a lineup.
My goal is to make you look the best in your headshot and my personal belief is you look your best in a horizontal oriented photo versus a vertical one. That doesn’t mean that I always shoot horizontal for my headshots. I have clients who prefer that for one reason or the other and for them I will shoot portrait orientation but I would much more prefer to shoot landscape because I think it’s more modern and better composed to our eyes.