Portrait or landscape orientation for a business headshot?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by lance70, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. lance70

    lance70 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hello...If you are shooting business headshots do you find yourself shooting in portrait or landscape mode and what factors determine this for you?


     
  2. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    portrait. whats in the background that would justify having extra space on the side?
     
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  3. lance70

    lance70 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good point, I guess some people find it more pleasing to the eye in landscape whether it's a low key shot or white backdrop.
     
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  4. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I usually shoot my landscapes in portrait. I like sky.
     
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  5. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    What does your client need? Portraits for my company have a very specific style, being bright and airy and showing a bright, OOF background. Many appear to be landscape, rather than portrait, orientation.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Horizontal gives all that nice,empty,dead space on the sides, and makes the head smaller in the frame.
     
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  7. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shoot horizontal. Crop to what they need. Don't need that huge original size anyway for most.
     
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  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I start by asking the client/business what they require. Generally, I prefer portrait, but one large car dealer I shoot for regularly has a corporate policy which requires ALL images to be landscape.
     
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  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Years ago, I learned to frame the frame I wanted while taking the photograph. This generally means fitting the subject to the frame, and vice-versa. If what you're trying to portray is the head and shoulders, then (assuming the person is standing) what you see is naturally more vertical than horizontal.

    What changes that is if there is some other reason why you want extra background in the shot. I've heard "need space for future text insertion", or "we have to show the company sign in the shot", or "OMG, what a gorgeous sunset". For me, a portrait can be very successful in horizontal format as long as there is a rationale for it.
     
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  10. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I shoot landscape unless the client asks for something different. The final crop is usually a ratio of 4x5 and shooting landscape I feel this gives me better options.
     
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  11. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The environment would determine that. A straight headshot normally would be portrait or square. An environmental portrait could be nearly anything. I'm not a fan of school yearbook style portraits and always tried to talk clients out of them. You will find your clients are likely to prefer shots of them doing what they do if you show them some.
     
  12. Vtec44

    Vtec44 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's okay to shoot both and give the clients both versions. :)
     
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