Styles of Headshots

Besides individual photographer styles, there are two main styles of headshots, East Coast and West Coast. These two areas have different needs and want different things out of their headshots.

East Coast is based on the trends of New York. Simple backgrounds, dramatic lighting, and modern feels are all really big right now. Studio shots typically fit the bill best. If you’re planning on traveling to NYC soon, make sure at least one of your shots fits this style.

West Coast is based on LA. They have a much more organic feel to them. You’ll find blurry backgrounds (simple), natural looking lighting, and a bit more relaxed expressions.

Spokane has its own markets. It mixes NYC and LA to have clean nice images. They don’t like the super trendy, but are OK with studio shots, dramatic or natural lighting, simple backgrounds.

All headshot styles and trends change. Only a few years ago a vertical 8×10 black and white headshot printed on Glossy paper was the industry standard. The times have changed. COLOR IS REQUIRED, digital submissions are more popular (as well as matte printing), and the headshots can be either vertical or horizontal. These trends will change again, but this is the current look.

West Coast Style Headshot

West Coast Style Headshot. Note the shallow depth of field (blurriness in the background/ears), and the soft natural lighting.

East Coast Style Headshot

East Coast Style Headshot. Note the crisp and clean style with very obvious studio light on the left side of the image.