Mini Headshot vs. Full Branding Photoshoot: All the Deets! … and why you might need a full personal branding photoshoot…!


When people think about personal branding & photos, they just want an updated/recent/current, crisp professional headshot. Most people think they want one photo. “A nice branded headshot is all I really need,” they say. But once we start chatting about where they might use the photos and the potential of a full branded shoot, minds are blown. Minds are changed. Let’s be clear: our goal is to serve your needs, whatever they may be (not to change your mind), but the more we speak to clients about their needs, the more it becomes apparent that many actually need a bit more than they initially thought. It’s exciting to imagine the limitless possibilities that a full branding shoot can present for you, your brand, your business, or your career identity and professional image.
Let us walk you through what we mean by describing our two services — a mini headshot vs. a full personal branding photoshoot — and how they will best serve you.

Mini Headshot
You’re most likely to choose this option if
⁃ you’re a staff/admin member within an organization/business
⁃ you’re a freelancer
⁃ you’re a job-seeker
⁃ you’re a thought leader in your industry

1.You only need one photo

You only need a few photographs to choose from; 1-5 photographs will suffice.

2.Headshot is where it’s at

What you need is a headshot. There’s no way you’d post a full, or even half-body shot. From the neck up, folks. That will serve you well, since you plan to upload to LinkedIn, your Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok profile, and perhaps you’ll be using it in email, will submit it to your workplace to go in the staff directory, or will use it along with an author/speaker bio, etc.

3.This photo will serve you for the next few years

You plan to upload to a few places and keep that single photo for an extended period of time. Not much is happening. You’re not growing like weed, or maturing like a teenager, or planning any drastic changes to your appearance, so a solid headshot should last you a while.

4.You don’t mind paying a higher premium, per photo

At the end of the day, the number of photos you receive from a mini headshot are more expensive than what you pay per photo with the full photoshoot.

5.You are confident you’ll ace the photoshoot in under 20 minutes

Your headshot is your first impression to the world and you’re confident you can capture your authentic or “branded” self in a timely fashion. You’ve been in front of a camera before, and you know you’ll kill it OR you’re not overly concerned about this “first impression” business and you just. need. a. headshot. please. and. thank you 🙂

The pitfalls of a mini headshot become apparent when …
⁃ you realize that you need a photograph in landscape orientation for your newly crafted website
⁃ you realize you’d like a “work with me” section on your site that would’ve warranted a nice photo of you doing your thing in your work environment to show clients what you do and how you do it
⁃ you realize you would’ve liked a wide range of photos to use in various places on your website, social, email communications, landing pages, and more
⁃ you realize that you were a bit camera shy and would’ve loved more time to “ease in” to a photoshoot that was able to capture your personality more authentically
⁃ you realize the clothing/outfit you chose didn’t turn out the way you wanted

⁃ you realize there’s a discrepancy between your own photos and the professional headshot, and things aren’t flowing well on your website
If only you’d decided on a —>

Full Branding Photoshoot

You’re most likely to choose this option if
⁃ you ARE the business
⁃ you’re a service provider / consultant
⁃ you plan to take your freelance role to the next level
⁃ you’re a thought leader in your industry, and are curious about where a full branding shoot will take you 🙂
⁃ you are camera shy, tend to take more time to warm up to new
people/environments, are indecisive about clothing/outfits/style, know that your authentic smile or “look” is hard to unearth on the best of days, and might need a bit of nurturing
⁃ your transition is complete and you want to celebrate and/or re-introduce your new self to your professional network

1.Several photographs

You likely need several photographs to fill many slots/spaces (website, or social media / marketing campaign, for example)

2.You need a combination of headshots and full body photos

You need to showcase yourself working in your “onsite” environment or home office, which may or may not involve you at a desk, running around, making food, lifting weights, training animals, crafting artwork, up on a roof, or in a bathroom, … you could potentially be anywhere, doing anything (depending on what you consult for, what service you provide, what your freelance gig is about)! You’re prepared to show it all.
You also are planning for photographs of different orientations (portrait or landscape), so that you can plan to fill images in your website or use for other purposes.

3.You’ll likely switch things up

You don’t see yourself keeping the same photo(s) for an extended period of time. You’re more likely to use a variety of photos on social or in marketing campaigns, or switch up your headshot in the next months. Our full session will allow you to plan for this. We can take a variety of head shots or body or action shots with different clothing, props, in different environments, and with different backgrounds.

4.You ideally would like to make a connection

Making a connection with your audience or attracting your ideal clients is the goal of your photoshoot. You would like photographs that demonstrate you doing what you do best, within your work environment, (home) office, or other work space. You want your audience to feel your vibe, to catch your joy, confidence, dedication, crazy, empathy or whatever it is that you are trying to convey. This will take a bit of work, more time, and many takes to capture those perfect photos that you’ll be mesmerized by in the end.

You’ll want to hire yourself!


Taking the time to explore what works for you might be the most beneficial part of a full branding photoshoot. Even if you’re only after a headshot. Your ideas about how you want to look or how you might like to pose or what you’re wearing might need to be changed a few times. At the end of our session, you’ll have a solid handful of different photos that speak to differing looks, feels, styles, backgrounds, and ways of connecting to whomever your audience might be. When you change the environment you’re in, this changes how you feel and it reflects in the photos. Finding what works best to bring you
alive is key.
The full branding photoshoot is prefaced with a discovery call and strategy session, so that we can plan ahead the location(s) you’d like us to take the photos, ensure we have permissions to use

6.Buffer time

Things happen. Maybe your shirt has a stain so you switch it up. Or your dress is unexpectedly wrinkled and you’d like to do a quick iron or steam. Maybe your hair or makeup went to crap when the Uber driver rolled down the windows and you need a minute to touch up. That’s ok. We’re here to serve you. Not to rush you. This photo session comes with the luxury of time, for all of the things that might go south. We got you!

7.Warm up

The full photoshoot allows time for you to warm up to the camera. Sometimes it takes 5-10 minutes for you to really get comfortable in front of the camera and let your personality shine through, without things looking awkward or forced. When you have time on your hands and a relaxed environment, you’ll find it much easier to express emotion. Also, the multiple photos captured in the longer shoot will always turn up gold in the end, so you don’t have to worry about a speedy session resulting in awkward or inauthentic photos. You’ll end up with the perfect personal branding photoshoot. You’ll see.

8.More cost-effective

You’ll get more photos from the full shoot than from the mini headshot session. So, the price per photo ends up being more economical this way.

Book a discovery call here so we can chat about what you’d like to do for your personal branding shoot.