Chances are that you think your portrait can be used as a headshot. However there is a big difference between a portrait and a headshot.

Your professional headshot is about capturing, representing and encapsulating your personality, expression and looks by showing only the shot of your head (Headshot). Any information below your chin is of no value to the viewer.




Earl Cole (Headshot) Your professional or environmental portrait tells more of a story. In the shots below of Ear Cole of Earl Cole Music, the portrait tells you what is going on. Even by wearing the same clothes or outfits, having the same hairstyle, something like a dramatic lighting, expressive posture and poses will transform the image completely.


What is the best way to determine headshot or portrait?

Is the photo only showing the person being themselves and their character? Then most likely it is a headshot. On the flip side, is the image leading you to imagine something and implying emotions? Then you are most likely looking at a portrait. You want that stylish professional headshot for your branding or a portrait to tell your story, I am just an email or a phone call away. Get in touch.

3071028How do you own your personal branding or your identity. As described by the PsyPhotology (see

Your Identity = Your Truth + Your Appearance x Your Experience

The ownership of your identity or personal brand truly indicates:

  • you are someone very confident and grounded
  • you enjoy being visible
  • you appreciate being in the moment

All of this in photographic term, means that your camera confidence readily spills over into your life and the way you interact with people in all walks of life.

Being a person at ease with yourself and having a positive relationship with your appearance strengthen your sense of self. Because you do not worry about what other people may think of you, you are not preoccupied with your looks, nor you are worried about how others may judge you and you are not wasting your energy worrying about what others think. You would rather focus on the thing that really matters – a quest for authenticity and remaining true to your beliefs.

It’s likely this ‘camera-confidence’ translates to how you behave and relate to others in all walks of life. Your sense of self suggests a person at ease with who you are and who has a positive relationship with their appearance. Because you’re not preoccupied with how you look, or how others may judge you, you’re not one to waste energy worrying about what others may think, instead, you focus on what’s really important – a quest for authenticity and remaining true to your beliefs.

Personally I ‘Own It’! My PQ (Psyphotology Quotient) score indicates I am someone who is confident, grounded and generally happy being in front of a camera. Being photographed is something I may even look forward to. I feel comfortable being visible and appreciate and rather enjoy the way a photo can capture a moment or event across time and place – from the mundane to the monumental – and for better or worse.

Do you ”Own It?”

People who ‘Own It’ are often ‘radiators’- fun to be around, forthright and candid; rather than being ‘drains’. The same holds true for others in your life. Your sense of self-worth means you can be coached or directed by others – you see power in authenticity and strength in vulnerability as it allows you to explore different aspects of who you really are. You trust and are trusted.

So what now?

It’s time to create your own story and living your personal brand. Go to the Psyphotology experience will enable you to find out whether you really do ‘Own It’


Nowadays, most individuals and businesses use online presence to initiate contacts to establish a relationship. As such in order to find someone, they look each other up on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other online social media platforms. The first impression they encounter will encourage them to dig further into the words on the page next to or below your photograph to find out more about you. Picture

A7832628s such the picture you publish for your professional opportunities must show a summary of your personality and both business and personal experiences.

You will be surprised, how interesting it is for head hunters or potential employers who may want to know more about you from the impact of your headshot on LinkedIn that they will go even further to look you on Facebook as well. This is why, you should never underestimate how important it is to have your headshot done by a professional headshot photographer for your online profiles.

Without an effective professional headshot, your online profiles are just plain words on a screen or a piece of paper.

I have been asked this question many times about my style by mostly other fellow photographers I meet for the first time. First thing that will come to mind is ”fashion style” to many of us when asked this question. Well I am not talking about my fashion style. I am talking about my photographic style.

To answer this question, I have to go back to my high school years when I was doing my first and last class taught photography course. When we had an assignment to shoot people, I always cropped the head and face to be the main thing in the frame. I never got any good grades for doing so but I personally liked it so much, I just kept doing it irrespect of whatever grade I was going to get. A couple of years passed since that semester of photography class, I picked up my camera when I was at university (college) and on a basketball game trip to Atlanta – Georgia (USA), while sitting at the airport waiting for our flight, I was snapping headshots of my teammates, the coaching and training staff, it was then thta I got hooked on headshots without knowing it. Amongst other things like shooting macro and landscape from time to time, I kept always coming back to shooting tight headshot of people.

Where did it become my call?

While living in Indoesia 7 years ago, I got even so drawn into people faces on the streets, traditional markets and local satelite villages amongst the high rises around our home in Jakarta. I found myself shooting only heads. I went on a photo walk organised by a team of husband and wife Commercial Photographer and Photo Tours organiser Melbourne The Photographer, all I seemed to take was tight headshot. He encouraged to do that if that felt natural for me but also to occasionally show the environment specially in a place like Jakarta.


Image of a labourer at the Sunda Kelapa Harbour in Jakarta – Indonesia

My family and I moved the United Kingdom after leaving Indonesia, I coninued with my street portrait while shooting some Editorial and Fashion but I always had a few minutes of crafting some portrait (tight face shots) during any of my shoot sessions. Though I wanted to do mostly sports portrait but something always seemed to put me back to headshot.

Finding my way by way of admiring other photographers

As most people who found photography, there is nothing more beautiful than having an out of focus background behind your main subject in the image. I started concentrating on that and playing with my lighting. Then I needed to learn more about lighting to get more creative with what I wanted to do, I sought out the teaching of one of the best instructors and Masters of lighting in the world Frank Doorhof. I went to his studio in Emmeloord for some One On One sessions. Frank armed me with what I need about working with light and being creative with it. Though people asked me at times when I told them that Frank is the one who taught me my lighting techniques, ”but your work does not look like Frank’s”. That is when I always quote Bruce Lee the martial art guy ”Learn and absorb all you can, then make it your own”.


First One On One lighting session with Frank Doorhof at his studio in Emmeloord – The Netherlands

Where to go from here

When I started shooting my cinematic look, I did not know that there were people out there consistently doing it already. By accident, I stumbled across Dylan Patrick’s an awesome cinematic headshot photographer from New York at the time (now Los Angeles), then everything fell into place for me. Coming across Dylan a few months ago has been the catalyst of my current photography and going forward. I hooked up with Dylan through his Cinematic Headshot Facebook page since with many other photographer from around the world and we are discussing each other images everyday providing support and guidance to everyone in the group.

So what is my style?

People faces portrait is my style. How do I define my style, well I try to maintain a common thread throughout my cinematic headshot, in way of being consistent with my lighting and mood, encompassing other photographers’ work similar to mine that I admire into my own, continually refining what I am doing, keep experimenting and more spending more time in practicing and learning new techniques. All of that put together is the reflection of the world and the people in that world around me as seen through my own eyes and the eye of my lens and camera because I am always putting a little bit of myself into my images. That is my style.

This is where my style is now but in constant refinement and need of improvement as see below