Professional Portrait: The Different Styles

June 20, 2024

Are you contemplating having professional portrait taken and wonder what professional portrait photography style you suit you or your needs the most?

Let’s dive into what styles and options for professional portrait out there are available for your consideration.


1. Traditional Portraits

Traditional portraits, often taken in professional portrait studio, are classic and timeless. They typically feature the subject posed and looking directly at the camera. The focus is on capturing the subject’s appearance with a clean background. One of the biggest plus of having traditional professional portrait taken is that lighting is controlled and can be manipulated to enhance the subject’s features. The professional portrait studio environment also helps to highlight the subjects with the uncluttered background.

Traditional portraits are commonly used for formal occasions, business portraits, corporate headshot, actor’s headshot, and professional profiles. They are also firm favourites for classic family photography, with resulting portraits being proud processions of the family and displayed at family home. 

Further reading: Business Portraits: How to exude confidence as entrepreneurs

2. Environmental Portraits

Environmental portraits place the subject in a setting that is in an environment outside of a portrait studio. In the context of corporate portraits, often the environment is significant to or representative of the subjects’ work. This style can provide context and tell a story about the subject’s background, interests, or profession. For example, an artist works in her studio, or a coach giving advice to clients. The environment adds depth to the professional portrait, offering a glimpse into the subject’s world. It is a popular option for personal branding or personal brand photography.

Further reading: What is Branding Photography and Why is it important

The environment can also be a scenic setting as a background for personal or fashion portraits. What about setting foot in your ultimate dream locations for dream photo shoots?

Further reading: Capturing Beauty in Venice: A Dream Photo Shoot to Remember


3. Candid Portraits

Candid portraits capture the subject in spontaneous, natural moments. Rather than posing, the subject is photographed engaging in an activity or interaction, without direct engagement with the camera in their professional portrait photography session. This style is excellent for capturing genuine emotions and expressions, resulting in portraits that feel authentic and intimate. If you are looking for relaxed corporate portrait, or you prefer not to pose for the camera, candid professional portrait can be the best option for you.


4. Glamour and Fashion Portraits

Glamour and fashion portraits focus on beauty, style, and sophistication. This genre of professional portrait often involves professional hair, makeup, and wardrobe styling. It can be offered as a makeover photoshoot. The photographer may use creative lighting, dramatic poses, and high-end retouching techniques to create striking images. Glamour portraits highlight the subject’s physical attributes, while fashion portraits emphasize more on clothing and accessories.


5. Fine Art Portraits

Fine art portraits are a blend of photography and artistic expression. This style allows for creative freedom, often incorporating conceptual themes, elaborate costumes, and imaginative settings. Fine art portraits are characterized by their artistic quality and emotional depth, as well as precise execution of photographic techniques in their execution. These portraits are often ready for artistic display and collection.


6. Conceptual Portraits

Conceptual portraits are driven by a specific idea or concept that can stretch beyond reality. They often involve elaborate setups, props, and post-processing to convey a particular message or story. This style allows for significant creativity and experimentation, resulting in portraits that are visually captivating, at times thoughts provoking.


7. Lifestyle Portraits

Lifestyle portraits aim to capture the essence of everyday life. They depict the subject in their natural environment, engaged in real-life activities. The style is relaxed and informal, focusing on genuine interactions and moments. Lifestyle portraits are popular for family photography, capturing the warmth and connection between loved ones in a natural setting.

8. Black and White Portraits

Black and white portraits strip away the distraction of color, emphasizing composition, texture, and emotion. Professional portrait photography in black and white style can add a timeless and classic feel to the portrait. The absence of color often highlights the subject’s expressions and the interplay of light and shadow, creating a dramatic and impactful image.


9. Editorial Portraits

Editorial portraits are professional portraits that are more stylized, as if they are editorial content in a magazine feature. Often they imply a theme or story, capturing the subject in a way that complements the narrative and engages the reader.


10. Boudoir Portraits

Boudoir portraits are intimate and sensual, typically taken in a bedroom or similar private setting. This professional portrait photography style celebrates the subject’s beauty and confidence, often featuring lingerie or tasteful nudity. Boudoir photography aims to make the subject feel empowered and comfortable, creating elegant and personal images.


Conclusion: different styles of professional portrait photography

A professional portrait that captures your attention or imagination may not just fit into one category above but crosses over several categories. Whichever style and option appeals to you, great portrait photography will take you to another level of self-perception. They will help you feel empowered and proud, elevating your confidence in yourself.

Whether the consideration of professional portrait is for business or personal reason, it is a great step forward for one’s empowerment!

Further reading: Your Stunning Photos in an Art Form


London professional photographer

If you are looking for a professional photographer in London, look no further. My repertoire of professional portraits work covers all the style above. I am an awarded and published photographer with a portrait studio in London. I would love to hear from you if my style appeals to you! Please do get in contact.