Theatrical vs Commercial Headshots: Common and Different Facts

Photography Image
Photography May 30, 2024

Read | Loved by: 749

Theatrical vs Commercial Headshots

Hi there, looking for headshot photography? Which one? Theatrical or Commercial? Of course, they are not the same thing. There are many differences as well as similarities between theatrical and commercial. I know what you are wondering. I often get this question from the clients ‘What is the difference between theatrical vs commercial headshots?’. So, let me clarify the difference between theatrical vs commercial headshots.

Hi there, looking for headshot photography? Which one? Theatrical or Commercial? Of course, they are not the same thing. There are many differences as well as similarities between theatrical and commercial. I know what you are wondering. I often get this question from the clients ‘What is the difference between theatrical vs commercial headshots?’. So, let me clarify the difference between theatrical vs commercial headshots.

Theatrical vs Commercial Headshots : What's the Difference?

Now here is a common question that should come to everyone’s mind ‘If theatrical and commercial headshot photography are not the same then can photography do both theatrical and commercial photography?’

Or, you might wonder ‘Even if they are similar in concept then can I not catch some rays of both theatrical and commercial photography in one headshot session?’ to find the answers let's get more into the details…

What is a Theatrical Headshot?

This point is specially dedicated to the upcoming actors and actresses. Theatrical headshots also known as film headshots and theatre headshot. This photograph is done to capture different expressions of an actor/actress mostly for audition purposes. In theatrical headshots expressions, and facial features are important to be captured properly. There are also some specific gestures that the actors of the models have to follow.

How would you take theatrical headshots? Some common gestures can be followed in most theatrical headshot photography. Like, you have to stand tall and chest up and your eye has to be focused on the camera. The lighting has to hit naturally. and most importantly the background needs to be soft and non-distractive.

What is a Commercial Headshot?

A commercial headshot doesn’t specify any professional in particular. It is done for corporate purposes. A commercial Headshot is done to promote any product. How? Imagine you have been hired by a skincare company that wants to promote its skincare serums and sunscreens. They will want your skin's close shots. Leading it to a commercial headshot.

Or even if you want a job position at a company where your face value creates or leaves some impact, the company might need your corporate headshots. Here the focus is on following the demographics.

What is a Commercial Headshot

Commercial vs Theatrical Headshot

There are many types of headshot photography and headshot retouching to study. Sticking to theatrical vs commercial headshot photography, there are many similarities and differences between Theatrical and Commercial Headshot. If I have to put it in a table then it might look something like this.

Sl

Feature

Theatrical

Commercial

1

Smile

Depends: Usually it is advised not to smile in theatrical headshot photography and to focus on the expression that is instructed or required for the photo. In this case, if the script or the role requires one to be happy then 


Yes. Commercial headshot photography needs smiles

2

Lighting

Simple and Natural lights are preferred

Bight and flashy lights are preferred to focus on the products.

3

Colors

Non-distractive colors and simple, dark colors are preferred.

Bright colors that pop are often used for commercial photography to grab the attention

4

Attire

Light, not so hard on the eye, basic colors and earthy colors like black, white, beige, and brown are suitable for theatrical photoshoots.

Bright colors that easily catch the attention and hold the attention for some time are preferred here.

5

Background

Light color backgrounds are well blended in theatrical photoshoots

Even in commercial photoshoots, the background is often kept light color to get a good contrast on products. 

These were the basic differences and matches between commercial and theatrical photoshoots.

Packing Up With…

Acting industry, advertising industry, no matter what industry you are looking forward to you will need a proper portfolio for your career. If you are going to grow your career in an industry where your face value is measured then this task becomes one of the must-do jobs. So, grab some confident expressions for your acting career and shoot what is best for you.

Do both theatrical and commercial headshot photography in one headshot session and get the best headshot photo editing from Color Clipping Ltd. Because they offer the best photo retouching service at the best deal on the market. So save up your money for the future also by getting a professional service.

FAQ

there are many types of headshots in the photography industry. But specifically for the acting industry, there are mainly two types of headshot photography. 1. Commercial photography and 2. Feature shots are basically theatrical shots.
It is suggested not to smile in theatrical photoshoots since the purpose of this photoshoot is to showcase the acting expression and confidence through your eyes in the photograph. That's why it's wise not to smile in a theatrical headshot.
Yes. If you are looking for a career and doing the photoshoot for that purpose then I would definitely suggest you to go for a professional headshot session for a good outcome. You can find a good headshot photographer within budget if you decide to do headshot editing from somewhere else or more specifically from Color Clipping Ltd.
 

Anika Wahab Photo
Written by

Anika Wahab

Hello, it's Anika, Content Executive from Color Clipping Ltd with a devotion to contributing my skills and knowledge more simply. Keep learning and growing with us.