The way I tackle this dilemma is to give the client a good variety by using different backgrounds, settings, clothing changes, and of course coach them through a good variety of expressions. You can do this rather quickly if you scout the location ahead of time or prepare your studio. For this included gallery, I was at the client’s location which was rather tight; but I ensured he not shave before the shoot. Having him shaving during the shoot gave us very different looks indeed! I will follow up with another post with another set of looks.
For possible clients reading this, getting a good variety helps in countless ways. You can better target your headshot to the casting calls, specific rolls, etc. More contemporary edgy shot may be more suitable for some roles, and a classic warm smiling shot may be more in tune with some of the classic roles, etc.
Having a variety also helps with Professional Branding of any business or entrepreneur, etc. Everyone has that stuffy plain background on many business sites, and your image does not stand out and even gets lost in a sea of similar shots. I recently completed a professional branding package for an Attorney who in addition to many other areas of expertise takes many cases with legal issues involving pets. She is a pet lover, and along with shots of her in her office, at the court house, we added a shoot at her home with her dogs. These photos were not only a big hit on here new website, but made her much more approachable and human to prospective clients. Needless to say it has impacted her business for the better, and that’s an understatement.