The breaks and truncations in the luminosity profile of face-on spiral galaxies offer valuable insights in their formation history. The traditional method of deriving the surface photometry profile for face-on galaxies is to use elliptical averaging. In this paper, we explore the question whether elliptical averaging is the best way to do this. We apply two additional surface photometry methods, one new: principal axis summation, and one old that has become seldom used: equivalent profiles. These are compared to elliptically averaged profiles using a set of 29 face-on galaxies. We find that the equivalent profiles match extremely well with elliptically averaged profiles, confirming the validity of using elliptical averaging. The principal axis summation offers a better comparison to edge-on galaxies.