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The Secret to Attorney Photos That Stand Out

Spend a few minutes scrolling through legal websites, and you’ll quickly notice something: after a while, the images all start to look the same. Is this lawyer really better than that one? Are they even different people?

 

The last thing you want to do is blend in. Yet with so many firms serving up the same old boring photos featuring the same staid portrait styles, blending in is exactly what most do. What’s the point of even having a photo if it doesn’t attract client attention?

It doesn’t have to be this way. Your photos can strike a professional note without looking like another fish in a sea of boring gray and black suits and dull bookcases.

Here’s how to create photos that stand out in all the right ways.

Hire a Professional

The single most important way to ensure your photos look incredible is to hire a professional. It’s not enough to just Google “professional photographer” and hope for the best. You need someone who specializes in corporate headshots--and ideally who has plenty of expertise working with attorneys. Ask to see a portfolio of previous work. Do you like the images? Do they all look the same, or do they each convey something unique about their subject? Don’t shy away from asking what the photographer will do to make your image special. A skilled expert should have a wide range of ideas for making your photos stand out from the crowd.

Consider Your Branding

One of the biggest mistakes a law firm can make in their marketing strategy is inconsistent branding. Look at your website, your press releases, your social media pages, and other key branding materials. What message do they convey? What image will complement this message? It’s very easy for a global law firm with multiple locations to begin to appear disjointed and inconsistent. Audit your branding regularly to ensure every location, platform, and message is following your standards. A quality corporate photographer will travel with you and create that consistency across the board.

Look Like Yourself

Everyone wants to look better than they actually do, and there’s no shame in this. Each of your lawyer’s photos, however, should look like them. For most people, that’s going to mean a suit, conservative makeup, and putting slightly more effort into appearance than the average day. If you typically wear glasses, don’t take them off. If you have a trademark piece you always wear--such as a unique scarf or heirloom earrings--wear them.

Lawyers who adopt a more casual approach may want to consider letting this come through in their photos. Global law firms with multiple locations may consider writing standards for dress and appearance. Ask your photographer how to capture your firm’s unique approach to client care with your legal portraits.

Accurately Depict Your Firm

Some attorneys actually try to blend in. They do what they've seen other lawyers do. In some cases, this can obfuscate what’s great about their own work. Don’t copy other lawyers’ images or poses. Instead, think about what’s special about your firm, and find a way to make this shine through. Do you run a patent law firm that has several scientists on staff? Consider showing a technical meeting, or shooting your photos with a background that displays your interest in science.

It can be helpful to make a list of 3-5 things that set your firm apart. Then ask your photographer how you can best present these additional sources of value in your images.

Surprise the Viewer

There’s a consistent formula for attorney headshots for a reason: it works. So don’t deviate too far from it. A photo of you riding on the highway in your convertible is almost never going to work. That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Try incorporating something surprising and interesting into your shots. You might shoot a few photos outside, add a pop of color to your outfit, or incorporate cultural garb into your photo. It’s all about balancing the traditional with the unique, so ask for second opinions and always ask the photographer to shoot several different poses.

Consider Multiple Images

If you regularly ride your motorcycle to meet clients at your home, a photo of you in a helmet is still not the ideal choice for your main profile photo. However, attorneys who want to convey more about their personality should consider taking multiple images. Select a traditional headshot, and then ask for additional images to use on your website or social media page. For instance, the lead image on your profile page might be a traditional shot, while some footer images might show you in a courtroom or riding your motorcycle to meet a client.

Your headshot is the first thing most potential clients will see. Take it seriously. It might require a bit of planning, a small financial investment, and a day spent posing for the camera. But the payoff of more clients, better clients, and quality branding will be well worth it. In an image-driven society, you might as well not exist if you don’t have quality images on your website.

© Copyright 2018 Gittings Photography

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About this Author

Greg Lorfing, Gittings, Legal, Headshot
CEO, President, and Creative Director

Greg Lorfing is the CEO, President, and Creative Director of GittingsLegal, a global photography agency specializing in high-quality law firm portraiture. With a global network of photographers in 36 U.S cities and 15 countries throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, GittingsLegal delivers consistent and high-quality legal portraits to firms with multiple office locations.

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