Attorney Headshots: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - Martindale-Avvo

Attorney Headshots: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Male attorney headshot, studio headshot, portrait

Many prospective clients’ first impression of your firm comes from your website and the media you use on it. Imagine what you think about outdated, dull headshots — now consider the perspective of a potential client. Just like you, they aren’t looking for someone who is simply a paragon of professionalism. They are looking for someone with the expertise, drive, and passion for tackling their legal issue. Carefully planning your headshots and firm photos is one way to create a powerful first impression, and can convert visitors to customers.

Is It Time for New Headshots?

As you look at your firm’s website, you might wonder if you need new photos or if you’re fine with what you have. If your team has changed significantly and multiple team members are represented by stock filler photos instead of headshots, it’s time to revamp these images and show a more personalized view of your firm. 

The same is true if your firm has changed locations or the photos being used are over three years old. If a client would not recognize their attorney in person from their headshot, new ones are necessary.

Create a Cohesive Look

While you do not want everyone to look the same, a cohesive look shows the unity of your firm. Tell your team what to wear for the day and if they’ll need multiple outfits. You might want them to come in business casual dress or court-ready attire, depending on the shots you’re planning and the mood you want to set. Allow for some flexibility so attorneys can express themselves.

Choose the Right Photographer and Discuss Your Budget

Not all photographers are created equal. Hire someone with extensive and focused experience in legal headshots rather than those who do general business photography. Spend some time gathering inspiration from other firms’ websites for inspiration. Make sure to ask if the photographer you’re considering has experience in the legal field. 

Having examples of what you do and don’t want will be very helpful for your photographer. Be upfront about your budget and work with your photographer to develop a plan that fits your content needs and your budget.

Think Beyond Headshots

Headshots are an essential part of your firm’s public image, but you also want to spend some time on shots that capture the culture and vibrance of your office. Consider photos that show your team meeting in conference rooms, engaging at the water cooler, answering phones, or researching a case. Obviously, do not have shots where any confidential information is shared, but getting a little more personal can help show prospective clients that you’re real people solving real problems.

Leave Wiggle Room in the Schedule

A strict schedule for the photoshoot could derail your day. There will inevitably be setbacks, and your schedule should be flexible enough to account for them. Your photographer might notice flyaway hairs after a set of photos, an outfit that blends into the background and needs to be changed, or sensitive information left out on the conference table that means reshooting a set of photos. Your photographer may also need to adjust their lens and staging to account for changes in lighting throughout the day.

Once you have a schedule in place, make sure everyone involved has a copy via email and print-out. Keep a copy accessible remotely so employees can have everything they need on the day of the shoot. The schedule should be comprehensive, including information on where specific team members should be at each point of the day, what outfits or props people should have with them during each set of shots, and where people can get changed or touch up their hair and makeup. This may be an opportunity for a paralegal or administrative assistant, if you’re the principal of the firm and find yourself low on time.

With a strong set of headshots and photos of your office in action, your website will take on an entirely new tone and energy. Your future clients will get to see your team as they are every day, working hard and collaborating on cases. Website visitors will undoubtedly have a much better first impression of your firm, laying the groundwork for an uptick in clients.

Do you have any tips for legal website headshots? Know any photographers that could use a shout-out? Let us know on social media.

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