When the average person thinks of a law firm, chances are there is some imagery that will pop up in their minds instantly. Gavels, the scales of justice and judges’ wigs are all stereotypical images that come to mind when one thinks of the word ‘law’. You think it would be so easy to pick out images for your law firm website, given that there are so many easily recognizable law images out there. But, these images are so overused in media and online that they come off as tired, uninspired, and basic. So, choosing the right image for your blog, website landing pages, or social media can be trickier than you might think. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind when choosing images for your law firm website.
Pixel Perfect Pictures
First things first, make sure your images are good quality. We touched on this in a previous blog post about creating great presentations. All of those tips apply here. The easiest way to make sure that you are using good quality photos that you are allowed to use in terms of copyright, is to use a stock photo site like Shutterstock, iStock, or Getty Images. This way, you are always assured that you will not only have the best quality photos, and you will also never have to worry about copyright issues.
Avoid the Gavel
Keep your website clean, modern, and professional looking by avoiding all the usual photos we mentioned above. Here is a helpful list of all the stereotypical imagery you should avoid:
- Law books/libraries
- Stacks of paper with ‘Contract’ written at the top
- Statue of Justice
- Corinthian Columns
Of course sometimes, on very rare and special occasions, it’s not the worst thing in the world to use one of these. However, if you do use one of these elements, make sure to use images with unique styling, colouring, and angles.
Keep it Focused
When choosing an image to accompany an article on a new ruling or legislation that came into effect: instead of choosing an image that focuses on law (e.g. a judge banging a gavel) focus on the subject of the law itself (e.g. cars for a traffic law, a family photo for family law). This goes for images for awards and other firm news too. Focus on the lawyers that won the award (headshot) rather than a generic image of the firm logo or the award badge. This way, your website and social media pages will have a variety of photos over time, rather than several photos of the same gavel from different angles.
The Same, But Different
Even though you’re using different photos throughout your blog or website, they need to have a consistent look. Brand consistency will keep your timelines and blog landing pages from looking like a messy hodge-podge of images. Think of it like this: a new box of crayons looks clean and tidy. Even though all the crayons are different colours, they are the same brand, length, and sharpness. Compare that to a random box of crayons found at a preschool: they look messy and disorganized because there is no consistency.
To keep your images consistent with your brand, follow the rules for photography set out in your brand style guide. If you need to create one for your brand, we will be happy to help. Your brand photography style guidelines might look something like this:
Smith and Smith Law Firm photos have a warm, neutral tone with natural lighting. Diverse people are featured with friendly demeanors […]
They will usually also provide examples of images that fit these guidelines.
Spoiled for choice
There are many beautiful, artistic, and stunningly shot photos available on stock photo sites today. Gone are the days of limited choice and exorbitant prices, nowadays you can get access to hundreds of thousands of images for a relatively small monthly fee. But the downside of so much choice, is that you sometimes have to wade through a lot of sub-standard content to get to the good stuff.
Here are some elements of not-so-great images that you can leave behind:
Poorly lit photos
3D bobbleheads in various poses
Scrabble tiles spelling out your subject
Photos with glowing diagrams
A piece of paper with your subject written or typed on it
Choosing the right image for your law firm website or social media pages is as much an art as it is science. These tips will set you on the right track to make sure that the images you select are good quality, on brand, and not stereotypical. If you need further help with your law firm brand, contact us.