The most important part of any law firm website is the lawyer bio, and at the heart of every lawyer bio is the lawyer’s photo.
What a potential client sees there is up to you. They could see a professional photo that communicates what your law firm brand stands for and instills a sense of trust, turning that potential client into an actual client with a simple click. Or it could send them scrambling to click the back button to scour their search results again. So what makes a good lawyer photo?
Read below for 8 essential tips.
Keep it professional
The first and arguably the most important tip is to hire a professional photographer. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many large firms ignore this tip. Making sure that you hire not only a professional photographer but one that specializes specifically in professional portraits is especially important. Do your research and look through the photographer’s portfolio to make sure that they can achieve the look you’re going for.
Go big or go home
The biggest mistake we see law firms making is using tiny, low-resolution photos for their lawyers on the bio page. Of all the tips on this list, this is the easiest to fix and it has the biggest effect on the overall look of your bio page. Make sure that the photo is prominent on the page and is in focus. Don’t forget to use good quality photos that are correctly formatted and sized.
Step into the light
Any photographer will tell you that the most important part in setting up a shot is getting the lighting right. The biggest giveaway that a photo was taken by an amateur is that it’s dark and dreary. Remember also that light tells a story, and depending on what your brand’s key message is, you might want a different lighting set up. Are you a serious litigator? A more dramatic, high contrast look might show off your authoritative competence. Are you a family law team? Then an outdoor shoot in natural light would be a perfect way to showcase your friendly and welcoming air.
Just like light, the angles created in a shot also tell a story. The litigator might want to stand up straight and hold their chin up. The family lawyer would do better to stand in a more relaxed pose and smile. It’s all about showcasing who you are as a lawyer. During the shoot, try to project the persona that you adopt when meeting with new clients. It will inevitably translate on film (or memory card).
Colour inside the lines
Choose to wear a colour palette that compliments your firm’s brand. And better yet, coordinate with the other lawyers so that everyone is wearing a similar palette. This makes the lawyer landing page look consistent and aesthetically pleasing. For example, if your brand colours are blue and green, you could all wear dark blue or green suit wear with white accents to match your brand colours. Or if your main brand colour is a very bright orange, you could choose to wear a neutral black, white and grey palette, to contrast the brightness. Both approaches create a harmonious look.
Consistency is key
Another big mistake law firms are making right now is having a hodgepodge of different photography styles on their website. Every photo is taken in a different light, at a different angle and with a different filter. This makes the whole website look messy and unprofessional. Make sure that all the photos are taken in the same light (if there’s a dramatic shadow, make sure it’s always on the right etc.) and at the same distance (bust, torso, full-body etc.). Then make sure that they are edited the same way. If you have many offices across the country, you can ask your photographer to make a style guide for other photographers to follow, detailing the equipment and settings used.
Rinse and repeat
Carrying on from the last point, make sure to choose a photography style that is easily repeatable. For example, if you would like to rent a yacht and take all your photos out in the middle of the ocean on the sunniest day of the year, you might run into an issue when a new associate joins mid-December. While having an ambitious photoshoot is a great investment for an evergreen advertising campaign, they aren’t that practical for bio photos. Keep your concepts concise and your photoshoot plans plausible.
Is that real is or is it Photoshopped?
Yes, lawyer bio photos can be edited. Tie crooked? Easy fix. Pimples? Wrinkles? Shiny face? All can be adjusted in Photoshop. Notice we didn’t say you could do the adjustments. This is a another one that you can leave to the professionals. A skilled graphic designer can help you edit your photos so that not only are they free of distracting imperfections but also correct colours, mask and resize the photo for web. Sometimes photographers do offer basic photo editing as part of their photography package, but it’s your responsibility to make sure their edits are cohesive with your web design and overall brand.
And that’s all the tips we have for you today. Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list of all the ways that you can make your lawyer photos great, but following these tips will definitely be a great start. If this all seems like a lot, don’t worry. A marketing firm that specializes in Legal Marketing can help to ensure that all of these tips and more are incorporated into your photos.