Matching an attorney bio with an appropriate headshot

Studio setting with lights and photographer with client in business casual

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  Why are attorney headshots important?

  What are the best attorney headshot tips?

On this blog, we’ve shared many marketing tips for attorneys. If there’s one such tip we could re-emphasize, it’s this: Your headshot matters.

Over the course of 25 years, we’ve helped hundreds of attorneys better position themselves to draw in new clients and create a robust pipeline of work. A common step that attorneys can overlook is not giving enough thought to their headshot – or not even having one at all. This puts them at a very real disadvantage when it comes to the all-important process of appealing to potential new clients and generating new billable work. 

In this post, we will share some attorney headshot tips that will help you put your best foot forward and, in doing so, get a leg up on your competition. 

Why are attorney headshots important?

A headshot adds a touch of professionalism to your brand and humanizes your online presence. It can even leave a lasting impression on potential clients, making you more memorable and increasing the likelihood of them choosing you as their attorney. 

Here are a few more reasons why having a headshot is essential. 

People want to see whom they’re working with

Each one of us likes to see the person we are working with or may soon be working with. A headshot allows potential clients to put a face to your name, creating a personal connection even before meeting you in person. Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective client — you have a very important matter you need to get resolved and aren’t sure who would be the best person to help you. You don’t want to hire someone you can’t see! 

The way you present yourself communicates a lot about you

Visual and non-verbal communication matters every bit as much as written and verbal communication do. An attorney headshot is an opportunity to show someone who may want to hire you who you are. It’s an opportunity to show them that you are professional, relatable, and someone they should choose when making their hiring decision.  

A headshot completes your online presence

We love it when attorneys keep their online bio and website up to date, have a strong and active social media presence, and maintain an informative and helpful blog. None of those things will work as well as they could, however, if the lawyer behind them does not have a headshot. Without a clear, current photo of yourself, the potential client’s image of you will remain abstract. That’s not to say the other tools we mentioned don’t work — they just won’t function as optimally as they could if you can’t help a possible new client form a good mental image of you.

As you can see, having an attorney headshot really can make a difference. Now, let’s talk about what makes a good one. 

What are the best attorney headshot tips? 

If it’s in your budget, having a professional headshot is the best option. Professional photographers are experts when it comes to presenting you in the best way possible.  

An amateur headshot will also suffice if you follow these attorney headshot tips: 

Go with a neutral background 

An important thing to remember is that wherever a viewer sees your headshot, it probably won’t be very big. Keeping the background neutral (like a single-colored wall, for example) will keep the focus on your face.

Taking a photo somewhere like in a law library can look good, but it might make the photo look too busy when the picture is small. You want the focus to be on you, not where you were when the photo was taken. 

Choose subdued, professional clothing 

A good attorney headshot is one that shows the lawyer in professional, understated clothing. On a subjective level, that communicates good taste, strong judgment, and quiet competence. On a more practical level, clothing and jewelry that aren’t too trendy mean the headshot won’t date quickly and can be used for a long time. 

Ask for help 

Photos look better when they’re taken by someone else. Selfies may be fine for social media, but they aren’t what people expect to see when they are learning about an attorney and trying to decide whether to hire them. Asking a friend or coworker to take a photo for you will make the angle and position of the photo look better. 

Lighting, lighting, lighting 

Lighting is the element of any photo that can be the hardest to get right. In the case of an attorney headshot, the subject should be evenly lit so there are no unusual shadows. While outdoor light can look good, taking the photo indoors will mean the light is easier to control. 

An attorney headshot is an important part of a first impression, but there’s a lot more to it that you should know about. Learn more about crafting your online presence with our guide, “Six ways attorneys can make a great first impression online,” available for complimentary download.  

6 ways attorneys can make a great first impression online

In this guide, we’ll explore:

  • Creating an effective attorney bio and getting the most out of your headshot
  • Maintaining a professional, well-informed social media presence
  • The proper way to promote your accolades

Download guide

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