Prepping for a Great Photograph
One of the most visited pages on a law firm website is the bio page. Potential clients want to know about you before they contact you or your firm directly. Your website bio is one of the first chances you get to make a good first impression, therefore, it is invaluable to have your bio image taken by a professional photographer.
Although images can be enhanced in Photoshop, it is important to think about how you want the photograph to look before having your picture taken. You want your image to convey professionalism and confidence – being well dressed with a smile goes a long way.
You Need a Good, No Great, Photo for Your Website
Your website is often the first service you provide to potential clients. It gives them a preview of your personality, your attention to detail, and your ability to communicate (which is why it is important to make sure you can deliver on the promises your website makes). After the home page one of the most visited pages on a law firm website is the bio page.
Potential clients want to know a little bit about you before they contact you directly. That means your first chance to make an impression comes before you have a chance to speak or correspond with anyone. So, it is very important to put some effort into your bio page.
Clients tend to hire attorneys for their knowledge and personality. Therefore, while it’s important to expand on your legal experience, you should also spend some time thinking about your image before your biography photo is taken. It pays off to hire a professional photographer and to update it every few years so that your photo is at least a reasonable approximation of your current appearance.
People want to see who they might be doing business with, especially when it comes to sharing the kind of personal and sensitive information that attorneys require to provide service. Take the time to have a large, updated, professional photo taken for your bio. There is no need to go to great expense, but don’t use a tiny thumbnail that resembles a poorly scanned picture or the typical flat green/ blue background headshot.
Attorneys typically use professional headshots in their email and social media. Headshots are great and they certainly have a place in your marketing collateral but when it comes to an attorney bio page for you website replacing professional headshots with a variety of candid and wide background full body shots goes a long way.
Things to Consider Before Your Shoot
Real background photos and candid photos tend to be significantly more engaging and more relatable than the typical flat background headshot. These kinds of photographs typically portray you in the best light, and they portray a more approachable feel and trust worthy look, you also tend to look more reliable and they have a personal touch. In some cases they can represent strength and character.
Some useful tips to take into account while taking wide-real life background images and candid images are:
- High Angle Photos: Ask whoever is taking the photographs to take a couple of shots from a higher elevation than your head, by either standing on stool or holding the camera higher than your head-level. This will eliminate any double-chin issues that even the slimmest of us experience in eye-level photos and will give the photograph an custom angle than what we are use to seeing. Avoid taking photos from below eye-level.
- Dress For Success: Digital photography tends to make fabric patterns visually vibrate and that can be very disturbing for the eye. Avoid wearing clothes that have dark stripes, small repeated shapes (like dots, flowers, checkered patterns, etc.). Make sure that whatever you wear will look appropriate if cropped at shoulder or waist height. Making sure you are well dressed and professional.
- Bring Light into the Photo: Try to avoid using the flash and use ambient lights, if necessary bring extra lamps and lighting to the location of the photo-shoot. Try to have as much light around you as possible, with a safe distance. This will make you look light and bright without washing you out, and will reduce unattractive shadowing on your face.
- Clean & Simple: Try to avoid cluttered surroundings before staging your photo shoot. If you are taking shots at your desk or office space out away items like pens, papers and any distracting items, keep it as clean and simple as possible.
- Outdoor backgrounds: Try taking a couple of outdoor shots. Photographs out in nature tend to be more engaging, and images with natural light tend to also be more favorable for a photographers eye. It can be shots in the outside of you office building on a nice nature background.
And finally make sure you take multiple shots of the same pose from different angles and to ask the photographer to keep a wide background for the designer to crop the image as needed. It is very important to keep in mind that it is better to have a wide background image and crop it as you wish to have a tight cropped image and have no background to work with. The same goes for multiple shots it is best to have variety to choose from that to end-up wishing you had taken the time to do a couple of extra shots.