Seven Attorney Headshot Tips for Success

by | Nov 14, 2020

Whether you’re an attorney for a large firm or the owner of a small practice, attorney headshots can help establish credibility and help you attract clients. For visitors to your website and social media accounts, your photos are the first impression they’ll receive. If you look confident, competent, and trustworthy, people will be more willing to allow you to represent them in a court of law. Read on to learn our seven tips for great lawyer headshots.

Tip #1: Choose Your Clothing, Jewelry, and Hairstyle Carefully

You should wear classic styles that won’t look old-fashioned or outdated in a year or two. That way, you can use your headshot longer without needing to replace it. Wear formal clothing like a suit or a dress with a blazer, and dress in solid colors. Too many patterns could encourage viewers to pay more attention to your clothes than your face. Black and blue look great on almost everyone. You can also wear white or gray. A light shirt with a darker jacket over it usually looks best.

Pick clothing that fits well, with no spots that look too loose or tight. To look your best, visit a tailor or seamstress and get your suit fitted. Then, remember to iron it before your photoshoot. Your hair and jewelry should look as classic and understated as your clothing. Avoid large bracelets, necklaces, or earrings that could draw attention away from your face, and don’t change your hair too much. It should look similar to the way you wear it every day.

Getting a haircut or having your hair styled by a professional before your photoshoot is a great idea, but you should choose a stylist that you trust. A bad haircut could force you to reschedule your headshots. For men who tend to get five o’clock shadow, a fresh shave may be necessary right before afternoon appointments. Lawyers with beards should make sure they look neatly trimmed.

Tip #2: Use Some Makeup

A bit of concealer can cover up acne, dark circles, and skin discoloration for men and women. You can also use foundation to make your skin color look more even and apply powder or mineral makeup to eliminate shiny skin. Choose the brand and color you want to use carefully, and apply it at least once before your photoshoot. That way, you’ll have time to try a different shade if needed. Avoid heavy makeup, and try to create a natural look. A professional makeup artist can give you recommendations on the best makeup for you and how to apply it.

Tip #3: Relax and Be Yourself

Many people don’t like having their pictures taken, so they look nervous or uncomfortable in photos. Do your best to relax, and remember that your photographer will get several pictures. That way, you can try out a variety of poses and then pick the best one.

A skilled photographer can use lighting and photo editing to make you look your best. For excellent photos, just follow their directions and enjoy the experience. You can reduce stress and make yourself look more relaxed by preparing for the photo shoot and choosing your outfit as soon as possible. Also, get plenty of sleep the night before and plan ahead so you can get there early. That way, you won’t feel rushed if you oversleep or get stuck in traffic.

Tip #4: Learn About Some Common Poses

Often, what looks best in a photograph is different from what looks best in real life. Leaning in a bit if you’re sitting or shifting your weight to one leg when you’re standing can make you look more attentive and approachable. Try to look at the camera and avoid putting your chin up or down too far.

If you don’t feel like giving a big smile, try a small grin. You can also smile before the photographer takes the picture. Even if you stop smiling before the photos, you’ll look more amenable than someone who never smiled. A skilled photographer can make you look serious but not angry, stressed out, or standoffish. Squinting a little, also called “squinching” or “smizing”, will add some interest to your eyes and make you look more engaging.

Tip #5: Choose a Background That Suits Your Brand

You can have your headshots done outside the local courthouse, inside your office, or on a city street. A real estate lawyer might choose to get photos in front of an appealing home, and someone who specializes in environmental law could get great pictures in a park or forest. You can also get your headshots done in front of a famous landmark or a plain background provided by the photographer.

Make sure your clothing contrasts with the background nicely. For example, if you’re wearing a gray suit in front of a set that’s mostly the same color, you could blend in too much.

Tip #6: Pick an Image That Looks Polished and Professional

A headshot with a funny slogan or your head on a comic book character’s body will be memorable, but it won’t increase viewers’ faith in your legal skills. A professional headshot will make you look attractive and successful. While you might be able to get a good picture by taking a selfie or getting a friend to help, the photos will look like an amateur took them. Getting the right lighting and photo editing from an expert with the latest equipment can make a big difference.

Tip #7: If Multiple Lawyers Work at Your Firm, Choose a Consistent Style

The headshots for a law firm should look similar but be different enough to make them interesting to viewers. Many firms take photos for everyone in their offices, and some use a photographer who offers a variety of backgrounds pre-approved by the firm’s partners. Firms will also need to decide whether they want lawyers to smile or look more serious in their headshots.

Check out our lawyer headshots for more tips and information on legal headshots. Or, if you’d like to book a session, go to our San Francisco Headshot Studio page. We can help you look great and expand your business.

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