5 Common Characteristics of the Best Lawyer Profiles

Your lawyer profile photo is the first image most clients see. If it’s not good, it may also be the last. This powerful headshot must sum up who you are and what you do using subtle and attractive visual cues. That can feel like a daunting, even impossible, task. Perhaps that’s why so many lawyers just lop a photo on their social media page or website and hope for the best.

If you’re relying on stock images or using dated images from many years ago, you’re losing customers. Your reputation may also be in decline.

The Best Lawyers Have Stellar Profiles

It’s time to get back to the drawing board, invest in quality portraiture, and make a first impression that really counts. Here are the common characteristics of the very best lawyer profiles.

1. The Image is Excellent

No matter how attractive the image is or how compelling of a story it tells, if it’s not technically excellent, it’s doing you a profound disservice. So what does an excellent image look like?

  • It’s in focus, crisp, and clear.
  • It shows you at your best–no awkward faces or strange posing.
  • The subject of the image looks posed and natural, not like they’re playing dress-up.
  • The setting of the portrait matches the lawyer’s practice style. A corporate lawyer would look out of place in the woods, for example, while an lawyer for the Sierra Club might prefer an outdoor shoot.
  • The image is true to its subject. A photo that looks great but that is dishonest about how you look, dress, or practice gives a false first impression that can alienate clients.

2. The Lawyer Profile Tells a Story

A quality legal portrait is about so much more than just showing people how you look. Consider the many judgments you make when you first meet someone. You might assess their educational level, their personality, even their moral character.

People are judging your legal portrait in much the same way. It should tell a compelling and accurate story about who you are. This can be challenging to convey with a single image, but a skilled photographer knows how to use visual cues to tell people exactly who you are and how you practice.

3. The Image Is Not Generic

Generic images may be worse than no image at all. Consider how many legal portraits you’ve seen in your life. Odds are good that many of them look the same: serious-looking lawyer posed in front of books, probably with arms crossed.

Generic images fade into the background, and get subconsciously processed by the mind as uninteresting and generic. Your image needs to be different. Not only should you steer away from stock photography, which is designed to be generic.

You should avoid copying the conventions of stock and otherwise boring photography. Work with a creative photographer who knows how to tell a story and stand out while remaining professional. When the clients begin calling en masse, you’ll know it’s because you grabbed their attention.

4. The Photo Represents Who You Are

It’s not enough to have a “good” image. You must also create an accurate one. Your photo should portray you as you actually are. If you wear glasses, they belong in the picture. If your scarf is your trademark, keep it on. And if you never wear a suit and practice from your home office, a buttoned-down corporate image is just not going to work. Who you are and how you practice are what set you apart. Don’t try to hide them behind a boring generic image.

5. The Lawyer Profile Captures Attention

Most clients begin their search with a quick social media or Google query. They’ll take a glance at images, and then read more based on what the image conveys. So your image must immediately draw the eye and capture the attention of the viewer.

You have less than a second to make a first impression. So find ways to capture the viewer’s attention. Attractive color palettes, natural light, and a welcoming expression can all make a big difference. Talk to your photographer about what sets you apart, then work together to create an image that puts that difference on display, effortlessly capturing the attention of potential clients.

A Professional Legal Profiles Starts with Portraiture

The most important characteristic of effective lawyer profiles is that they look professional. To get the most from your photoshoot, you need to hire a professional photographer who specializes in lawyers. The money you invest in your photo shoot is an investment in your firm’s future, and may offer a quick return in the form of more clients, a higher profile, and a stronger reputation as a venerable opponent.

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