Originally posted in the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, The 1891 Blog.
We have all been there before. You have had back-to-back meetings all morning long, a difficult client interruption that has left you frustrated, and then you realize that today is picture day. Not only do your headshots end up looking frazzled, but the thought of rescheduling to try again seems like a sisyphean task. Instead, you do what most of us have done at least once or twice: you put the picture on your website and hope that it is not as bad as you think it is.
But, sometimes, it really is bad.
Although there are more important things to manage in your busy life than photos, it is true that your attorney headshot carries a lot of weight. It is a photo that serves three important tasks: serving as the first impression for your potential clients, conveying your personality or approach to legal practice, and portraying you as a trustworthy professional.
If you agree that these three tasks matter to your bottomline, these are not photo shoots to throw together at the last minute. Here are some crucial tips to make sure that your next headshot session goes off without a hitch.
Set Aside Some Time
The first step to making this experience as painless as possible is to consider it as valuable as a new client consultation. Remember, this is the only reference many people will have with how you look, as it will be connected to your online media, publications, and presentations for at least six months. Plan on spending at least an hour preparing for your photo shoot and another hour actually getting the photos taken. Even if it does not take that long, you will be glad that you gave yourself a buffer of time in the event that something goes wrong or needs to be changed.
Decide the Tone You Want to Set
Think about the tone you want to convey with your photos, then practice poses and facial expressions that create that effect. Regardless of which area of law you are in, aim for both a serious headshot and a more casual headshot. This gives you options for different settings. The headshot that works for your attorney website may not be the one you want to use for your byline in a legal journal.
Choose Clothing Wisely
Different locations and moods call for different outfits and looks. Consider doing a little color research on what looks best on your skin tone as well as the kinds of colors that resonate psychologically with the work you do and the clients you are trying to connect with. Then, bring at least one change of clothes to the shoot, as well as any accessories you might need to adjust your hair and makeup.
Research Multiple Locations
Discuss possible shoot locations with your photographer. They know which backgrounds and features make a headshot stand out. On the flip side, they can also provide insight as to which settings are too distracting or unprofessional for a headshot. If you plan on taking advantage of the natural lighting at outdoor locations, keep an eye on the weather forecast in the days leading up to your shoot. Choosing your locations well in advance also makes it easier to select appropriate outfits and accessories for both the weather and the background.
Read the full article on the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, The1891 Blog.