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Let’s make our attorneys’ headshots look their best.

Website updates are the ideal time to evaluate whether the firm’s current headshots still convey the firm’s message appropriately.

(First a few paragraphs of theory and branding strategy, then I’ve pasted a helpful memo you may use in your firm at the bottom.)  Renewing everyone’s photos can be a significant undertaking, in time, effort, cost, and general inconvenience, both to the lawyers and the marketers who must inevitably wrangle the reluctant lawyers.

One fundamental goal of this type of photography is to make everyone look their best.

Equally important, the photos should convey the desired personality and brand of the lawyers and the firm. Contrast the vastly different messages conveyed by the photographic style for this firm versus this one, shown below. They’re both terrific litigators at leading law firms, and we used different types of photography to support the brand.

On the other end of the spectrum, consider these litigators as well, specializing in criminal defense (L), and divorce (R) practices, below. 

As I wrote in previous blog posts (here and here), I wouldn’t advocate using photography that’s quite this unusual unless it supports the lawyer’s target marketing (e.g. the lawyers were seeking to chase the body-building community’s legal work), or personal brand (which, evidently, they do).

Below is a list of simple tips to circulate internally, to ensure everyone looks their best on Headshot Photo Day. Most professional photographers have their own version of this checklist, I can’t recall who first sent me this one.  (If it’s yours, please email me and I’ll put your copyright information on it!)


Tips for an Attractive Website Photograph (“Headshot”)

To ensure the best possible result, here are some tips for a successful corporate photograph.

CLOTHING & HAIRSTYLES – Simplicity is the key

  • Dress in solid colors which are medium to dark in tone
  • Normal business attire and hairstyles are fine.
  • Ensure your clothing is clean and pressed. Wrinkles in shirts and ties are noticeable.

TIPS FOR MEN’S CLOTHINGConservative and understated is best.

  • Dress in a dark suit jacket or sport coat.
  • No large checks or patterns, or herringbone weave.
  • Wear a white or light-color shirt with a comfortable and well-fitting collar, preferably not button-down.
  • Ties should be conservative, matching your suit or sport jacket rather than contrasting with it.

TIPS FOR LADIES’ CLOTHING – Simple and classic lines work well. 

  • Dress in a medium to dark suit jacket.
  • Blouses should be light to medium in color with a simple neckline.
  • Avoid large jewelry with shiny surfaces.


  • If you plan to have your haircut, schedule it several days before your photo session.
  • Last-minute hairstyle changes often need adjustment before one is comfortable with them.

BEARDSMen only

  • If your photography session is scheduled for the late afternoon, a fresh shave may be advisable if a “Five o’clock shadow” if you have a heavy beard.

PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BE PAINLESSRelax and enjoy the experience.

  • Many people have a problem reconciling their self-image with the face looking back at them in their photograph.
  • A natural smile and attitude is your best presentation.
  • A qualified photographer is skilled at lighting and posing you to make you look your best.
  • Relax and enjoy your moment in the bright lights.


Considering a new brand or website? 

Contact Ross directly for more information at +1.847.921.7677 or

Read the definitive book on the subject, We’re Smart. We’re Old. And We’re the Best at Everything – The World’s First No-BS Guide to Legal Marketing and Branding.” It’s available at Amazon here.