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Lawyer Headshots in San Francisco

Lawyer Headshots That Build Trust with Clients

Whether you’re an attorney for a large firm or the owner of a small practice, a lawyer headshot can 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. Here’s everything you need to know about headshot for the legal profession.

What Are Lawyer Headshots?

Lawyer headshots are closely cropped portrait photos used for various professional and entrepreneurial purposes in the legal field. Typically, attorney’s place their headshots on LinkedIn profiles, websites, business cards, brochures, advertising, and other professional media placements.

Lawyer headshots are different from other types of headshots, as they should ideally be focused on showcasing professionalism, friendliness and competence. Acting/modeling headshots, in contrast, are more focused on showing the subject’s personality and emotional range.

Typically, lawyer headshots are also cropped a bit wider than entertainment headshots.

Lawyer Headshots versus Acting Headshots
Traditional lawyer headshot (left) vs creative entertainment headshot (right). The lawyer headshot is cropped from further away and includes lighting in the background. The creative entertainment headshot is cropped closer and removes the backlight. If you work in law, you don’t NEED to get a traditional headshot – depending on your specialty/brand, you might want request Creative Edge lighting. We offer clients the choice for all studio sessions. Photos captured by HeadShots Inc Head Photographer Dan St Louis in San Francisco.

Why Are Lawyer Headshots Important?

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a new job in the legal industry, or you’re considering headshots for an entire firm, professional headshots are critical for success in the legal field. Clients, hiring managers, and even your internal peers will all view your headshot on a regular basis throughout your career – then make a snap-decision about how credible, like-able, and professional you are.

Based on how much an attorney can charge on an hourly basis, a professional headshot is a relatively tiny bi-annual (every two years) investment in your professional image.

Clients and hiring managers can easily tell the difference between an amateur photo versus a professional headshot. Photo taken by a HeadShots Inc photography in Oakland.

What Backdrops Are Best for Attorney Headshots?

It depends on your personality and placement!

Generally speaking, for conservative industries like law and mediation, we recommend neutral backdrops based in white, gray or black. With those colors, we can get some really crisp shots that convey reliability and consistency.

If you work in a specialty practice, you might want your photos to have a bit more personality. Feel free to try an outdoor/in-office session. These photos often have a bit more personality. At our studio, we offer five shades of neutral colors, along with five colored backgrounds (yellow, light blue, dark blue, orange and red.)

If you’re a senior executive, entrepreneur or thought leader, you should probably have several photos of yourself that you can use across platforms. Ideally, you would have a couple outdoor photos to supplement your studio headshots.

If you have the same exact headshot on LinkedIn, the company website, and press releases, it can look a bit amateurish.

Headshots background options
Standard HeadShots Inc studio backdrops available for all studio sessions. Depending on your goals and industry, you may want to get an outdoor or in-office session though.

How To Pose for Lawyer Headshots?

No need to go crazy on your poses for attorney photos. In our sessions, we tend to focus on minimalist poses. We’ve seen other photographers capture headshots with some truly bizarre poses. However, we avoid this practice like the plague.

We are, after all, showcasing your professionalism — not our photography.

At the beginning of your session, you should warm up with simple and straightforward poses. Simply stand there and smile. Later, we will work toward some arms-crossed headshots and perhaps a couple candids.

Simple poses like arms-on-hips and arms-crossed can provide some personality to your attorney headshot. Photo taken by a HeadShots Inc photographer in downtown San Francisco.

What Are Tips for Great Lawyer Headshots?

Our first, and most important, tip for lawyer headshots is to select the right professional headshot photographers. 

During each shoot, there’s a million details involved in managing an efficient stress-free photo shoot for attorneys. The wrong photographer can either botch the event itself, or produce mediocre photos that reflect poorly on your lawyers.

Second, make sure that clothing selection is both professional and optimized for the photo’s backdrop. Your clothing should contrast with the background. 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.

What To Wear for Lawyer Headshots?

Unless you’re targeting a very specific field of law that requires a bit more friendliness, we recommend formal clothing for lawyer headshots.

Select clothing that fits well (check that your collar fits snug against your neck), 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.

How Much Do Lawyer Headshots Cost?

Lawyer headshots cost between $100 and $750 depending on geography, package and provider. The upper end is likely a complete rip-off unless you’re looking for an extremely specific style. The bottom end is going to produce some truly terrible photos.

When considering pricing, remember to look at a) licensing (who owns the photos) and b) retouching fees.

In terms of licensing, photographers typically only give you ownership for photos that you “buy” from them. This fee is separate from your “session fee,” which just covers the time spent inside their studio. If you want to use your photos on a billboard, or in print, or somewhere else, you may have to pay additional fees.

For retouching, many photographers charge between $50 and $100 per photo. Calculate those fees into your total session cost.

For reference, HeadShots Inc sessions cost between $150 and $400, you get 100% rights to all original photos, and you get one airbrushed photo included (additional are just $25 each.)

Where to Get Lawyer Headshots in San Francisco?

San Francisco is blessed with a ton of photographers, but we hope you consider coming to HeadShots Inc! We offer studio, outdoor and in-office sessions for both individuals and entire law firms. Check out our Individual Sessions and Team Sessions pages for prices and booking.

dan st louis headshot photographer

San Francisco’s #1 Rated Headshot Photographers

About the Author

Dan St Louis is the Owner and Head Photographer at HeadShots Inc. As a headshot and portrait specialist, his work has been featured on the larget photography blogs in the world including: 500px, PetaPixel, Fstoppers, DIYPhotography, ShotKit, and

To get professional lawyer headshots that help you establish trust with new clients and hiring managers, check out our Individual Session page for booking options.

Studio Sessions start at just $150.