The photography on your law firm website matters more than you might think. In this article, we break down a few must-knows if you plan to shoot your own law firm website photography.
- Use natural lighting and beware of shadows on your subject’s face
- Learn and follow the Rule of Thirds for more artistic composition
- Use Focus functions to make your subject stand out against the background
- Keep everything still; try using a tripod or stabilizer
- Edit when necessary, but avoid over-editing to keep a natural look
- Setup shots that compliment the layout of your website
The photography and imagery on your website impacts purchasing decisions. Simply adding professional headshots to a website can boost conversions by 95%!
Law firm marketing is chalked with poor photography. Lawyers are infamous for the aggressive, generic, “we’ll-fight-for-you” hero image. It’s played out. It’s time to evolve!
If you’ve got a few spare dollars in your marketing budget, hire a professional photographer to capture inspiring and creative team shots, like Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defense. GigMasters is a great resource to find professional photographers in your area.
Hiring a photographer will cost you $75-$250 per hour/photo on average. Some startup firms might need something a bit more DIY to start. If this is you, no worries, you can shoot your own photography using your iPhone. Here are a few tips:
#1 — Perfect Your Lighting
Use bright, natural lighting when possible. The best time to shoot photography outdoors is referred to as the “golden hour,” and you can calculate it here.
If you are shooting indoors, find a bright window during peak daylight, and maybe even wait until you achieve that perfect lens flare for dramatic effect. Be sure to focus the light source in front of the subject so as to eliminate shadows on their face. If the light behind your subject is too bright, your subject will end up looking like a silhouette.
For iPhone photography, turn the flash off. LED light can make the colors look unnatural. If your space lacks natural lighting, you can purchase a box light kit on Amazon for about $50. These kits come with a nylon screen to diffuse the light and reduce reflections.
If you have plenty of light but need to cut down on shadows, you can purchase reflectors and a reflector stand on Amazon all for under $40. Reflectors are used to bounce light from the light source onto the shadowed parts of the subjects so there is consistent lighting across the subject.
#2 — Follow The Rule Of Thirds
One of the most basic rules of composition in photography is the “rule of thirds,” which calls for imagining a three-by-three grid within your frame and positioning your subject on an intersection point. If using an iPhone, you can activate a thirds grid by going to Settings > Photos & Camera and enabling the Grid Function.
If you’ve already finished your photography shoot and forgot about best practices in composition, you can crop your image to get the most important features of your subject to meet a grid-intersection point.
#3 — Use Focus Functions
Use the Focus function on your subject to ensure they are captured crisply. Just tap the screen at the location of the subject. A small, yellow box will fix and focus in, signaling that the automatic exposure and focus metering have successfully located your subject.
Thinking back to the rule of thirds, you should ideally be tapping the screen to focus on a point of interest that also lies at a grid intersection point.
#4 — Keep Everything Still
It’s unlikely that your photographer will be able to remain perfectly still during exposure without help. You can buy a tripod on Amazon for only $22. It easily secures both smartphones and tablets. Using a tripod also allows you to take advantage of the time-delayed functions, so the photographer can also be in the shot. iPhones allow 3s and 10s delays.
If you’re shooting moving video, a tripod obviously will not be ideal. Instead, get a stabilizer on Amazon—the Movo stabilizer only runs about $35.
#5 — Edit Only When Necessary
Over-cropping or applying filters and effects can cause pixelation and make your photos look unnatural. Focus on cleaning up the images (minor changes in lighting, color balance, exposure, etc.) as opposed to applying drastic changes.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, there are plenty of talented photographers with photo-editing skills on Upwork that you can hire for fairly reasonable prices. Photo-editing softwares such as Photoshop can be a tricky to use; Pixlr offers an easy-to-use online editor and a free trial.
#6 — Set Up Shots That Compliment Your Website
Consider the overall structure and layout of your website when shooting photography. Taking into account the location of image text overlays, the size and dimension of images, and brightness of your color scheme can help you set up your shots so they fit beautifully and work with the elements on your site.
For example, have your subjects in the right third of the frame when shooting for a website hero image that has a welcome statement on the left. This setup gives your website balance reduces the likelihood you cover a subject with text.
Neil Patel, 7 Tips to Boost Your Site’s Conversion Rate Using Images, Neil Patel, 2019