Barristers need a professional headshot

March 2, 2023

Chambers headshots are important for all staff but especially so for the barristers. Here are three reasons that barristers need a professional headshot.

Theses reasons apply to most industries but are especially important when your profession relies on presentation.

Representation

First things first, when choosing someone to represent you in court you’re probably going to have a look at who they are. Skill and experience are obviously important factors but people pick people. Rightly or wrongly that means that they’re likely to make part of their judgement based on how you look.

The client might make a subconscious decision about how competent you appear from your headshot. The solicitor might make similar decisions but surprisingly might even take the emotional element further. They’ll be considering if they can spend time with you asking themselves if you might work well together.

Media

There could be situations where a headshot is used by the media in more high profile cases. The reality is that if you don’t have a good headshot you will be represented by whatever image can be found on Google. That could be an old twitter profile or a fundraising picture from a just giving campaign. So to avoid the risk of having a picture featuring you in a party hat or looking sweaty in a running vest, you really should have a professional picture.

Networking

Networking is about developing relationships, building your personal brand and winning clients. To achieve this you need to be presenting the best version of yourself. For the same reason that you wouldn’t attend a physical networking event wearing your weekend jeans and a scruffy t-shirt you shouldn’t use a badly taken portrait to represent you during a presentation, webinar or online seminar.

Examples

So what makes a good barrister’s headshot? Obviously this is somewhat subjective and you will need to make some decisions about how you want to be perceived. I personally think that smiling helps to make a human connection but some people argue that a smile can undermine authority.

When taking headshots for chambers I like to offer both smiles and slightly more serious poses. This allows  my clients to make the decision about their portrait at the comfort of their desk rather than putting them under pressure as they have their picture taken.

Other things to consider are the background. A plain backdrop or an ambient office background are both great options. Some people can choose to have their pictures taken outside although I try to avoid this because it can sometimes look less professional for barristers. There are exceptions to this of course. Incorporating strong architectural features can add a nice backdrop but remember the headshot is about the person not the background.

Have a look at some of the examples below. You’ll see a mix of studio backdrops and images photographed in the office.

Get in touch if you want to find out more about working with us to improve your headshots and we can make some suggestions to help you make a better first impression.

Written by Paul Tschornow

Photo Heads can mostly be found photographing in London, sometimes in Bristol and occasionally elsewhere but we do travel throughout the UK and Europe. Don’t forget to follow @thephotoheads on Instagram.

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