Law firms are using environmental photography with increasing frequency to help tell a fresh story about their lawyers and the work they do.
Although law firms have come a long way from the days where marketing and advertising professional services was frowned upon, they frequently put some fairly strict rules around their marketing. When it comes to creating professional photos of their lawyers, conventional head and shoulders portraits against a neutral background dominate.
But more recently, law firms have been interested in photography reflecting more of a visual narrative about themselves and their attorneys.
We're using more candid shooting techniques to create both environmental portraits and captured moments. The goal: shoot genuine, authentic photos that create a narrative. I have branded this style of photography as In Your Space™ Portraits of People in Business.
Environmental photography falls into roughly two categories: captured moments and environmental portraits.
Captured moments, whether staged or truly candid, tell a story about the attorneys and the work they do. They're meant to to show them engaged in activity: conferring with each other or clients, in conference or in their offices.
The backgrounds are meant to look "organic," unstaged and real. The lawyers are photographed with their attention off camera.
Environmental portraits also create a narrative. Even though the subjects are usually looking directly into the camera, we try to take photos with more a more interesting composition and an authentic expression.
More than a few snaps of the camera shutter are necessary to create genuine expression. I use a relaxed approach that is instantly communicated to my subjects. Being prepared is essential. When I shoot in my studio, I make sure the lights are set up and optimized so that there is no fumbling around when my client arrives. I even make sure the overhead lights are turned off and some soft jazz is playing. The same goes for location shoots. I arrive with an assistant at least an hour before shooting to get ready. Most of the environmental photos are shot hand held using broadcast quality LED's that are unobtrusive and can be quickly set up and moved.