Andrew Michaels: Showing Your Best Side

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Andrew Michaels discuss:

  • Matching your branding and headshot to your firm and business goals.
  • Opening the doors to consultation with your headshot.
  • What every lawyer should have in their arsenal of headshots.
  • AI headshots.

Key Takeaways:

  • For internal purposes, you should have a friendly-looking headshot. That may not be what you want for your public headshot.
  • Different variations on your headshot can be used for different purposes in your branding, marketing, and social media.
  • A good impression will work for you. But more than that, everyone deserves to have a professional photo of themselves that they love.
  • A headshot is meant to create a human connection. Using AI removes that humanity from the picture.

“We talk a lot about judging a book by its cover. You’re not supposed to do that, but as human beings, that’s the way that we’re wired. It’s just science, at this point, that a good impression will work for you.” —  Andrew Michaels

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Episode References: 

About Andrew Michaels: Andrew Michaels is a corporate headshot photographer who believes in selling without telling.

With his award-winning imagery, Andrew helps attorneys tell viewers they are looking at a winning firm.

Running his sessions with direct cues and some timely banter, he guides individuals through a range of expressions to match various content forms – from a warm smile to a game face that says “We fight for you”.

Having taken over 10,000 headshots, Andrew has developed a system that caters to all personalities, so even the most camera-shy individuals can finally lean into their greatest selling point, themselves.

Connect with Andrew Michaels: 


Email: [email protected]







Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.


Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey, everyone. If you’re already a strong business developer or rainmaking managing partner, here’s the chance to step off your proverbial island and audit one of our exclusive Rainmaker Roundtable groups in the month of April. These groups consist solely of top level lawyers who believe in continuous learning and improvement.

[00:00:17] Steve Fretzin: Together, these influential lawyers function as a collaborative team offering mutual support and fresh perspectives in a confidential setting. Please email me directly at steve at Fretzin. com to schedule a quick chat before inviting you to meet one of my teams. That’s it for now, everybody. Enjoy the show.

[00:00:37] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive in helping you grow your law. Well,

[00:00:59] Steve Fretzin: hey everybody, welcome to the Be That Lawyer podcast. I am Steve Fretzin.

[00:01:03] Steve Fretzin: As the announcer mentioned, happy to be with you. If you’re a longtime listener, thank you, thank you, appreciate it. And you know, don’t be shy about continuing to share. Your enjoyment of the show and the lessons learned, uh, with other lawyers that you think would benefit. And if you’re new to the show, this show is all about helping you to be that lawyer.

[00:01:18] Steve Fretzin: Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. You know, my job is to bring you the best guests I can. And today is no different. I’ve got Andrew waiting in the wings. How’s it going, buddy?

[00:01:27] Andrew Michaels: Going alright today. Uh, happy to be with you today.

[00:01:29] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, you already swam some laps. Now you got your, got your fitness in?

[00:01:32] Andrew Michaels: I sure did, yeah.

[00:01:33] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Maybe that was last night. Maybe that was last night. All right, I forget you told me you’re swimming. Is that, is that, just, is that a fitness thing or do you enjoy swimming?

[00:01:42] Andrew Michaels: I, uh, yeah, I got into a couple years ago and it’s, it’s the new obsession.

[00:01:46] Steve Fretzin: Okay, got it, got it. Yeah, I had my Pilates class this morning and this was the toughest teacher that they have and it’s just like, It’s just so painful, but I, every time I, I feel the pain, I go, this is, this is what I need to do to be able to, you know, sit up when I’m on the floor.

[00:02:00] Steve Fretzin: Like, I need to get the abs cook and I need to get the tries cooking and all that stuff. So, you know, it’s, it’s awesome, man. But so happy that you’re here. We’d love to start off with our quote of the show. And it’s a very straightforward, really good one. And I just, uh, I think I’ve heard this before. I’m obviously a huge sales free selling guy.

[00:02:17] Steve Fretzin: Like that’s my whole jam. So it’s, um, and I don’t know who said this. Maybe you could tell me selling is not about persuasion. And there’s people that would argue that point. But talk, talk to that for us. Mike, uh, Andrew, I,

[00:02:29] Andrew Michaels: I can’t remember who said it. I think when you have a sales background, you’ve just heard that.

[00:02:34] Andrew Michaels: You know, and I think over time it’s become more and more true because there is more and more selling happening in the world. And with that, people are just getting more and more in tune with what selling feels like from the other end. You know, back in the day when advertising just started out, it was.

[00:02:51] Andrew Michaels: It was okay to just list off the benefits of a product or a service. You know, you think about those Coca Cola ads, it’s like refreshing and all these like paragraphs of why you should drink Coca Cola

[00:03:01] Steve Fretzin: right

[00:03:02] Andrew Michaels: now, advertising. Coca Cola is having an influencer. Just drink it. From a, you know, product placement type of stuff.

[00:03:08] Andrew Michaels: So,

[00:03:08] Steve Fretzin: yeah, or, or it’s a lot of pain. Like, they’re just like, you know, if you have these pains, like for like the PRS, all the prescriptions that are on commercials and, and, um, you know, I’m not happy with my loan and here’s what’s, you know, why you need to reverse it or whatever, you know, crap there’s out there.

[00:03:22] Steve Fretzin: Um, I’ve heard persuasion. I. Persuasion, I think, is different than convincing. I think some people think persuasion is convincing, and I think persuasion is, is maybe a little different. They’re both, they’re both different ways to sell, and convincing is like, you don’t want to do something, but I’m going to convince you to do it.

[00:03:40] Steve Fretzin: And I, I’m 100 percent opposed to that. We all are. And guess what? Nobody wants to be sold to in that fashion. Right. I think persuasion might be a little different. Because they already want something or need something, but they may need to be persuaded on the benefits or on what happens if nothing changes.

[00:03:57] Steve Fretzin: Like, for example, if I know that I need surgery, but I’m not up for it, but that has to happen and the doctor persuades me through, you know, these are the stats on people that don’t get it and what could happen. Or you’re just like pushing me a little bit, gently pushing me in the right direction. That might be a little, maybe a little bit more about persuasion being okay.

[00:04:15] Andrew Michaels: Yeah. And I think a lot of how that comes about is important when we’re talking about selling. It’s one thing, you know, no one wants to be just talked at, right? Right. Um, and to be a good salesperson, you, it’s really about asking the right questions and bringing up the right train of thought for them to reach that conclusion on their own.

[00:04:34] Steve Fretzin: Right. I love that. I love asking questions and trying to get someone to sort of figure out that either we’re a fit or figure out that they need change as opposed to me saying, boy, you sure need change or boy, you’re, you’re certainly in the, in the crap or whatever. And

[00:04:49] Andrew Michaels: I think lawyers of all people know what it is when, when you say something that you could be right about.

[00:04:56] Andrew Michaels: But the other folk, the folks on the other end, like the defenses come up, not because you’re wrong. It’s just because the way you’re going about it, it could just not be the approach that they need to make that change.

[00:05:06] Steve Fretzin: Well, and it’s totally understandable. Like we, as buyers, whether we’re buying legal services, whether we’re buying a new car, whether we’re buying a new kitchen, whatever, a remodel, like we all have our defenses up because we’ve been through that.

[00:05:18] Steve Fretzin: Selling, you know, mumbo jumbo, and I know I used to work for managers as a sales professional where, you know, they were just tyrants and it was like, don’t take no for an answer. Fred said, and go get him and you got to eat your numbers. And it was like, man, I hated that pressure. I’d rather. Walk someone through a buying decision, make sure it’s a fit, like make sure this is what’s going to make them happy.

[00:05:38] Steve Fretzin: What’s going to get them to the next level with whatever it is that I’m doing. Anyway, boy, we can just talk sales the rest of our time, I guess. Huh?

[00:05:44] Andrew Michaels: I would love to. I think it’s a fascinating topic. It really is.

[00:05:47] Steve Fretzin: That’s not what we’re going to do. We’re going to do something different. Um, and it relates to sales and in a lot of ways.

[00:05:53] Steve Fretzin: And, um, before we get into, into the specifics of that interview, I want to just share your background and Um, Andrew Michaels, you’re the owner of State Street Headshots, and nobody knew before we mentioned it that you’re the headshot king of Chicago, but, uh, talk to us a little bit about your background and how you got into, uh, helping lawyers to show their best sides.

[00:06:13] Andrew Michaels: Yeah, it really it starts I guess as early as high school and I will get to how the headshots come come into play But it does start with my obsession with music my best friend And I formed a band in about eighth grade and took it far too seriously for that age My basement quickly turned into a studio We started writing our own music and when you are the people making the music You’re convinced that it’s the best thing in the world and everybody needs to know about it.

[00:06:40] Andrew Michaels: And that train of thought I think exists in business owners, lawyers that are getting their firms up and running and that kind of mindset needs to exist. So, you know, I’m in the lunchroom, like slinging CDs for five bucks, just trying to get the word out. And, you know, this is the era when my space and Napster and all of the music sharing was just kind of like getting to become mainstream.

[00:07:00] Andrew Michaels: So we put our music online and our goal, whenever we put out a new song, we used to be like a hundred plays. That’s a very low goal, but that was our goal. And. I have a very distinct memory of sitting there, like watching the plays not rack up and being like comparing our page to the pages of the bands that we really liked.

[00:07:18] Andrew Michaels: I didn’t know what I was identifying at the time, but what I was looking at was the branding. I noticed that our page just looked cheap. It looked like a band that was doing it all by themselves. No record label, no support. The images were gross. The layout of the thing was just hush posh. And then you go to these other bands and again, I couldn’t elaborate at the time.

[00:07:38] Andrew Michaels: But now that I know what this is all about, it was like their font choice, their color scheme, the song titles, everything that wasn’t the music fit with the music, right? So like, imagine like a pop punk band, really aggressive music. Well, their, their fonts are big, bold letters with like edgy color schemes, like Pink writing on a yellow, a bright yellow backdrop.

[00:07:59] Andrew Michaels: So

[00:07:59] Steve Fretzin: I just had like green day pop into my head. There you go. Green day’s got great, like their logo for their, even for the name of their band on their, on their album covers. Yeah, totally. It

[00:08:08] Andrew Michaels: all fits. So, and now when you think about, and this is kind of getting ahead of the answer, but you think about the algorithm in this day and age, When you got like your discover weekly, you’ve got the home screen on Spotify, giving you all these options to, to, to give a listen.

[00:08:22] Andrew Michaels: You might not be aware of it, but your brain is looking at that album art and thinking about, well, that, that looks like something that I’ve liked in the past, or that, that kind of clues me into what their sound is. And so, you know, Moving along here from high school to college and now post college, music is not going to be something that I want to like live and die by with, you know, a career, but it’s the same thought process.

[00:08:44] Andrew Michaels: When I’m branding my website, when I’m looking at, you know, a lawyer that’s coming to me for headshots, the idea is the same. It’s, all right, who are we speaking to? And how do we use imagery and the creative decisions like Not just your expression, but the background, what you’re going to wear, the way I light you.

[00:09:00] Andrew Michaels: How is that going to paint you so that the people that should be listening to your message, the ones that should be tuned in, they can identify you quickly without you ever having to speak a word to them. Um, and it does kind of feed into that whole idea of like we’re selling without persuading anybody.

[00:09:14] Andrew Michaels: We’re just helping them identify that they’ve found the right person.

[00:09:18] Steve Fretzin: Well, yeah, and I think a website page or LinkedIn page, that’s the cover of the book. And if you don’t like the cover of the book, are you going to open it and read it? And they say, well, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Yeah, you do.

[00:09:28] Steve Fretzin: Everybody does it all day long. That’s all we do is not do things like that. That’s why you need to have a straight cover. You’re writing a book. Like you can’t screw around on that. So when we talk about specifically lawyer headshots, and I’m thinking about the website and I’m thinking about LinkedIn and LinkedIn, Even more than websites.

[00:09:45] Steve Fretzin: I, from my perspective, like for a business development perspective, that’s what they’re in many cases putting out there. And they don’t have a professional photo. And I’ve seen old childlike photos where they’re like, they look like teenagers where they are holding their tab, like in Facebook, like there’s what, why should lawyers care about their headshots?

[00:10:05] Andrew Michaels: I think, well, there, there’s a few distinctions to make when answering that question. You know, there’s the individual lawyer and then there is the global firm. They both have, you know, an approach to this that matters. I think I’m going to talk about that more from the smaller side of things. A lot of times a lawyer that is either just starting out or they’re, they’re, they’re not well established.

[00:10:29] Andrew Michaels: They take for granted that the people that need them are not in the law. They don’t know of the lawyers that are the best in the business. You know, someone that gets, you know, hit by a car or they, you know, they don’t, they haven’t been studying the lawyers going into that, you know, they’re all the sudden thrown into this world where they need to find somebody.

[00:10:47] Andrew Michaels: And so people will list their accolades, the awards, money earned on settlements. But before any person in my mind, at least before they get to that in this day and age, they are looking at pictures and making those quick decisions like, does your picture look pixelated and all out of whack? Because that’s going to speak to the way that, you know, you, you work and the way that you approach your job.

[00:11:08] Andrew Michaels: So I think having a, a headshot that is professional looking in just the image quality. And that has the right tone and the expression and all the little decisions that we talked about with like lighting backed up, all that good stuff. It just, it’s without having to actually have that conversation and it will open the door to the consultation that does give you the chance to dive deeper.

[00:11:27] Steve Fretzin: And that brings up a question about, um, okay, my headshot is me with a big smile on my face, like so easy and approachable and happy, but is that what someone wants or do they want someone that looks really serious and like, Hey, I’m going to help you build your law practice and I’ve got my arms crossed and, you know, a frown on or something, or just like, I want to be the most dangerous looking lawyer that’s going to crush the competition in a divorce or whatever.

[00:11:51] Steve Fretzin: So how do lawyers figure out what the image should be for them in the headshots or is it that they, they do a bunch of different ones that you better use different ways?

[00:12:00] Andrew Michaels: Yeah, well, it’s the latter there. So, and it’s a really good question to ask because 9 times out of 10, someone gets in front of the camera and they just stand there like this is put on like a cheesy smile and everybody can spot that from a mile away.

[00:12:13] Andrew Michaels: You know, if, if you just stand there stale, it’s not going to hit, it’s not going to impact anybody. But to answer your question about, you know, what style do you go for it? That really depends on the person that we’re talking about. And more importantly, if you have any, you know, if you’ve gotten any feedback from clients, you know, That says, you know what?

[00:12:32] Andrew Michaels: I really like the way that you make me feel like I can tell you the whole story. You know, you’re a great listener and maybe someone in like a criminal defense or something like that, it’s important that whoever is sharing this information feels that they can trust somebody with all of that, you know, the, the deepest, darkest secrets that they might have to share.

[00:12:50] Andrew Michaels: On the flip side, if you’re working within a larger firm, and a lot of your job has to do with working with colleagues, being likable, and getting help from your colleagues, you might also want a headshot that is more friendly, something that’s just like, okay, that’s someone that I want to work with, that’s someone who I can trust.

[00:13:04] Andrew Michaels: So it depends on your day to day, and it depends on what your selling points really are.

[00:13:08] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, yeah, really, really good. And, and I took some photos on LaSalle Street in Chicago a number of years ago, and I do have my arms crossed, but with a smile with like LaSalle Street behind me, and I got, man, I got a lot of use out of them.

[00:13:21] Steve Fretzin: I got a lot of play out of them. And now people are telling me, you know, they’re, you know, that I look better than that. I’m like, I was that I’m looking better as I get older. Well, that’s my wife says so too, but I don’t know. I’ll take it. You know, anything I get at this point. The What are some of the, what are some of the, the standard shots that people should have for their website, indoor, outdoor, hat, no hat, like, what are some of the standard things that, that every lawyer should have in their arsenal of headshots?

[00:13:50] Andrew Michaels: Yeah, a really good question as well. I’m on a roll. You’re, you just know how to ask the right question. Seems like you’ve been doing this a couple of times. I’ve done this a few times. You have. Now, that’s, it’s, it’s okay. So, we kind of just talked about this, but, For internal purposes and for your clients that actually need to feel that they can trust you.

[00:14:08] Andrew Michaels: I do think you do need a friendly looking shot. Doesn’t mean you have to have a big goofy smile, like cheesing or giggling, but something that says like, I’m a friendly person, warm and trusting, warm and trusting. Yeah. But again, a lot of what, at least the public, like I’m not in the law, I just know from the outside, but that makes me valuable in able and being able to talk about how most of the clients probably feel looking in to the law is I’m thinking that whoever’s going to represent me needs to be able to fight for me.

[00:14:34] Andrew Michaels: And then you’ll see that type of copy all over websites for different attorneys. Like we fight for you, you know, we’ve won this many cases, things like that. So. When you think about it from that perspective, it makes no sense to have a cute baby smile on your face if that’s your tagline. So, the attorneys should have friendly, they should have something a little bit more serious, toned down, and stoic.

[00:14:55] Andrew Michaels: And then, completely irrelevant from the expression itself, I do think, Utilizing if you have a nice office or LaSalle as a background, that’s a really good way to just kind of show, Hey, we’re in the loop, we’re local, we’re in the downtown area, which does speak to your success, I would say. And then to top it off, people don’t think about this, but depending on what your marketing team or what your advertising plans are, you might just want something that’s a vertical orientation.

[00:15:21] Andrew Michaels: So when I talk about vertical orientation, I’m talking about like, for anyone’s that’s watching, like this guy that I’m pointing at, yeah, which is, yeah,

[00:15:27] Steve Fretzin: it’s, it’s like a, like a standard, standard vertical type of body

[00:15:32] Andrew Michaels: versus hamburger. Right. Okay. So when you, the reason being, if you’re going to have a feature in a magazine or if you’re going to have a long paragraph of copy and you need your picture next to it, it’s sometimes a little strange to have your entire, like if you’re on your phone or if you’re on a desktop computer and the entire screen is a face tends to look a little strange to the viewer.

[00:15:51] Andrew Michaels: Right. And that’s a really good time to have one of those like full body, quarter body portraits instead. So I think those are the three that I would recommend to any lawyer just to kind of hit all the bases.

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[00:17:55] Steve Fretzin: And what, I don’t know, I’m, I’m definitely putting you on the spot with this question, but what are, what is, yeah, I’m just, I’m laughing because I’m about to ask this question. What are some of the worst headshots you’ve seen?

[00:18:06] Steve Fretzin: Like, you know, as you kind of scroll through and see lawyers, like what are some things you’ve seen that you go, holy mackerel, I think I better contact this guy or gal. Okay.

[00:18:15] Andrew Michaels: I hate to, I hate to say this, but I guess there are some bad ones. For me, it’s camera height. Okay. And I can demonstrate that right here.

[00:18:23] Steve Fretzin: Well, keep in mind, people are listening is, you know, not always seeing they’re listening, mostly they’re listening. You’re going to have to be very, you’re going to be very verbal in your explanation.

[00:18:31] Andrew Michaels: I will verbalize this. So if I take a picture of somebody and my camera is looking at them from, uh, from above, so the camera is higher up than they

[00:18:39] Steve Fretzin: are than their head.

[00:18:40] Andrew Michaels: Yeah. Higher than their head. I know that that’s what people do for selfies. I don’t know if everyone knows why that’s the protocol. The reason is typically because it makes your jawline look really sharp. Problem with that, especially in professional imagery is you’re automatically telling everyone that’s looking at that picture that they are.

[00:18:56] Andrew Michaels: Above you, they’re looking down on you. Whereas my very first step in taking any headshot is I set my camera to be lower than you. So it’s like, it’s like you’re on stage. You’re up on a podium. You are the leader of, of the situation. So every now and then I come across a picture. And honestly, I feel like I’m about to step on that human being because of the perspective of that angle.

[00:19:16] Andrew Michaels: That’s the thing that always stops me when I’m scrolling. Yeah. And then beyond that, there isn’t really just like a horrible headshot. For me, it’s, it’s the context when I’m reading about a malpractice suit of someone being killed in a car crash. And it’s a, it’s a team of lawyers standing there with the biggest smiles.

[00:19:36] Andrew Michaels: I’m sorry, but. It doesn’t

[00:19:38] Steve Fretzin: really fit

[00:19:39] Andrew Michaels: with the, uh, with the, uh, narrative. Yeah. You know, it’s, I know how that happens. It’s, it’s the marketing department saying, Hey, send us your headshot because you won the settlement and we’re going to post about it. It’s great. It’s good marketing, but when you read the story and then you see the picture of the people, it always just kind of something in me dies every time.

[00:19:57] Andrew Michaels: So, so that’s my answer to that. And what

[00:19:59] Steve Fretzin: do you do for people that have. You know, bad teeth, or they have a weird haircut, or they have a gummy smile, or they have just, you know, they’re, they’re just not wearing their clothes well. Like, I mean, how are you directing them to get the best image across when there’s.

[00:20:16] Steve Fretzin: You know, they’re not a perfect 10 model, which no one is right that, yeah, I mean, there’s maybe a few lawyers, but

[00:20:20] Andrew Michaels: well, I mean, this is what we’re starting to get into, like, those really personal things that come up with headshots and any headshot photographer will tell you, like, part of our job is being a cameraman.

[00:20:29] Andrew Michaels: The other part is being a psychologist, psychiatrist. I don’t think that there’s anything that should be avoided. Like, we are who we are. This is our vessel for being on this planet. If someone tells me, hey, I have shitty teeth, can you help me? I can whiten teeth, I can fix a chip on a tooth with Photoshop, or I can have you give me a closed mouth smile, which is still a little bit more true to who you are, right?

[00:20:50] Andrew Michaels: Then me having to like recreate something that might not be true.

[00:20:53] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. It worked for George Washington.

[00:20:56] Andrew Michaels: I mean, look at the end of the day, I’m trying to represent people as true as possible on their, like the images, someone on their best day. That’s sure.

[00:21:03] Steve Fretzin: Yeah.

[00:21:03] Andrew Michaels: Wardrobe. That’s a, that’s a really good part of the, of the image, because if you’re.

[00:21:08] Andrew Michaels: If your clothes look all baggy, it makes you look a little silly. So we have clothes pins for things like that. We’ve got fabric tape to keep things in place. There are things people can do with their body and the way that they stand to take care of wrinkles in an undershirt. You know, if I sit here like this, all slouched wrinkles, if I pull my shoulders back, they’re gone.

[00:21:26] Andrew Michaels: So that leads into like why a headshot is not as simple as just, Hey, stand in front of the camera, take a picture. There’s so much else going on. And the fact that a headshot is zoomed in. On a person that’s typically the last person to be practicing what, what they should do in front of a camera. It sets up a scenario for someone to look very uncomfortable.

[00:21:46] Andrew Michaels: And because it’s zoomed in, it’s very easy to see that they’re uncomfortable. So, I have a whole entire, like, protocol that I go through to alleviate all, like, wrinkled clothes on, you know, stuff that doesn’t fit. Uh, we’ll be talking about with the teeth. Yeah. What else? What else were we? Well, I think you

[00:22:01] Steve Fretzin: were going to, but, but you also mentioned like you’re like a therapist or a psychiatrist in the, with, with people, what are you doing to help calm their nerves, help them to like relax and be their best versions?

[00:22:11] Andrew Michaels: Well, I do think part of that happens before we shoot. If you go to my site, you’re going to notice that you can’t actually book just straight from my website. The only thing you can do is book a consultation. So I think one of the most important things is like we have to have a conversation. I have to know what your experience is with photography.

[00:22:27] Andrew Michaels: You could be a photographer yourself, and that means we need to get on the same page with the way I work and what you’re looking for. There’s folks that have told me they have taken headshots in their office that were like five minute, you know, assembly line style things. And for them to just know that there’s no time limit with me, like, I block off four hours, right?

[00:22:47] Andrew Michaels: So 15 minutes of that is just us chatting, getting on the same page. The next 15 minutes could be us just going over the steps. The next 10 minutes can be, Hey, this is actually how they’re looking. And I think at that point, the reaction tends to be, Oh my God, that’s me. And I think at that point, the comfortability really skyrockets.

[00:23:04] Andrew Michaels: And then that second session through like it’s night and day, because they’re really starting to own it and realize like, Hey, you have me kind of coaching you through this. And we’re collaborating as much as I’m in charge, like I’m only as good as you believe you’re doing, right? Okay,

[00:23:19] Steve Fretzin: right. You can see the

[00:23:19] Andrew Michaels: expression on your face.

[00:23:20] Andrew Michaels: If you don’t trust that this is good, it’s all over your face. So, yeah,

[00:23:24] Steve Fretzin: yeah.

[00:23:24] Andrew Michaels: It doesn’t take long for people to get comfortable, whether it’s through the consultation or whether it’s through that first practice round. But it is such an important part of the process.

[00:23:33] Steve Fretzin: And the argument that lawyers may have.

[00:23:35] Steve Fretzin: To investing in a professional headshot and doing it the right way versus doing it with their iPhone, which we’ll talk about in a minute. Um, why is it a good, a good ROI? Why? You know, you’re not. No one should be cheap. You know, lawyers aren’t cheap. I’m not cheap. You’re not cheap. There’s value in what we’re providing.

[00:23:53] Steve Fretzin: Why should people invest in what’s the potential ROI if if they

[00:23:57] Andrew Michaels: do? Depends what one, like, what does one client mean to a lawyer? It’s far more than what I’m charging. I can promise that. So if you pay me, let’s just say a thousand dollars, which would be like a session and a few images that will get you more clients.

[00:24:12] Andrew Michaels: Well,

[00:24:13] Steve Fretzin: yeah, because now, now you’re, you’ve got people that are converting on your website. You’ve got people that are staying on longer. They’re seeing you in your best light. It’s like,

[00:24:21] Andrew Michaels: it’s like, do you go to court in like a t shirt and jeans? Or do you go to court in one of your better suits? And there’s a reason for that.

[00:24:28] Andrew Michaels: It’s because people like we, we talk again about like judging a book by its cover, you’re not supposed to do that. But as human beings, with the way that we’re wired, it’s just science at this point that a good impression will work for you. Okay. And aside from the ROI, I do think everyone deserves a picture of themselves that they love.

[00:24:46] Andrew Michaels: I mean, we spend how many hours of the week on our career. We’re going to look like, I don’t even know what, like, what did I look like?

[00:24:53] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. The, the reality is that. That there’s no, it’s a no brainer. It’s a no brainer to, to work with you, to work with someone that’s professional, to get your best version on your website, on your LinkedIn, on your whatever social presence for presentations you’re doing.

[00:25:11] Steve Fretzin: I mean, there’s so many ways to repurpose and use this, these images. Well, it also, not to cut

[00:25:16] Andrew Michaels: you off, but like coming from, you know, we didn’t really talk about this part of it, but I grew up with my father being a lawyer, my uncle being a lawyer, and my Zady being a lawyer, all three. Yeah.

[00:25:25] Steve Fretzin: Yeah,

[00:25:25] Andrew Michaels: I vowed not to be because I could tell in my interpersonal relationships at a pretty young age that like I was, I was kind of, um, a little bit on the argumentative side of things.

[00:25:36] Steve Fretzin: Well, then I should have been a litigator.

[00:25:40] Andrew Michaels: I just knew that if, if I, if I read that side of my personality, any further, it would just not be good for me.

[00:25:45] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Okay.

[00:25:45] Andrew Michaels: But I do appreciate words. I’m a lyricist when I, you know, the songwriting and everything we talked about, like, I really value words. And I know that attorneys really value their ability to use words precisely and carefully.

[00:25:58] Andrew Michaels: So when you think about that, and you think about copy on a website, or copy on a LinkedIn post, the way someone reads that is heavily influenced by the facial expression of your picture. Right? If you, if you have a very friendly picture, you can say things and it will be taken a little bit softer than if your face behind all those pictures is much more aggressive.

[00:26:18] Andrew Michaels: So I think with the right imagery, your message that you’re trying to communicate to your audience can be much more clear. So, again, it’s just, I do think the ROI is, like you said, a no brainer. But again, we’re not, we’re also talking about, I don’t want to just tell people that because there’s a guard up.

[00:26:32] Andrew Michaels: They don’t want to be sold to it. So they’ve got to figure this out on their own, and they have to kind of see the difference before it really is clear,

[00:26:39] Steve Fretzin: right? What? So there’s something that you brought up in our pre interview that I wanted to ask you about. A. I. Has become a really big question. Deal in a big, you know, there’s, there’s pros and cons to it.

[00:26:49] Steve Fretzin: And I mean, you know, Google just got busted with something that they put out where it was just a whole mess. Um, but talk to us a little bit about, can lawyers use AI headshots? Is there, is there a way to tell us about what that is? Cause I don’t even know how that works.

[00:27:03] Andrew Michaels: Okay. So the way it works, I believe you upload a few pictures of yourself just from your phone.

[00:27:08] Andrew Michaels: It doesn’t have to be a headshot. It can be any picture. The program will read, It’s, you know, ones and zeros about your face and things like that. And then it will spit out various, quote unquote, professional

[00:27:20] Steve Fretzin: headshots.

[00:27:22] Andrew Michaels: I put that in quotes because when I take a step back and I ask folks what makes a picture look professional, half of the people say what they’re talking about is really about the camera quality, like that sharpness and detail.

[00:27:36] Andrew Michaels: And I remember when I wanted to get a headshot, because I was in sales like 10 years ago, what I wanted was that crispness. I didn’t know what the words were, but what I’m talking about is resolution, sharpness, and things like that. So short answer, does AI replace that? Absolutely not, because it’s not hard to spot an AI headshot online.

[00:27:53] Andrew Michaels: It looks more like an avatar or a cartoon. And to kind of extrapolate that further, What are we trying to do with a headshot? We’re trying to create a human connection, right? And so if we’re putting trust in AI to create something for us that presents our human side, we’re missing something there. Yeah.

[00:28:12] Andrew Michaels: Where AI does really help out, and there’s a few ways. I think if you’re in a global law firm with thousands of attorneys, the goal to have cohesive, like go to my about page, click on the alphabet ABs, you know, click on all the last names Bye. You’re never going to have an in office day for 2000 attorneys.

[00:28:30] Andrew Michaels: It’s not going to happen. I guess you could get avatars so that there is some cohesiveness. The question that comes up and I, I bet some of the listeners could elaborate on this a little better than I can, but there are legal things that come up with ownership about who actually owns an AI headshot.

[00:28:45] Steve Fretzin: Yeah.

[00:28:45] Andrew Michaels: I’m not the expert there, but I know that you don’t necessarily own that image. It might be the creator of that headshot. What I do love AI for is we can have the beautiful, the control of a Where I can dictate how the light’s going to sit. It’s just you and me. There’s no environment around us, but we can still get an environmental portrait.

[00:29:05] Andrew Michaels: Whether you’re wanting something on LaSalle street, whether you’re a restaurateur and you want to be taken in your, you know, picture.

[00:29:11] Steve Fretzin: You don’t have to actually be on the street. You can impose that background and make it look like I’m on the street. That’s great. Yeah. Well, there’s no wind. There’s no pedestrian.

[00:29:19] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. The wind. Right. It’s beautiful. Through my flowing hair. Exactly. I’m messing up my hair. Yes. Um, really great stuff. So great, Andrew. I appreciate it. And all this sharing of a topic that isn’t brought up on the show very often. And I’m glad that we, that we are, that we, that we’re bringing it up and putting it to light because it is a piece of marketing.

[00:29:39] Steve Fretzin: It is a piece of business development, and it only goes to benefit the lawyers who, uh, Who take the time and put a little effort in to get their, their best, uh, photos out there. Let’s wrap up, though, with your game changing podcast, and this has come up on the show a few times. I haven’t listened to this yet, but I think I need to.

[00:29:57] Steve Fretzin: The Huberman Lab.

[00:29:58] Andrew Michaels: Yep. Yes, sir. Well, we talked, you talked about, um, Pilates at the beginning of this, so we know you’re in the gym. You know, you’re shaping those six packs. Oh,

[00:30:07] Steve Fretzin: I’ve got, I’ve got a 12 pack.

[00:30:09] Andrew Michaels: And my baby, I, I, what I love, so I, I have to clarify, I watched the Huberman lab when he had Andy Galpin as a guest, it’s a six episode series, each episode is anywhere from three to four hours long.

[00:30:23] Andrew Michaels: So we’re talking about like some dense information. I’ve watched that on repeat a few times, but it has given me the tools that I think I need to create my own workout regimen. Keeping in mind, not just like, am I trying to get stronger? Am I trying to build endurance? Am I trying to be more, you know, just in better, like functional shape.

[00:30:45] Andrew Michaels: It also talks about the nutrition side of things. It talks about your sleep. It’s just. If you’re anything, you know, interested in fitness, he’s the guy that you want to be tuned into. Okay. You talked about these very crazy concepts in such a, such a simplified manner that anyone can understand.

[00:31:01] Steve Fretzin: So that’s on, that’s a podcast, but it’s also like on YouTube and video form.

[00:31:05] Steve Fretzin: Yes. Okay. Got it. Got it. Andrew. Thank you so much. As we wrap up, want to thank our sponsors as well. Of course, uh, green cardigan marketing gets staffed up and law Maddox. Hopefully you’ve listened to all their ads and check them out. They’re really the, the, you know, I’m having, not only are they my sponsors, but I use them every day, which is true.

[00:31:23] Steve Fretzin: I absolutely do. And, um, and so check that out. And, um, if people want to get in touch with you, Andrew, and I think you also might have some kind of giveaway for people today, um, how do they reach you? And what’s that, what’s that special offer you’re going to make?

[00:31:36] Andrew Michaels: Yeah. So the best way to reach me is just, if you go to my site, it’s going to be, I think my email would be at the bottom.

[00:31:42] Andrew Michaels: It’s Andrew at state street, headshots. com. And then there is an offer for, for the listeners today. If they book a session, there’s going to be a link. Um, that I believe you’ll be passing out.

[00:31:53] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, it’ll be in the show notes. StateStreetHeadShots. com slash super dash lawyer. Yes, sir. Okay.

[00:32:00] Andrew Michaels: And what that’ll be is you’re going to pay for your session, and I’m going to include the first retouched image as part of that session fee.

[00:32:06] Andrew Michaels: So that’s 195 off essentially.

[00:32:08] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Really, really good. And so that’s the best way for people to reach you, email, website, and that offer. So appreciate it. This was great. I mean, again, um, it’s, it’s sometimes an overlooked part of marketing is the, the photographs that you’re putting out there for people to, um, really get a flavor for, you know, trusting you for liking you for feeling that you’re confident and competent as a lawyer.

[00:32:34] Steve Fretzin: So just thank you so much, Andrew. And I know you and I are having a session coming up and I’m going to enjoy that. And maybe by the time this post, those, those images are already up on my website. So people can check them out too.

[00:32:44] Andrew Michaels: That’ll be great. I’m looking forward to it, Steve, and thank you so much for having me.

[00:32:47] Andrew Michaels: This was, this was such a great opportunity and I’m, I’m, uh, happy I got a chance to share some of these thoughts with, with you and your listeners.

[00:32:53] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Well, me too. Me too. And thank you everybody for spending time with Andrew and I today again on the Be That Lawyer podcast. I’m helping you to continue to be your best version, best self, and, uh, you know, stay with us.

[00:33:05] Steve Fretzin: And if you like the show, don’t be shy about giving us a nice review, telling others about it, as I mentioned earlier, and, uh, we’ll continue to put out great content and help you to be that lawyer. Take care, everybody. Be safe, be well, and we will talk again so soon.

[00:33:21] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.