Picture Day: The Gimpy Profile Picture Dilemma

Picture of Becky in her pink wheelchair from an online article.

I have Cerebral Palsy, which means, among other things, that I have what I affectionately call, “the C.P. camera startle reflex.” In other words, I look bad in pictures. Not I-think-I’m-ugly or I’m-having-a-bad-hair-day bad picture (I’m definitely not a Barbie girl, in this Barbie world (even with Becky, Barbie’s friend who uses a wheelchair that couldn’t fit into the elevator at Barbie’s house)). I mean like a drunken-4am-mug-shot bad picture, only it’s not 4am and I am not drunk, arrested, or Justin Bieber.

So what if I take bad pictures? Well, I’m starting a law practice and that means branding, marketing, and social media-ing. This involves the dreaded profile picturedun dun duunnn. You know, the head shot of an attorney in a suit, sitting in front of a bookshelf with a series of color coordinated legal looking books, traditionally found on law firm and solo practitioner websites. I noticed a trend that newer solo practitioners do not have these profile pictures on their websites. However, this does not negate the need for a profile picture on Facebook, Linkedin, and the like.

Here’s what I think my opinions are, since the profile picture of my dog probably won’t cut it as professional enough for the purposes of starting a law practice: I could find a rare head shot of myself not looking too gimpy; I could embrace my gimpiness with a gimpy head shot (after all, I am starting a disability law practice); or I could use a full body shot of me in my wheelchair. What do you think? If you face a similar dilemma with your disability, how do you approach the gimpy profile picture dilemma?

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