Lawyers tend to have an image of themselves as conservative.
But Danbury personal injury lawyer Alan Barry, who moonlights as a photographer, knows there is a person inside every suit. “A person who is unique and is so much more than just a lawyer,” he said.
Barry began shooting celebrities as a hobby several years ago. More recently, he started snapping photos of lawyers.
“It is unique for me as a lawyer, photographing other lawyers, especially when a big part of my work involves shooting models, celebrity events, and high end venues,” Barry said. “Law firm photography is a market I am looking to expand in.”
Barry said he tries hard to take dramatic photos that show the personality of the lawyer.
“I guess I’m interested in trying to get the person to come out, and portray them as a person, as opposed to a lawyer. This is a challenge, because lawyers … want to project a ‘lawyerly’ image. That’s fine,” he said. “But if the public thinks all lawyers are essentially the same, wouldn’t lawyers who wanted to differentiate themselves look to be portrayed in a more humanistic manner?”
He takes some professional pride in having developed his own artistic style. “I think it can be gleaned from viewing my work. That’s also what I want to bring,” he said. “Hey, not everyone is going to want or like that, and I’m fine with that. But for those who get this, it will be great.”
He decided to branch out into law firm photography recently when attorney Jim Nugent in Milford called, saying his firm, Harlow Adams & Friedman, needed photos for their website.
Barry also took photos of the lawyers at his own firm, Alan Barry & Associates.
After the Milford photo shoot, he said “it struck me that many other lawyers could benefit from having great photos, and that maybe I would pursue marketing to that niche.”
When he photographs lawyers or celebrities, he uses dramatic lighting. He hopes his photos of lawyers help differentiate them from other attorneys. He tries to shoot them in a glamorous way, focusing on their individuality.
“I look at pictures of lawyers on websites and see portable backgrounds,” Barry said. “I’m very interested in people’s faces and what their faces communicate, and I try to capture a little bit of their personality instead of standing in front of the law books and smiling,” Barry said.
He likes the idea of shooting lawyers on their couch, reading a paper, or in a break room, making coffee.
Barry, who practices personal injury, medical malpractice, real estate and business law, still goes to his law office every day, unless he has a shoot.
“I admit it can be challenging at times. I might be in the office until late in the afternoon, and then drive to NYC where I will be shooting until midnight,” Barry said. “I feel blessed to be able to pursue my love of the law, and photography. And with my 3-year-old son, and loving wife, I’m motivated to make every day count.”
Barry said his biggest claim to fame recently was not getting assaulted when photographing Alec Baldwin.
Barry was asked to photograph him at a charity event by his management company and the charity. While Barry was talking to Baldwin in front of people, Baldwin said: “It’s great to meet you. Get my best side.”
But when Barry and Baldwin were alone, Baldwin turned to Barry, saying: “You have exactly one minute to get my (expletive) picture.”
“He does not like getting his picture taken,” Barry said. “They are just human beings, everyone has their own quirks and personalities.”
On the other hand, Meryl Streep, who was also at the event, was very gracious, Barry said.
“She was incredible,” Barry said.
Kim Kardashian was also very pleasant, Barry said. “Taking the best photo is important to her, because it’s all about image,” Barry said.
Barry said that he got started taking photos several years ago when his daughter, who was working at MGM, needed a photographer to take pictures at a celebrity-studded event at Foxwoods. The photographer hired for that project fell through, so she asked Barry, who considered himself an amateur at that point.
He made many contacts that night and started routinely shooting celebrity events.