As discussed in my recent tip on adapting “man on the street”–style photography to law firm marketing, smartphone photography is certainly the wave of the future – and it’s already here. More and more, we are seeing amateur photography used to promote organizations, brands and Fortune 500 companies. Why? Because photos not only visually tell the story of an organization, but have a higher rate of engagement with viewers. It’s much faster and easier to post a photo to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get a point across than to write a blog post. And photography can help improve SEO ranking.

For example, media outlets are taking to man-on-the-street photography. The Chicago Sun-Times recently laid off its entire photography staff and is training reporters to use iPhones and function as “professional” photographers. You can read more about that here. This says a lot about the professional-quality resources we all are carrying around everyday.

Retailers have already figured out the best way for the industry to use man-on-the-street photos. Starbucks publishes customer-submitted photos of what people do while drinking Starbucks coffee to promote its brand, and retailers such as Lululemon and Coach are showcasing photographs taken by their customers. You can read more about this by clicking here.

And there are tools available to all of us to make our photos even better. Check out this article, which offers a few useful photography apps.

So, how can law firms adapt some of these ideas? Man-on-the-street–style photography gives law firms an opportunity to showcase the personalities of their attorneys by using less-formal photographs that provide insights into a lawyer’s personality and interests. For example, post photos or video clips from speaking engagements at conferences to Twitter or LinkedIn, or include an image that relates visually to a blog post. Photos and videos are an important element of telling your firm’s story that works with your firm’s content strategy goals. They bring added value to press releases and social media posts, making these more engaging, and have a higher rate of being seen and shared than text. When shared through social media, photos build valuable SEO results, improving your firm’s ranking status.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words.