Exclusive: Law Society to launch review of ‘official photographer’ amid retouched grad photos storm

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By Katie King on

Photography company offers digital enhancing of graduands’ photos so they look slimmer, their skin clearer and their teeth whiter


Success Photography, specialising in graduations and made available to solicitors at their admissions ceremony at the Law Society, has kicked up a media storm in the national and student press for offering to alter students’ photos so they look slimmer, and now Chancery Lane will be launching a review.

The company charges graduands £9.95 for its “digital gown slimming” service. Using “advanced digital technology”, it will reduce the “bulky and unflattering” appearance of a gown, making it look “more fitting to [the student’s] shape”.

It can also “remove all imperfections” from your (photographed) skin, “blemishes, redness and shine” included. To top it off, “smile enhancement”, to “enhance the whiteness of your smile”, is available too.

As well as graduations, the company takes photos at solicitor admissions ceremonies. Success Photography refers to itself as the Law Society’s “official photographer” on its website, but the Law Society has denied that this is the case.

A spokesperson for the Law Society has now exclusively revealed to Legal Cheek that it will be launching a review of their relationship with the photography company because of the retouched photos storm.

The Law Society spokesperson told us:

Equality and diversity are integral to Law Society procurement processes. We review our suppliers regularly, and do so immediately if we receive a complaint. To date we have received no complaints from our members about Success Photography but we will review the relationship in light of [the] allegations.

The digital offerings have really riled the student community.

Mia Shantana Chaudhuri-Julyan, a student at the University of York, told the student rag that she was “truly shocked and saddened” that “male, female and non-binary students would be made to feel that they are ugly unless they conform to these artificial standards of beauty”.

But the company — the graduation photographer for the likes of Birmingham, Exeter, Imperial College, and York universities as well as for Law Society admissions ceremonies — is sticking by its decision.

A spokesperson said:

Gowns were designed for men and men in the time of monks, they are not flattering for girls. All [the service] does is make them appear less bulky.