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Custom photography can dramatically improve your dental marketing efforts

One of the most significant investments you can make in the marketing of your practice is hiring a professional photographer. Having great photos of you, your practice, and your staff can improve the quality of your website and social profiles.

Most websites use stock photography. These are photos that are licensed from a company like Getty Images or Shutterstock. These sites tend to not have a lot of good dental practice photos, so the same ones get used over and over. By hiring a photographer you provide your marketing agency with unique imagery that can make your site stand out. It also gives prospective patients a look inside your practice.

Custom Photography

Stock Photographs

Quick Tips to get the best photographs

  • Hire a professional. Most of us have a good camera. But it isn’t just about getting an 8-megapixel image. The photos need the right lighting, perspective, and composition.
  • Stage the photos. Ask a couple of patients or friends to come in for the shoot and act like patients. Show them sitting the waiting room, talking to the receptionist, and sitting in the chair with the doctor. This makes the practice look active and inviting.
  • Take your time. Don’t try to rush this. Plan to have the photographer in for an afternoon. You will have these photos for many years. Take the time to make sure they’re high quality.
  • Sign model releases. Anyone in the photo needs to sign a model release. This ensures they understand how the photos are going to be used by your business.
  • Use permanent staff only. For staff shots only include staff who are expected to be with your dental team over the long-term. If someone leaves in six months, pictures that include them will become outdated.
  • Don’t wear a mask in the shots. Wearing a mask is normal for you, but for someone looking in from the outside it makes you look unapproachable. If the shot is of you talking to the patient, then take the mask off.

Suggested Shot List

It’s best to get a variety of pictures so that you have options. There are lots of opportunities to use custom photography in your marketing so make sure you get the essential shots of your dental practice and staff.

Pictures of your building. If you’re lucky you’ll get a cloudy day with diffused light that will enable your photographer to get a great shot without many shadows. Make sure to get the following:

  • Exterior of building
  • Main entrance
  • External and internal signs

Inside the office. Your interior shots should include pictures of the empty rooms, as well as shots with patients and appropriate staff. The photos should be taken with a variety shot depths (wide showing whole space, medium and close up). Here’s are the areas you should concentrate on:

  • Panoramic of the nicest room (often the waiting area / reception)
  • Reception (multiple angles)
  • Operatories (multiple angles)
  • Waiting room (multiple angles)
  • Hall shots
  • Technology and equipment (Digital X-ray, CEREC etc)
  • Any unique parts of the practice (i.e. fish tank, waterfall, fireplace, etc.)

The people who make up your practice. Let your staff know in advance you’re getting a photographer in so they can prepare. Invite friends, patients or temporary staff to act as patients.

  • Individual portrait shots of the team (anyone who will be listed with a bio on the site)
  • Doctors together
  • Various team working (i.e. receptionists on phone, hygienist talking with doctor, doctor smiling with staff)
  • Doctors talking with patients in chair
  • Patients who are in mid-check up looking at the camera and smiling. Make sure sides / arms aren't cut off

Any other interesting visual elements / ideas worth showing off. Is there something that makes your practice unique? Do you have a special perio program or puppet you use to entertain your smaller patients? Get a quick pic of any aspect of your services that make you unique so you’ll be able to share that on your website, social media or other marketing materials in the future.

Need some inspiration? Here are few sites that we think have strong photos:

Latoria Dental Centre

Woodlawn Dental Centre

Filice Dentistry

Markville Dental

Brent Parr
Brent Parr
Brent is the CEO and co-founder of Optio Publishing. Most days he can be found deep in conversation with customers or partners about the best ways to market their business. Brent loves outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee and camping.
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