Autograph Aligners presents its four tips to success when taking photographs and its newest patient campaign – #myautographsmile.
Photography has always been considered to be an important part of dentistry, and thanks to digital technology, documenting and promoting treatments with professional looking images is now easier and more convenient than ever.
In the face of this, many clinicians are still reluctant to develop or even implement photography in their practices. Does this sound familiar? If the answer is yes, why not ditch the objections and dive in? In doing so, your practice image could benefit from a real boost. Let’s start with equipment.
All the gear and the right idea
Timothy Zoltie, head of The Medical and Dental Illustration Unit at The University of Leeds School of Dentistry, says: ‘Any DSLR or mirrorless camera is suitable. When it comes to choosing a lens, a 100mm/105mm macro is recommended as it keeps the user at a safe working distance from the subject, whilst avoiding perspective distortion. It also offers a magnification ratio of 1:1.’
On to the flash. For extraoral photography, Tim recommends an external Speedlight with flash off-camera cable. ‘This enables a more powerful flash to be placed alongside the lens barrel to achieve adequate exposure while avoiding background shadow. A ring flash may be used, but flash power limitations may not allow for stopped down apertures.’ In addition, the correct contrastors, retractors, and mirrors are all designed to create a full view with no distractions, including unwanted backgrounds and unintentional fingers in the shot.
Before and after close-ups of the dentition using cheek retractors are essential, however, make sure you include both a neutral expression and smiling portrait of the full face to reveal the personality of your patient. These appeal to our human side by showing the beaming smile and the sparkle in the eyes – conveying how your patient has more confidence and a better self-image.
If the patient is wearing makeup, be consistent and request the patient uses the same makeup – including lipstick colour in the after pictures.
Shoot photos straight on and from a lateral viewpoint. Better perspective is achieved with the patient standing, therefore avoid full face photos to be taken of the patient in the dental chair. Lastly, keep the photo authentic. Stay away from Photoshop. If cropping, ensure the same crop is applied to the before and after photos.
Encourage patients to post selfies and testimonials to your practice social media pages. Why not create a selfie wall in the reception for patients to use?
Start the conversation within the surgery and incentivise patients to get involved with a best selfie competition. With a good word of mouth habit, your team can make a huge impact on the success of your social media image, which in turn leads to new customers!
Your patients can win
Look out for your Autograph Aligners promotional postcard in each case encouraging patients to upload their selfie onto Instagram with the hashtag #myautographsmile. Each selfie is reposted onto the Autograph Instagram page and entered into a seasonal draw to win a £25 Love 2 Shop voucher. The more selfies each user posts, the better the chance of winning.