How to take good pictures

Prepare the patient:

Choice a comfortable place in your office to take your patient photographs, free of distractions, bright overhead lights and windows. Patient should be standing against a soft background. If possible avoid bright white walls. If you must take the picture while the patient is sitting, ask them to sit up as much as possible. Take the picture straight on to avoid shadows which make the teeth look gray.

Frame the patients face from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin. Turn your camera sideways to get a portrait shot. Move in close enough so face fills in most of the frame, without bleaching out the teeth with the flash.

Visibility of the teeth:

Have the patient give you a great big smile. We are looking for about ¼ inch between the incisal edges of the upper and lower anterior. Strike a balance between a relaxed, fully natural smile (which would be most aesthetic when imaged) and one which may be diagnostically ideal.

Show as clearly as possible the condition(s) to be corrected while still producing the most positive emotional effect on the patient (family and friends) once imaged into the “after” photo.

Ask the patient to smile and say “easy”. Take the picture. Pull back slightly, refocus take another picture. Move back in, refocus take another picture. Continue this until your satisfied you have enough pictures to choose from. Choose one that is in focus, free of shadows or washed out teeth and that clearly shows all the teeth to be enhanced.

Make sure to focus on the teeth.

Things to avoid:

  • Retractors
  • Taking the pictures in the operatory chair.
  • Bright overhead lights.
  • Close-up anterior shots. Though diagnostically ideal, much less attractive to the non-professional.