The True Value Of Professional Photography

Here you are, a qualified practitioner with years of experience, knowledgeable about the treatments that really work and confident you can achieve the best for your clients – your list of repeat clients confirms this. But for some reason, you find it hard to attract new ones. The reason for this could be simpler than you might expect: the bad quality of your before and after images.

With social media booming and the hashtag #beforeandafter trending, showing your patients’ results on your Instagram, Facebook, as well as on your website is crucial to stay competitive. But bad lighting, inconsistent angles, and inadequate (phone) cameras can distort shapes and colours, which makes it almost impossible to tell if someone actually achieved a good result or just took a flattering photo. Worse than that, these distorted images can lead to unrealistic expectations for clients, and even body dysmorphia.

With patients more educated and savvy than ever, most people want to see your actual results before they book in for a treatment with you. Consistent, clinical imaging is key for attracting new customers as well as documenting your patients’ journeys reliably. The easiest way to achieve this is with a professionally set up photography corner or room, which photographer and founder of Clinical Imaging, Woodrow Wilson, can help with. We talked to Woodrow about the simple but effective process of getting your photography right.

After 6 years within the industry, what has surprised you the most?

That stock photographs are still a thing! It blows my mind how chain clinics use stock images to promote their services, or worse yet, another doctor’s portfolio from the other side of the world. Patients see through that -they want to see your portfolio of outcomes -not someone else’s.

Is it expensive to set up a photography system?

I think overall it’s expensive not to do it. The missed opportunities to educate, document or market with high quality consistent photographs are far more expensive than any start-up costs for a photography system.

Is the quality of the latest smart phone cameras not good enough?

Every year I wait to be surprised at the latest mobile phone offering, and whilst they are getting better, they are still a long way off being comparable, to even basic SLR or mirrorless cameras. Worse yet mobile phones are increasingly using AI software to correct issues with the physics of small lenses and sensors, i.e. removing skin detail – the very detail you need to document!

Moreover, it’s important to have a system in place that allows you to search quickly and efficiently through thousands of images using keyword data, such as date of capture, patient name, stage of the procedure and type of procedure. They are all stored in the ‘meta-data’ of the file you want to see. It’s also cloud compatible.

What else does the system offer?

We have two main types of filter – one to show sun damage or epidermal melanin and another to show vascularity. Both are great for showing laser or skincare results.

 Do small businesses need professional photography, too?

Absolutely, as it gives you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace. Over the years our smaller operators are routinely doing clearer high quality before and after photographs than bigger chain clinics, medical journals or patients are increasingly shopping around, especially on social media and it’s easier to stand out with clear objective results than messy images taken on a tablet.

Do you need to have photography skills to get good photos?

Not at all – we specifically designed it to be point and click. Whilst the hardware is high-end settings, lighting and data input locked down, it allows the clinician to just focus on the anatomy they wish to capture, and the relationship with the client.

How much space do practitioners need?

Typically a 1.2m wide by 2.5m space in either a dedicated area, shared treatment/consult room or office. We don’t use tripods, umbrellas or any cumbersome rigging so whilst it functions like a studio, it certainly looks better than one.

Clinical Imaging is an Australian based consultancy agency, specialising in advanced medical, cosmetic and reconstructive imaging solutions. Clinical Imagine caters to practices of all sizes with a customised photographic system, that focuses on pre and post image capture. Additional services include commercial photography and video production. For more information, visit clinicalimaging.com.au

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