The Value of Professional Photography

Filed under: Marketing, Media

While the saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” the truth is that most of us make snap assessments about a business based on their visual presentation, whether we realize it or not. So, when it comes to marketing your dental practice – via website, social media, print or digital marketing – the images used are worth at least a thousand words.

The advances in cell phone cameras have surpassed our imaginations from a mere decade ago, but what the photographic results in the palm of our hand don’t include is experience, expertise, lighting, editing, and most of all, professionalism.

To paraphrase another old saying, fast and cheap seldom means good.

Professional Photography Pays Off

Incorporating professional photographs into your marketing creates a positive first impression that viewers will remember, even if subconsciously. Potential patients will see the images on your website or advertising media before they read about your practice and services.

Not only do high-quality images look good, but used correctly, they reinforce consistent branding and establish your credibility. Consumers are drawn to websites with photos of the dentist, team, and building because it invites engagement and familiarity. When they visit for the first appointment, they already feel comfortable.

Professional photography conveys your expertise which ultimately builds trust.

Subject Matters

When photographing team members for website or marketing materials, it’s important to hire someone who can make sure the lighting is right and of course, that no one closes their eyes at the last second. While turnover does happen, try to keep photos updated as much as possible for both the recognition factor and to avoid blatantly outdated clothes or hairstyles.

If your office interior and/or exterior is a point of pride that makes patients feel welcome, a professional photographer is much more likely to successfully convey that than an iPhone. Be sure to clear the clutter before the shoot and keep an eye on the weather – avoiding puddles or melted snow around the exterior.

When using using patients in the operatory for “candid” shots, ensure you have their permission and take care that no personal information is visible on screens or papers in the background.

Pro Tips

The key to putting the professional in your photography is finding the right person or company to wield the camera. You can search online for a local photographer, but often times the best way is to ask peers or colleagues for a referral – especially if they have samples of the work to share. Get quotes from photographers for the scope of what you want and compare costs and quality to make an informed decision.

Before the shoot, make a plan so the photographer knows what you want and understands your brand. A few samples of a shoot list might be:

  • Portraits of the doctor and team, separately and together
  • Candid photos of patients with doctor or team member
  • Building exterior
  • Waiting room and operatories
  • Anything that sets your practice apart

Look over the proofs carefully and when requesting images for marketing use, choose both landscape and portrait formats for ease of use across platforms.

On a related side note, when using stock images for websites or advertising, they should be professional as well. While there are some sites offering free, high-quality photos, it’s worth it to invest in artwork that reflects your practice’s image. Check out Shutterstock or Getty Images for top-of-the-line stock photos when necessary.

Spread the Word, er, Picture

Once you’ve had a successful, professional photo shoot, it’s time to spread the visual message. Share the images with the appropriate team member or dental marketing company so they can be incorporated into your website, direct mail, digital ads, and social media platform of choice.

By showcasing your practice with professional photography, you project the image of success your current and prospective patients will appreciate and seek out. That’s worth all the words.

If you’re looking to make a good first impression, RAMP – The Dentist’s Marketing Company can help. We offer more than 20 years of experience working specifically for the dental profession and we can take your practice to the next level. Contact us today for a complimentary evaluation and consultation.