Getting the most out of your dental photography shoot

Invest a little time and money for the best results

Dental Media photography for dentistsWhen it comes to making a real difference with your dental website, one of the key recommendations is to invest in bespoke photography rather than use stock images.

Whilst there are some great stock images out there and undoubtedly you can build a decent website using them, it’s well-understood that they don’t work nearly as well as personalised imagery. Simply put, users prefer to see who and what they are dealing with, rather than a set of generic stock photographs which may look “nice” but are not very engaging.

To help dentists accomplish this, here at Dental Media we offer an integrated photography service for dentists whereby our photographer visits the practice to capture a suite of excellent images of the facilities and team. We can also arrange for images to accompany patient testimonials and shots of the surrounding area where applicable.

This is a professional service undertaken by a photographer who has worked in the business for many years, including the dental press. It is not to be confused with the budget services some web designers offer whereby a junior staff member turns up simply to take a few basic head-shots for use on the website as part of the website design fee. Whilst that is better than nothing, it isn’t really going to give you the result you need to make your website really stand out. So it really is worth paying a sensible fee to invest in a professional shoot which will provide excellent images which can be used in a variety of media – i.e. web and print.

Preparation makes a difference….

Once you’ve made the decision to invest in professional photography, you want to do it justice by making a few simple preparations for the day of the shoot as follows:

  • your website designer should provide instructions and a pre-shoot guidance document to help the day run successfully. Please read this and be sure to ask any questions in advance, including if there are any particular shots you would like taken.
  • inform your staff! Please make sure everyone you want in the shoot is aware and that they are on time. Please also advise other staff who may not be involved what is happening to avoid disruptions where possible. The photographer understands that dental practices are busy places and will be prepared for that, but planning ahead will help.
  • tidy uniforms and facilities are the order-of-the-day, including anywhere that the photographer will work – so not just the surgeries but reception areas, car parks and frontages too. There’s only so much can be done with Photoshop to remove unwanted features after the event!
  • if patients are coming in for the shoot, be sure to brief them in advance and also get their signed consent for the images to be used.
  • your photographer will include some “artistic” shots including creative depth-of-field effects. You can help with this by bringing in fresh flowers for the reception area and making branded items available to be photographed, for example business cards etc.
  • give the photographer time – if you want the best results you will need to allow sufficient time to set up lighting rigs etc. Whilst adequate “snaps” can be obtained quite quickly, if you compare these against a professionally composed and well-lit example, you will see why it’s worthwhile making some time.
  • please don’t tell the photographer how to compose and take the shots. By all means advise what you would like captured, but please remember that whilst you may be handy with your own DSLR, you likely aren’t as handy as the guy with the lens!


A full set of professionally taken photographs is an excellent investment for use on your website, in your practice literature, your blog, external advertising and more. You can get it “lumped” in with your web design but be prepared for a mediocre result. If you do decide to invest, and I recommend it, then please spend a little time to prepare in advance and to assist on the day. This way you’ll be certain to get a full suite of images you can be proud of and which will serve you well for several years.

Concerned about the cost? Please don’t be – our pro shoots range from £400 -> £650 + vat and represent an excellent investment.

Interested in a shoot for your own practice? Please call Dental Media on 01332 672548 for more information and to see examples of our work.