The 5 best dental marketing photography tips
Tip 1 - Huge benefits for imagery on the web
We are becoming a more visual society with every Instagram and Facebook photo post we make. It's no surprise. It's faster and easier to digest an image than to read a paragraph of text. The old adage is more true than ever when we say that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Even though we shouldn't, we do judge a book by it's cover the same way we judge a blog post by it's hero image. What is the message we should take away from this? Well, if an image grabs attention better than text does, it better be relevant to what the blog post is about. You don't want to switch-bait your readers and trick them into reading something irrelevant. They won't be very happy with you and will generally leave dissatisfied with you and your website.
What is even better than relevant images are unique relevant images. Google loves uniqueness and rewards you with better ranking results. If an image is worth a thousand words, then a unique and relevant image is worth tens of thousands of words.
It’s not just google though, we are more likely to remember something if there is imagery to go along with text. It’s said that we are over 90% more likely to investigate into something if there is imagery that goes along with it.
Just imagine your website... Oops, just by asking you to imagine, I bet I made you think for a minute. Did you see a picture? Well if you’re like most, you did. Most of the input from the world to your brain is also around 90% of the total volume of input. Another way you could say that? Most of us are visual to begin with. And when you consider the opportunity you are missing out on by not including pictures on your site, it’s a big one.
Tip 2 - Preparing for a photo shoot
If you want unique images, you are going to have to produce them yourself or hire someone to take them for you.
Hiring a photographer can be tricky. You’ll want to check out their portfolio and see if their style matches what you envision for your site. If possible, try to meet with them ahead of time to plan out shots and discuss style. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s best to go with a naturalistic story building approach.
A first step could be to look at examples of your competitors imagery on their websites to get an idea for the shots you would like to take. Some examples include:
Going into the shoot, and while editing, have a sense of the colors on your website or the color palette. While editing, you can make your images warmer or cooler to match your site, but it is much more important to plan the colors first. Make sure to match your attire accordingly. Patterns and solids don't go together well. Also avoid plaids and polka dots. Generally we discourage red because it is highly distracting and will draw the eye away from the group and focus the viewer on the attire.
Another tip is to not assume a shot you are imagining will be quick or easy. Talk it over with your Photographer, and be willing to compromise. Also, clean up your interior and exterior as much as possible. Don't assume anything can be Photoshopped. It's much easier to get it right in camera first than it is to magically alter it in the post process.
Obviously if you choose to shoot your photos yourself, you won’t be talking to a photographer. It is still a good idea to spend some time jotting down some notes about what you would be talking to a photographer about. Treat yourself as the client.
Tip 3 - Ask things like what is your goal and who is your audience
It’s important to think about who your audience is when you are trying to determine the visual narrative you’ll be creating. Just as the design of your website is crafted to draw a user in, the goal of your imagery could be just as meaningful. Do you want to captivate your audience? Do you want to convey an emotion? Or do you want to simply educate?
There is no right or wrong answer here. You will find the goal you have in mind will closely relate to what your practice’s goal is every day. Do you want more patients? How do you want your patients to feel? All these questions are good to think about before making the shot, but could also be beneficial after the shoot, when perusing through the collection of photos you’ve taken.
Tip 4 - Getting usable shots
Ok, so you’ve spent some time thinking about your photoshoot and asking relevant questions to put you in the right mindset. The day of the photoshoot comes and goes, your designer is excited to see the images, but is dismayed to find out none of the shots they were planning on using were shot in the format they were planning to use them in, or they don’t have enough room to crop.
This is an easy scenario to avoid. Simply have your photographer remember to give your designer room. It’s an easy thing for a photographer to forget. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask if they have left enough room to crop.
There are two main places for your photos to go. On the homepage or on a subpage. Where a subpage image can be any aspect ratio, typically a homepage photo will span the width of the website and will have a narrow aspect ratio. It is also not uncommon for a designer to need more vertical space or what they call negative space where they could put text or other content.
A good practice is to take two of the same shot, one horizontally and one vertically so that your designer can use them anywhere on your website. Also, have your photographer stand further back and get "lots of extra space" around the subject so that we can crop the image as needed.
Some additional shooting tips from our own research.
Tip 5 - Get good architecture interior/exterior shots
When shooting architecture, try to get parallel lines in camera. Line up the shot so that the edges of the building are straight up and down. To do this easily, use a tripod in your set up so that you don't have to rely on your arms. When hand holding your camera, sometimes even your heartbeat can bump your shot.
Anticipate which direction the light will come from. If your building is west facing, wait until the sun starts lowering to a 45 ̊ angle. Depending on the season, the opportune time will change. You could also wait until just before dark when interior lights and exterior twilight are balanced in intensity to each other.
If you are doing any HDR compositing or High Dynamic Range imagery, shoot conservative HDR with more of a natural range in contrast. Situations where you might need HDR are for naturally contrasted situations - photographing interior where the light source may be in image, or photographing against a sunset.
And last but not least, when editing your images don’t go overboard with sliders. Step away from the computer every 20 min to adjust your eyes to the real world. It's also a good practice to look at your first edited photo often and compare it to your current photo so to ensure your batch of edits are consistent over time.
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WEO Media - Dental Marketing
8625 SW Cascade Avenue Suite 300
Beaverton, OR 97008
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