Investing in high-quality photography is one of the best ways to improve your website and attract new patients.
Dentists often ask us what they should do to get their practices ready for a photo shoot. Besides gathering your team together and making sure everyone looks aesthetically cohesive, consider how your office looks to a patient. The quality of the photos and how your office looks will have a big impact on the impression you make.
What do patients look for in dental website photography?
- Patients want to know they’re going to an office that’s comfortable, modern, and clean. Make sure your photos accentuate these aspects of your office.
- Photos should be professionally lit to avoid shadows, washed-out colors, and other telltale signs of amateur photography. This ensures your office presents itself well to new patients.
- Your photos should always feature real people. Not doing so makes it hard for patients to picture themselves in your practice. Be it “patients,” your team, or your dentist (or all three), make sure every shot has at least one version with somebody in it.
What are the best ways to get your office ready for a photo shoot?
Now’s the time to get out your office improvement to-do list. Simple, affordable changes can have a significant impact.
- Does your office need a fresh coat of paint?
- Have the cushions on the chairs seen better days?
- Does the carpet need cleaning?
You’re there every day, so you may not even realize what message your space is sending to your patients. Consider having someone who’s never been to your practice come through and describe how it makes them feel and the things that most stand out to them positively and negatively.
One aspect of your practice you might not have thought about is the cohesion between your office colors and the colors in your brand or marketing materials. If you believe strongly in your brand’s color scheme and know that you’ll be keeping them around, painting your practice these colors is an inexpensive way to make a BIG impact.
Key elements of dental practice staging
- Lighting: If your space doesn’t have lots of natural light, adding spotlights, overhead lights, and lamps is a great way to introduce light to your practice. Matching lamps on end tables bring symmetry to the space and offer reading light for waiting patients.
- Focal pieces: One large print that brings together the colors in your office is better than many small prints that don’t match. Mirrors are also great for bouncing light around the space and making the room feel larger.
- Clutter: We know there’s a lot of information that you want to convey to your patients, but when staging your practice for photographs, less is more. Remove posters, excess magazines, and brochures. Opt instead for a few strategically-placed magazines in a magazine rack or on a coffee table.
- Plants: Whether real or fake, plants can give your practice a much-needed organic element that’s welcoming to your clients. Consider a tall leafy plant in a seldom-used corner, small plants on the floor at the ends of couches, or rows of chairs and flowers on coffee or end tables. A combination of leaf size and height in the room is great!
- Soft Goods: A couple of throw pillows on a couch that match your wall art can help distribute color throughout the space. A large area rug anchors the seating area in a large open room. Both help soften the space and make it more welcoming.
Each space is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how you should approach your dental office staging project.
Bonus tip: plan your shoot
Get the shots you need the first time. This will give your marketing team a wide range of options to choose from with proven images that connect with potential patients.
Make sure to always have your photographer take images of the following:
- Your whole team together
- The dentist in his or her office
- The waiting room
- The dentist(s) speaking with patients*
- Different team members seeing patients
- Receptionist speaking with a patient
- Operatory with a patient being treated
*Not actual patients
The time you spend preparing your office for a professional photo shoot will be well worth it to get photos that really capture who you are, and help your patients feel at home with you before they even arrive.
This was co-written with the help of Colleen Cahill, a professional photographer with more than 30 years of experience. She’s taken photos for many dentists and you can see more of her work at Colleen Cahill Studios.
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