It’s a cliché but practice, practice, practice! The more photos you take the better you will get, it’s as simple as that! Always keep your camera set up on the clinical work surface, so it is ready to be used in a flash.
It is true that a bad workman blames his tools, but having the correct equipment is vital to achieving reproducible dental photographs. Getting a full range of retractors, mirrors and contrasters will allow you take beautiful and consistent photos of your patients no matter what their shape or size.
You must obtain written consent to use your patient’s photographs or videos. Most patients are perfectly happy for you to use their photos, some will advise that they prefer you not use their full-face shots.
4) KISS – Settings
A lot of people get stressed about what settings to use, keep it simple stupid (KISS)! When starting out try and keep most settings the same- this will ensure consistency in your photography. The main setting that needs to be changed regularly is the F stop which alters the depth of field. And don’t forget ALWAYS shoot in manual focus!
- Smile/intraoral photos – F22 | 1/200 | ISO 100
- Full Face – F11 | 1/200 | ISO 100
5) Video is the new photo
Most new DSLRs have HD video capability, this means it is easier than ever to grab a video of your patient. Videos can be incredibly useful for evaluating function and reviewing the true extent of a patient’s smile. It is also great for recording testimonials from happy patients!
Bonus Tip: Clean and Dry the Teeth
Saliva and debris on the teeth can hide important details and lead to a poorer quality image. Clean the teeth and make sure they are super dry to get highly detailed and beautiful images.