Storytelling can engage readers and attract new patients, but words simply aren’t enough. High-quality photography grabs viewers’ attention and can inspire them to take action. Consider these statistics:
- Content with visuals gets 94 percent more total views.
- Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media.
- People who read content online retain about 10 to 20 percent of the information. When a visual element is included, readers retain 65 percent of the information.
- Ninety percent of the information that’s transmitted to the brain is visual.
- The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
Here are three ways to harness the power of a portrait.
1. Aim for variety.
You might need more than one image for a given layout or web page—and your client may want to use outtakes in the future. So, take a variety of photos at every shoot. Photograph your subject from several angles. Take portraits—in which the subject is facing the camera—and action shots, in which the subject is engaged in an activity, such as walking or seeing a patient. Snap a few photos of a patient or doctor alone and a few with family members. If you’re producing a patient testimonial, consider taking a photo of the patient with his or her physician and medical team.
2. Change up the location.
If possible, take indoor and outdoor shots. Consider photographing subjects in their own environments, such as their home, yard or favorite park. Your subject might want to pose with his or her pet, children or grandchildren. The photo can depict how a patient has resumed an active, healthy lifestyle after a medical procedure, for instance. When shooting outdoors, be sure to avoid taking photos in direct sunlight; find a shady place instead.
When shooting indoors, look for rooms with pale, solid colors. Avoid those with mirrored or dark-paneled walls, flamboyant wallpaper and high-gloss enamel paint. Note the locations of windows and doors, reflective surfaces and obstructions. Natural light makes for beautiful photos, so photograph your subject facing the light.
Keep in mind, with COVID-19, you may need to take some photos with masks and some without, depending on your subject’s preferences.
3. Check in with your subject before the shoot.
Let your subject know what he or she should wear several days before the shoot. It’s best to choose warm, bright, solid colors. Avoid distracting graphics and patterns. The subject should also look as natural as possible—no heavy eye makeup, shiny barrettes, flashy jewelry or unusual nail polish colors.