Successful Hospital Photography #8

Overshoot your Assignments 

 When shooting photos for an ad or a specific usage, the photographer will use his expertise to zero in on the shooting angle, composition, and the best rendition of the topic being covered. After getting a basic approval, most of the photos will be variations of this basic set-up.

After you have captured the image you are desiring, encourage the photographer to create additional variations or “looks” for this assignment. Vary the staff and other persons in the photo. Change viewpoints, composition and even locations to achieve very different images of the same subject.

You may have other needs or requests for photographs from this shoot. Having a variety of images will make the assignment meet additional needs and keep the primary image’s impact from being diluted from overexposure. It doesn’t take much additional time to get a few more photographs that could be used as other needs arise. Sometimes that “other view” ends up being the preferred image from the assignment after all.

Overshoot! You will be building your “stock” file and may actually save some time in the long run.

Photos copyright 2011 Jim Lockman/Click!


Successful Hospital Photography #7

Hire a Photographer with Great People Skills


We talked about this a little in the first session on “Hiring a Photographer”. Successful hospital photography involves more than making people smile.

The healthcare environment is complex. Doctors and hospital staff are involved in life-saving endeavors. Even before a photographer snaps an image of a patient in a hospital bed, he has encountered personnel who may or may not be interested or involved in what he wants to accomplish. Sensitivity to the care being delivered is an important ingredient in the recipe for photo success. A photographer with good people skills will help those involved in patient care by communicating his needs without interfering with theirs.

“Making people smile” does come into play. A successful photographer knows how to engage people. He has the ability to quickly interact and get people comfortable with the idea of being photographed, helping to ease the anxiety many people have about having their picture made. Part of the challenge is to get people to imagine themselves in the particular situation the photo demands. With models the task is easier, but with the current emphasis on “reality” more and more hospitals are telling the story with real patients and doctors. The photographer’s challenge is to bring out the personality of those he is photographing. Quickly.

Your photographer should provide images that have that extra “glow”.

The recipe for photo success includes sensitivity, a sense of humor, an engaging persona and an ability to bring out the best of someone’s personality in a short span of time. Look for strong people skills when you hire your next photographer.

Photos copyright 2011 Jim Lockman/Click!

Successful Hospital Photography #6

Schedule Some Wandering Around Time

While it is important to schedule photography work and keep on schedule, there are a lot of potentially dramatic photo possibilities all around. Encourage your photographer to look for interesting photos as you are moving from set to set or while you are waiting for a doctor or other staff person to get ready for their shot. These photographs may not be needed for the assignment, but these candid captures could be used for many other needs that arise. Often a brochure, website or other printed piece has a space where a generic photo will fit the bill.

Create a collection of photos throughout the hospital that can become “stock” for needs that arise. Generic healthcare photos are requested regularly by chambers of commerce, government agencies and others looking for  images depicting activities in the community. Photographers, especially those with a bent toward photojournalism, will welcome the opportunity to discreetly capture images of the activities surrounding them. Be sensitive to those in the crosshairs of a telephoto lens by informing them of your photographer’s task and don’t forget to get releases when necessary.

Many of the day-to-day activities in a hospital are rarely captured  in photographs. By wandering around during a photo assignment, your photographer can provide images that portray the dynamics of healthcare with a more candid feel. These images can be much more effective than  posing a couple in the hallway or pretending a nurse is sharing a chart with another staffer.

Photos copyright 2011 Jim Lockman/Click!

Successful Hospital Photography #5

Block Out Time From The Normal Schedule For Your Shoot

 Photo copyright 2011 Jim Lockman/Click!

Many times when I arrive for an assignment, I have to wait until there is no patient or until the doctor or hospital staff persons being photographed are free from their current workload. Other times, I will be shooting and suddenly be informed that a patient has arrived and needs to be treated immediately.

Block out time for these photo sessions. If you are getting a photo of a doctor in action, have his calendar booked for you as if you were a patient. The same applies for other services and areas of the hospital. Book an appointment to make photos in radiology.

It will save a lot of frustration and wasted time with your photographer and will actually save time for the department being photographed. Efficiently scheduled shoots flow much more quickly than trying to squeeze photography into an already hurried schedule.

Sucessful Hospital Photography #4

Gang Photo Needs For A More Efficient Shoot


Many of my healthcare shoots are for an ad or a single use project.

With a little forethought or planning, the hospital can get a lot more “bang for the buck”. Whether it is shooting some generic photos for stock, taking pictures a department has been requesting or doubling up on projects that need to be photographed, you can usually get a better price when extending the shoot to cover additional needs.

I had a client that did this regularly. Not having the budget to bring me in for a shoot, she would contact different departments and see if they had any photo needs. She was able to hire me for a day and get other budgets to cover some of my expenses.

Even if a photographer is charging by the shot rather than a half or full day rate, you can usually get a deal on the additional photos. After all, the photographer is already there. It is to his advantage to increase the amount of his sale with very little extra expense for him.

Keep a list of those photo needs you never get around to shooting. Let your hospital staff know you can get them some shots if they can be flexible on the timing.

Thinking ahead will allow you to get more value from your next photographic venture.


 All photos copyright 2011 Jim Lockman/Click!