A doctor's headshot is their first impression online.

First impressions are really important, today more than ever, but we don’t always get to be in the room when they’re formed.

For healthcare providers, that portrait–that’s a chance to set the tone. It’s the start of a relationship, the foundation of trust.  And I firmly believe that building trust can only mean better outcomes.

In this video, I explain my approach to photographing doctors and also share my thoughts on why these photos are so important.

This video includes some behind the scenes clips of a recent session at BronxCare Hospital System. Time was precious, I had less than 90 minutes to photograph 29 surgeons.

With only three minutes per doctor, I had to give clear directions AND get them at ease in front of the camera.

Two things I wish I could have had for this session: A makeup artist to make everyone look their absolute best and a little extra space for everyone to social distance properly.

Despite the limitations imposed by the current pandemic, we were able to achieve great results and the client was thrilled with the images.

It Sets expectations.

A photograph that doesn’t tell a story is a wasted opportunity.

When I photograph doctors, whether they’re a resident or the chairman of a department, I aim to set this expectation for the viewer: This is an approachable authority figure.

Over the years I’ve come to tell that story in a simple but effective way with a bold, clean setup. I ask my subjects for a slight smile–not too much– healthcare is serious business, after all.

But that smile, and lighting that emphasizes the eyes, humanizes them.

Lighting is important.

Lighting is a visual language. High-key lighting which turns the background pure white eliminates any distractions and makes the photograph about the subject.

It also allows for consistency, which is important for a healthcare system with hundreds or thousands of employees to photograph.

In essence, it’s a very simple setup, but the results bright, clean, and almost ready-to-use right from the camera.

Because the background is a light source, light wraps around the subject and catches in interesting ways.

This is a visual cue that makes the final photo look natural. The subject is not masked or green-screened onto a white background; they belong there.

Attention to detail is a must.

At a subconscious level, what a doctor’s headshot should aim to communicate to the viewer is this:  Someone took extra care and paid attention to details. The person in this photograph is important.

The doctor in this short clip had red marks on his face from wearing a mask for a prolonged period of time. That can’t be helped. Retouching is a common practice and included when I shoot headshots for doctors.

Does your headshot say Trust me?

Patients want to trust their healthcare providers. We can help you earn it before they walk into your facilities. Reach out today to book an on-location doctor headshot session or schedule a visit us at our studio.

headshot - attending pediatrician