American street photographer Garry Winogrand said, “Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.” So, the question I pose to my clients is: What facts about your work do you want to focus on? Is it your excellent customer service, your fun loving staff, or even the high quality of your work?
Below you will find tips on how to frame up better testimonial videos, behind-the-scenes images of your practice, and consistently high-quality before-and-after photos. Whether you’re an Ansel Adams behind the camera or if you only know how to take a selfie, these tips are for you.
Video Testimonial Tips
Having video testimonials is a great way to help showcase your patients whose lives you’ve helped to change for the better. By using these videos in your marketing efforts, you’re encouraging other potential clients to contact you because they see you’ve helped someone exactly like them. These tips below will help you to gain better testimonial reviews.
- Have your client relax: No one is comfortable being in front of a camera, and those who appear to be are experts at hiding it! Provide your client with a glass of water and let them get their nervous energy out of their system. Eventually they will feel more at ease, making for a more natural feeling video.
- Horizontal view: It doesn’t matter what type of video camera you have. In fact you don’t even need to have a fancy camera; your phone or tablet will suffice. Just remember to film your testimonials horizontal. That way, when you upload the video to YouTube and other platforms, the footage will take up the entire screen. Your video looks more professional and less like it was shot on a smartphone when a horizontal view is applied.
- Prompt with questions: Testimonial videos are a very powerful tool, if done correctly. What you want to do is not have your subject read from a script. Unless they are an expert, this can feel very robotic and ungenuine. The best thing you can do is to prompt your subject with the questions you want them to answer. If your star is not giving you what you’re hoping for in their answers, try having a genuine conversation with them about the experience and how they remember it. Allow for them to come out of their shell. Remember to have the camera keep rolling. You can always edit the final video in post-production if need be.
- Light the way: It doesn’t matter if your client’s smile can light up a room. Without sufficient lighting, your video may look like it was filmed in a dungeon. Be sure to light your subject in such a way that there are no awkward shadows on them. You don’t have to get fancy here and run out to your local camera store and buy a lighting kit. A few extra lamps in the vicinity of the subject will help provide that perfect glow. If that isn’t an option for you, take your subject to a room with a window and place them perpendicular to it. The natural daylight will help to fill in for that more natural look.
Showcasing photos on social media platforms that allow individuals to get to know your practice is incredibly important. It allows for those looking in to feel comfortable with who you are, what you’re about, and gaining trust before they even schedule a consultation.
- Tell the story: Be sure that the photos that you take tell a story. Is it a staff member’s birthday? Take a photo of the cake. Do you have a young patient who had their first dental cleaning? Take a photo of them with the balloon glove animal that you’ve created for them. Anything is up for grabs when it comes to behind-the-scene photos. Something as simple as how the lawyer takes his coffee in the morning to what crazy mismatched socks you’re wearing can help to showcase what type of practice you truly are.
- Candids: When you’re taking photos, don’t forget to snap a few of something that isn’t staged. Not all of your images need to be of the doctor with his arm around a patient smiling. Something as simple as the doctor having a consultation with a patient where you can truly get a sense of the practice goes a long way.
- What’s boring to you isn’t to others: I often hear, “We have nothing exciting to photograph.” I am here to tell you that you do! We live in a society now where we will take photos of almost anything and place them on our social media platforms. People are watching and looking at your content, and they are incredibly curious about what you’re doing in your day-to-day [work] life.
You’re great at what you do, right? You’re like Michelangelo, able to take a block of marble and chisel away at it until you have your very own statue of David. But unlike Michelangelo, unless you have your own museum, you won’t be able to display what you’re able to do. That’s where your Before-and-After Gallery comes into play. This is the Web page that most prospective cosmetic and dental patients will visit, and they might imagine themselves as a work of YOUR art.
If you’re going to have a before-and-after gallery, it is important that you follow these few steps:
- Consistency is key: When displaying your art, be sure that when you’re taking the before-and-after photos, all relevant angles are photographed. Be sure that if you have an angle for your before photo, that same angle is taken for the after photo.
- X marks the spot: In order to have the same background, be sure that you mark 2 Xs with tape: one x where the patient will stand, and a second for the photographer. There is nothing more off-putting than having a before-and-after photo not match distances because the images were taken in two different spots. Also, I would recommend that rather than use your camera’s zoom that you move your feet. If you find that your photographer’s X is too far from the subject, move in closer. Zooming in on a subject can distort the image and cause it to not match up with the other photos on your website.
- Portrait view: Unlike your testimonial videos, you’re going to want to shoot these images in portrait view (the camera facing up and down). The reason for this is that you’re able to focus more on the subject and capture them completely in the frame.
- Lighting is important: Works of art are displayed under bright lights in a museum. Be sure that your subjects are well-lit. The finer details will not show well on a model that is not illuminated properly.
- Permission: Be sure that you have written consent from your subjects to use their likeness in any marketing material. This can keep you out of legal trouble and is important for you to keep on file. Here you will find a downloadable Model Release Form.
If you follow these few simple guidelines, you can create compelling content from inside your office in no time. If you want to learn more about what custom images and videos can do for your practice, contact your Internet Marketing Consultant or call Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910.