6 Mar 2019  •  Marketing and Design  •  4min read By  • Laura Hodgin

Putting your practice images in focus

Have you thought about the images you use on your various platforms such as your printed marketing communications, social media or website?

Badly considered images could be costing your practice new patients by being a poor reflection of you and your services. Here’s our guide to selecting images and the best places to use them to help you gain patients rather than lose them.

Quality is key

Are you guilty of using images that are pixilated, distorted or inconsistent? It’s always worth considering how prospective patients see these images – will they have a positive impact or will they come across as amateurish and therefore reflect badly on you when compared to your competition? Images are often of poor quality because they have been copied from the internet. Try to avoid using images that are copied and pasted from online, photocopied (yes this is something we’ve seen in the past!) or watermarked, firstly because they may be of poor quality and secondly because you will be infringing on copyright law.

Top Tip

Check the quality of each image by looking at its dpi (dots per inch) under the image properties. These are the ideal dpi ratios for the best quality:

  • Print format (brochures, leaflets and posters): 300dpi
  • Web format (website and social media): 72dpi
Hitting the bullseye

Is the subject of your image applicable to your patient base? If you use stock images, these ideally need to match your practice demographic in order to resonate with patients. For example, if you are an urban practice, steer away from using rural images, if you primarily see a more elderly patient base avoid using images of children, and vice versa. It’s best to give patients a flavour of the practice environment otherwise you may be miss-selling your practice.

Top tip

Be more observant of who your patients are and look at the trends in their age, location, occupation and lifestyle to start using images more applicable to their aspirations.

A smile gallery of horrors

This one is a big one, as it’s something that a lot of practices do badly. Your smile gallery is your shop window and it’s advisable to put yourself in your patients’ shoes. As a worst case scenario, how would your patient feel if they were to click on your website’s smile gallery to be bombarded with close-up images of teeth and gums, sometimes bleeding or in very poor condition? It’s not ideal for nervous patients and these images can be taken out of context. The use of cheek retractors is also less appealing to prospective patients – that’s not what your patients are looking for when they look for this page. Prospective patients want to see how you’ve transformed your patients’ overall appearance for the better, so consider taking consistent before and after headshots as testimonials – not mouth shots.

Top tip

Find a private area in the practice with a blank background where you can take consistent before and after headshots. This ideally would be a blank wall with good lighting.

The personal touch

Linked with your smile gallery, think about using professional shots of the team and some of the features of the practice over stock images. This will help patients get a sense of your personality and the environment they will be visiting. Hire a local photographer to ensure the images are of the best quality and composition. Also, try to use the same photographer in the future to keep the images consistent.

Top tip

Put together a photography brief – think of the overall feel you want your images to convey, whether it’s the fun personality of the team, the relaxing environment of the waiting room or special features of the practice and where you will be using these images. This can be handed on to your photographer.


Don’t let your marketing communications down by using poor quality, badly composed or ill-considered images – they could work against you and, in some of the worst cases, lose you prospective patients.

If you would like more advice, get in touch with the Practice Marketing Team, we can also provide a basic photography brief for you to give to your photographer.

Call us on: 01691 684 151 or email: promotions@practiceplan.co.uk.

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