Sunday, February 17, 2013

Assistants and Clinical Dental Photography

"Whatever you are, be a good one." —Abraham Lincoln

This is a short post, but one that I think is one of the most important I have ever posted.

As I travel around talking about clinical photography inevitably the conversation turns to the one big statement..."My staff doesn't want to use a big and bulky SLR camera" to which I always respond "To flippin bad for them". 

Sure an SLR is slightly heavier. I've done the math (yep, I'm a geek). The Nikon D3200 with an 85mm Nikkor lens and R1 flash weighs roughly 1075 grams. That's just over 2 1/2 pounds. I've seen many an out of shape team member carry a Costco birthday cake weighing 10 pounds with a smile on their face, so don't let tell me that a camera is too much trouble.

C'mon everybody...You went through college and persevered through dental school. May of you even went on to specialty programs. The fact that you even care enough about clinical photography to read my blog tells me that you are all the "creme de la creme" of dentistry. Hopefully, you have written mission and vision statements which you created with your amazing teams. If one of your goals is to excel at what you do, how can your team refuse to use a simple device (the SLR) which will give amazing images, increase case acceptance and make your practice stand out that much more in the community?!?!? Better yet, how can you let the get away with that?!?!?

Great teams follow great leaders. Make it a point that you have all worked so hard to get to where you are. There are shortcuts you can take and those you can't. Once you learn how to use an SLR, you will NEVER go back. It's like anything else with an adaptation period. Insist they use it for a while and your team will start to take great pride in the images they take, but like a diet, or workout commitment, the first three weeks are tough (read "Psycho Cybernetics by Maltz" for more). Once through the first 21 days, though, a transformation will happen and your team will be on board. 

Do I seem a little unyielding on this topic? Darn tootin'! Our names are on the building and we signed big notes to buy our practices. I try to be very fair with my team but I get what I want. However,  I would never ask any member to do anything that I wouldn't be willing to do, and I've personally shot an SLR for 20 years. 

If you ever have a team member who isn't willing to use an SLR with a smile on his/her face simply because you asked them, explain to them why you want them to do it and the importance in making your practice the best. If they're still not willing or they're complaining, well, it's up to you where you go next...

Go get great images and make your practice the best it can be and don't let an unhappy team member hold you back from being the best you can be. 

You can let them make excuses or you can get results. You choose the one that you want.

Best Wishes,


  1. Useful information ..I am very happy to read this article..thanks for giving us this useful information. Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post. Dentists Top Professional

    1. My absolute pleasure. Feel free to tell your friends and to send me any questions that you might have.

  2. Dany, my pleasure. Thanks so much for reading it.