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Course: Digital Photography


Digital Photography: Application and Technique

Course length:  3 hours

Course instructor:  Doug Thompson, D.D.S.

Course participants:  Doctors and/or their team members interested in photography.

* For camera recommendations, please download the PDF titled "Professional Photo Ready Package" located at the bottom of this page.

Questions that are addressed:

  • What are the benefits of photos in practice?
  • How critical is the equipment?
  • Can this process be delegated?
  • Will I regain my investment of time and money using photography?
  • Why is my photo quality still lacking, I already own an expensive camera?
  • What are the desired photos for comprehensive treatment planning?


Course description:


This course is designed for anyone in the dental office interested in capturing high quality images in practice.  Photos can be taken for patient communication, self evaluation, documentation of conditions, laboratory communication, and many, many other applications.

Many doctors have purchased expensive camera equipment and continue to be disappointed with the quality of their photos.  Often, it is not the equipment and they are very close to capturing beautiful professional results. Improper technique is typically the issue that causes the camera to go back in the box and see limited use. 

Techniques for framing, focusing, and acquiring professional images will be discussed.   A complete photo series used for comprehensive treatment planning will be presented and taught.  In addition, the rationale for “why” we take each photo will be given and explained.  A complete evaluation system for analyzing our patients unfolds as the images are explained and discussed.

Closing the program is a discussion on common errors in clinical photography.  Awareness of photographic errors will prevent you from having that beautiful case that you want to archive and remember but cannot support it with anything other than a memory.  This course teaches you to avoid mistakes, capture beautiful professional images, and have fun while doing it.


Course Objectives:


This course is designed to increase your knowledge and expose you to the benefits of digital photography in your practice.  After attending you will know:


  • Why photography is so important now.
  • What type of camera works best.
  • What type of flash you must have.
  • Basic lens requirements.
  • All you will ever need to know about mirrors and retractors.


You will also learn about a desired photo series similar to the one used by the AACD to assist with treatment planning.


You will be provided with a graphic example of desired photo content and learn what each photo “shows” us as it applies to treatment planning.


You will learn a variety of other valuable applications of photography and how photos are used for:


  • Schools of Advanced Education
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Case Documentation
  • Self-Evaluation
  • Lab Communication
  • Marketing
  • Pre operative and post operative photo galleries of your own work.


This course is lecture only. Those that have additional interest can attend Dr. Thompson’s hands-on workshop for further learning.  The workshop requires an additional three hours to complete and should be attended by one supporting staff member.  Adding the lecture and the workshop together can fill an entire day with photos and fun!

Download Full Course Description: