When people learn that I started a business in dental school, they often wonder why. Thinking back to my first year, I knew I needed more. I was stressed. I had no outlet. I decided then that I needed to occupy my free time with things that I love. So, I bought a camera and a 35mm lens with some tax refund money from my gap year and started CM Photography LLC.
Do you want to take dental clinic pictures with your DSLR camera, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, this video will help you get started by going over the basics of photography. Getting acquainted with the fundamentals will put your skills over the top so you will be ready to tackle photography in clinic!
I am the girl running around the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) campus, a Canon T2i slung over my shoulder and tripod gripped at my hip. I am here first and foremost to learn dentistry, but every once in a while, I also have the distinct privilege of taking portraits for my classmates, meeting up with my medical, nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy counterparts, listening to strangers’ stories and otherwise waltzing around campus as the “Humans of UCSF” columnist. What started off as a simple passion for photography and desire to get involved with the school newspaper developed into a greater vision for maintaining a platform through which our student, faculty and staff voices could be heard.
With technology’s growing presence within dentistry, having photographs of our dental work has become increasingly crucial. Clinical photographs can provide documentation, help patients visualize their intraoral conditions, and most importantly, showcase all your hard work. When searching for employment opportunities, photographs of your dental work can flaunt your abilities as a clinician.
Though camera phones are being used routinely to click selfies, overload Instagram accounts and create ASDA memories, their use in dentistry seems restricted. How can you bring that “oomph” factor to your clinical pictures? It is simple–stick to your basics and know them well! Although we are well acquainted with the different clinical pictures that need to be taken for patient records, what we generally tend to neglect are the basics to a good photograph. So, follow these steps and let the magic unfold!
For me and many of my classmates, it was our initial interest in the arts led us to eventually pursue dentistry. Whether it was handwritten calligraphy, playing musical instruments, photography, or even graphic design, being able to use our creative processes to better serve the oral health needs of our communities was a perfect match. Although our focus has shifted from the aesthetic to the esthetic, we are still able to build and create things for others using our hands. Art led us to dentistry, but sometimes we see the reverse – when science and dentistry become a source inspiration for artists. My curiosity one day led me to a Google search for “dentistry in art,” which yielded several rather interesting results: 17th and 18th century paintings of men surrounding a grimacing patient being treated, carvings of demons and spirits in teeth, and even pairs of shoes lined by human teeth. Yikes.