Patient being photographed


Dental Services

Clinical Illustration

We are a specialised service experienced in working with patients and service users. We work closely with healthcare professionals associated with the delivery of care.

About our service

As part of your treatment at Birmingham Dental Hospital, you may be asked to have clinical photographs taken.


Clinical photography is a good way of providing a permanent and accurate record of your dental condition. Healthcare professionals will use these photographs to assess, plan and monitor your treatment.


The photographs are taken in a consistent, standardised way, allowing the healthcare professions to accurately compare photographs taken at different photography sessions.


Examples of clinical photography we provide:

  • Dental
  • Dermatology
  • Full anatomical views
  • Medico-legal
  • Non-Accidental Injury (NAI)
  • Surgical Photography


Examples of 3D imaging we provide:

  • Breast augmentation or reduction
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Cleft lip/orthodontic treatment
  • Maxillo facial surgery
  • Rhinoplasty pre/port surgery


Clinical Photography: information for patients

Frequently asked questions

Who takes the photographs?

Your photographs will be taken by specially trained, professional clinical photographers. Your photographs may be taken by a male or female photographer. You can request a photographer of the same sex if you prefer. If we are unable to provide a photographer of the same sex, you will be given the option to reschedule your appointment.


How long will it take?

The photography session takes between 10-15 minutes on average. It could take longer, depending on the number of photographs to be taken. If there are patients to be seen before you, there may be a wait before you are seen by a photographer.


Our photographers will do everything they can to make you feel at ease. Before your clinical photography appointment, you are welcome to discuss any questions, concerns, or preferences you have, with your clinician.


Can I bring someone with me?

You are welcome to bring a friend or family member with you as a chaperone.
Or we can provide a chaperone at your request. Our photographers will do everything they can to make you feel at ease.


What to expect?

The photographs are taken in our professional photography studio.


The photographer will explain what photographs need to be taken and how they will be achieved. The photographs usually include your full face and inside your mouth (see image A). The photographer may ask you to:


  • Remove your jacket or hoodie.
  • Remove earrings and necklaces.
  • Tie your hair up/wear a headband.
  • Remove your head covering*.


* If you prefer to keep your head covering on, there are options for how these photographs can be taken (see image B).


What to expect when being photographed

Full size image


The photographer will use mirrors and retractors to take the photographs inside your mouth. These may feel stretchy and unusual. The photographer will use a digital camera and flash lighting to take the pictures. The lighting is bright, but harmless.


The photography process does not involve X-rays.


Can I have copies of my photographs?

Your photographs are part of your medical records. Please ask a member of the photography team and they will provide you with an access to records form.


What happens afterwards?

After your photographs have been taken, you are free to go (unless told otherwise). The photographs are uploaded to a secure image database accessible by authorised healthcare professionals.



Before any photographs can be taken there is a consent form for you to sign. You may change your mind about consent at any point in your treatment. The clinician may advise you on consent, however, it is your decision. There are three levels of consent:


Consent Levels



What it means


Record Only

Part of your confidential treatment records only.


Restricted Teaching

Used for clinical teaching and research purposes and our confidential treatment records.


Open Publication

Used for publication that may be seen by the public, clinical teaching and research purposes and your confidential treatment records. Your personal details will never be included.


Where to find us in the hospital

Clinical Photography is located on the ground floor of Birmingham Dental Hospital.


We are separate from the X-ray department.


Follow the signage to Clinical Photography:

Where to find Clinical Illustration

Additional services we provide

  • General Photography
  • Videography
  • Graphic Design
  • Animation

Meet the team

  • Katie Owen: Clinical Illustration Manager
  • Laura Abbatiello: Senior Clinical Photographer
  • Serena Shandley: Clinical Photographer, Video Lead
  • Sally McCarthy: Clinical Photographer, NAI and Student Lead
  • Hannah Smith: Clinical Photographer, PR and 3D Lead
  • Liam Webb: Clinical Photographer, Tele-dermatology Lead
  • Claire Hatchell: Senior Graphic Designer
  • Heather Lewis: Graphic Designer, Animation Lead
  • Vicky Oakley: Graphic Designer, Digital and Inclusive Design Lead
  • Bethan Reast: Graphic Design Assistant
  • Samuel Augusto: Graphic Design Assistant
  • Shafeeqah Batool: Clerical Project Officer
  • Ellen George: Support Administrator
  • Nigel Conner: Support Administrator
  • Ibrahim Rashid: Support Administrator

Clinical Illustration Department Structure Chart

Our patients and their carers and families are the reason we're here, so we want to hear your views about the Trust and our services.