Weapons of Mass Distraction
All too often does an image of an injury detract from its primary purpose of providing an accurate depiction of severity to cause an unnecessary and sometimes comical portrayal of subject matter.
In Personal Injury photography the subject being documented must capture the attention of the viewer by minimizing focus elsewhere and avoiding any comical aspects which may detract from its purpose. To achieve this one must control any distracting elements such as background, jewellery, clothing and client posture/expressions. The viewer is unlikely to want to see a clients book collection, floral sofa pattern, or pink new crocodile shoes in the background. Facial expressions and posture can also create a quite comical effect and detract from the importance of the image.
To avoid background distractions a clear, clean non reflective white, black, green or blue cloth should be used. (Other coloured backgrounds can reflect colour casts onto the subject and may often clash with skin tones) All clothing and jewellery in the vicinity of the subject much be removed. This is important in portraying the location of the clinical subject in relation to an identifiable part of the body. A photograph of a scar on a clients thigh without the knee cap in shot (either covered by clothing or out of shot) may fail to portray prominence.
All clothing and jewellery in the vicinity of the subject much be removed. This is important in portraying the location of the clinical subject in relation to an identifiable part of the body. A photograph of a scar on a clients thigh without the knee cap in shot (either covered by clothing or out of shot) may fail to portray prominence.
Jewellery and clothing is one of the major contributors of distracting elements not only by distracting the viewer away from the subject but also in displaying an injury out of context.
Whilst avoiding distracting elements may not be the most important factor in accurate personal injury photography, it is largely overlooked in its ability to draw attention away from the subject in a sometimes comical way. This may also possibly lead to photographic evidence carrying less evidential weight in court. Clinical photographer's are trained to control distracting elements through the use of local and national standard operating procedures developed to ensure the subject being documented is the focus of attention at all times.
Disclaimer: To my knowledge the images used in this blog post were not taken by anyone in a professional capacity as part of a personal injury claim. Images used are to highlight similar true to life personal injury photography examples I regularly come across