Personal Injury photography is certainly an evolving area. This is not just down to the legal reforms, but because photography itself is evolving. Over the past 10 years it has succesfully blended the boundaries between hobby and profession with many people turning what was a healthy interest in taking snaps, into a sideline job for bonus income. Competition has increased and fees have reduced. Whilst this is a good thing in principle, it causes several issues in practice, especially in scarring photography and personal injury.
The main issue is evidential weight and authenticity. There are now many photographers offering personal injury photography services across the UK and with no governing body for this work, many solicitors and medico-legal agencies are instructing any photographers who simply advertise the service.
"what should be examined and looked for when instructing an expert personal injury photographer is expertise and training in the area of Clinical Photography"
They may use words such as 'discreet, high quality and CPR compliant'... In fact you will probably see these words on this site! but what should be examined and looked for when instructing an expert personal injury photographer is expertise and training in the area of Clinical Photography.
Clinical photographers are trained specifically in photographing the human anatomy. The expertise from photographing the human anatomy coupled with trained methods of standardisation and standard operating procedures provides a clinical photographer with the ingredients to be an expert in the field of medico-legal photography. Not only this, but authenticity can be easily proved, and evidential weight gained should the images be questioned in the court of law.
My advice to personal injury & clinical negligence solicitors is to ensure when instructing a personal injury photography expert that they instruct a Registered Medical Illustration Practitioner or a hospital clinical photography department.