Photographing Private Hospitals
A recent commission took me to a private healthcare hospital in Nottingham. The brief was to create images that conveyed a dynamic and fully equipped private hospital, showing staff that were friendly, welcoming and that demonstrated professionalism and clinical excellence. My approach was to keep the shoot clean and simple. I chose a minimist lighting approach, supplementing the light only when it was absolutely necessary. More recently I’ve been opting to use more ambient light to provide the main exposure and smaller portable flash units to act as fills to raise shadow areas or to sharpen the highlights. This approach allows me to open up the aperture and create images using differential focus. I believe this provides a more honest image and follows a growing trend in my work to light less and think more compositionally. One thing you must do if this is the track you wish to follow is to use a tripod. I used relatively slow shutter speeds (1/8th or 1/15th sec) to combat low light levels and this produces a small amount of image movement, however I used this to my advantage as I wanted to ensure the staff were creatively anonymised in camera. Also invoking some movement creates a sense of urgency, determination and vitality within a clinical scene. Win, win.
Over a 2 day shoot we captured many of the hospital’s amazing facilites. The main focus was on their newly opened digital Theatres, Critical Care unit and newly built Oncology centre, we covered several clinical environments and even spent some time within their on site aseptic preparation unit. The staff and facilites in this private hospital were remarkable, nothing was too much trouble. The hospital excels at providing personal ‘one to one’ healthcare and I’m sure the images will help to show potential customers the value of using the hospital. I’ll post an update when I see some of the images filtering through to publications and online usage. In the meantime, I hope you like the images and I’d love to hear if you’ve changed your approach and how has it helped you? Until next time.