As a freelance photographer I get into some varied and surprising situations, one of the more unusual ones being the day I found myself togged up in full operating theatre gown, face mask and hat in order to photography an intricate surgical procedure on a cat’s leg!
The Veterinary Hospital contacted me because they wanted to update their website with a more modern look. The brief included shooting portraits of all the different parts of the hospital (including the exterior, reception area, treatment and recovery rooms and operating theatres), the procedures offered, animals being treated, and portraits of all staff (some with their pets).
This was clearly quite an undertaking and involved shooting in a variety of different situations and lighting. For the portraits I set up my studio in the conference room so that staff could come along when not busy with their patients. It was important to schedule their arrival so that dogs and cats didn’t meet in the corridor, and once there it was sometimes a challenge to get the excited/ fearful animals to face the right way for the camera.
When photographing the main business of the hospital I was shooting in a busy working environment so had to be careful not to get in the way, or to cause any stress to the animals recovering from surgery. In most cases the hospital was very well lit – particularly in the operating theatres so where possible I shot using available light.
I was asked to cover all the main procedures being carried out, but also to shoot some more “creative” images for use as backgrounds on the website. These were mainly close-ups of the various bits of technical equipment, some screenshots of the MRI scanner output, and other medical paraphernalia.
Across two days I shot hundreds of photos – partly because getting a good portrait of both a human and their animal companion looking in the same direction is surprisingly difficult – which I then processed and forwarded as previews to the Practice Manager. After some deliberation she made a selection which I then edited and provided as high-res files for the web designer to work with. The final results were used to populate the very large website which includes staff portraits and a “tour” of the hospital (see screenshots below). As a dog owner it was a fascinating insight into what goes on behind the scenes in a veterinary hospital. As a freelance photographer I’m always pleased to see my photos being put to good use even though sometimes they only serve as a background to text on the website. See more of my commercial work on my website here.