My corollary to this statement is that a poorly framed or blurry image significantly detracts from its impactfulness. Plus, it just looks unprofessional. I have had to either retake or Photoshop-edit several photos submitted for blog posts. There have been many amazing photos which I decided not to use because of image quality.
Dr. Jason Thurman, under the mentorship of Dr. Larry Stack (both at Vanderbilt University), recently shared his thoughts about medical photography. I approached him because he gave a wonderful SAEM lecture on this. Although his talk focused primarily on optimizing images using a SLR camera ( nice review by Dr. Rob Cooney ), there are many principles which hold true for camera phones. My point is that most clinicians don't have a SLR camera on shift. What we do have, however, are cameras on our iPhones or Androids. It's not ideal, but it's way better than any crayon-sketch I can do.
Below are some tips to make the best of camera-phone medical photography, which I adopted from Jason's teaching points. Note that if you want to take truly excellent medical photographs, you will need to make the investment for proper camera and lighting equipment.
1. Be sure the image is in focus!
7. Provide a reference for scale
10. Be sure you have your patient's signed consent.