Photography jobs you’ve never heard about

Medical Photographer

3 min readSep 2, 2020


Photo by v2osk on Unsplash

Photography plays an essential part in documenting medical procedure. It can be a little surprising to have a professional specialist trained to capture this information, but they do exist.

In the video above you can hear the testimony of Martha Whiffen, 27, who is based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and has won a number of awards for her work.

Medical Photography is a specialized are of photography that concerns itself with the documentation of the clinical presentation of patients, medical and surgical procedures, medical devices and specimens from autopsy.

“You get the picture the first time, or you don’t get it at all. You can’t stop the procedure for a better picture, and there are no do-overs.”

Eneil Simpson, ophthalmology and medical photographer.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

To perform this, practice its necessary a high level of technical skills to present the photograph free from misleading information that may cause misinterpretation, since these photos are used in clinical documentation, research, publication in scientific journal and teaching. Basically, these photographs can make a difference in someone life, since they are a clear representation of the “problem” or what may be the “problem”. Ideally, a medical photographer will have photography experience and medical knowledge.

“It’s a very varied job, which can be challenging. There is a very sensitive aspectto my job as I also take pictures of children who are very ill or who have passed away, to give their family memories to treasure. It does have that rewarding nature, because you are doing something to help people in the long run.”

Bethany, clinical photographer.

From Aesthetics Journal

To be more precise, medical photographers, document patients at various stages of an illness, injuries and before and after surgical procedures. They record the work of healthcare professionals to assist in the planning of treatment and education of the public and other healthcare professionals. The nature of the work requires a respect for and sensitivity to people, an awareness of sterile procedures and an adherence to privacy legislation and policies.

“I like the surgeons to not be aware that I am even in the room. In the OR, I am a guest. I try to find a spot that will not interfere with the movement of the techs in the room. I pay attention to what is going on around me and am prepared to move if need be.”

Eneil Simpson, ophthalmology and medical photographer.

Are you curious how to walk this career path?

There are different options and it also depends on the area the medical photographer specializes, such as ophthalmology and dermatology. Medical photographers can be freelancing in specialty clinics, like dermatology, ophthalmology and plastic surgery. But most medical photographers are employed by university affiliated hospitals and research centers. For that medical photographers fall under the category of scientific photographers.

Little extra…

Do you think medical photography is thing of the present? You’re totally wrong, medical photography has been around since 1840, when Alfred Fraçois Donné of the Charité Hospital in Paris photographed sections of bones and teeth.

If you’re interested in knowing more about this career option you should see this interview, by Bitesize, to Bethany, a clinical photographer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

What are your thoughts on this type of photography? Do you think you could do it?

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