Posing for photos
• Glasses can reflect light in a way that makes it hard to see your eyes. If you're comfortable with it, take off the glasses.
• Black and other dark colors are slimming. Vertical lines are also slimming.
• Wear something nice that won't distract too much from you! Think about colors that will accentuate your eyes or hair.
• Use the highest quality setting on your camera. Put the camera phone away—the resolution won't be big enough.
• If the photos are for a print publication, they should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).
• If the photos are for a Website, they should be 72 dpi.
• If the photos are for PowerPoint, they should be at least 72 dpi at 10" wide or 7.5" tall to fill in a normal PowerPoint slide. (If the slides are going to be printed, use the print guidelines above).
• Err on the side of too big. It's a lot easier to make a picture smaller than to make one that's too small look good.
Ethan Bickford knew he wanted to be an artist when he was in first grade. Two years later, he started taking pictures with his very first camera—mostly of nature—and hasn't stopped since.
He graduated with a photography degree from Massachusetts College of Art, where he completed a photography project that was close to his heart: His sister's battle with cancer, which she sadly lost. "That's definitely a part of the reason I'm here doing what I do," Bickford says.
Despite his dedication and credentials, Bickford found professional photography a tough field to break into, and he took a day job as a receiver and delivery person for Materials Management at Children's Hospital Boston, while pursuing photography on the side. After two years, Bickford filled in for Kristin Johnson, the Vascular Biology Program's photographer, while she was on maternity leave. "We both went to the same college, so I had the training to fill in for her," says Bickford. During that time, he learned many of the ins and outs of medical photography, which served him well when he got the photographer position in Multi-Media Services, replacing Wendy Newman, who had moved on.
Eight months later, Bickford's busily running from shoot to shoot, having been hired to take photographs for various departments. His primary responsibility is patient photography, so he spends the majority of his time in the and Craniofacial Anomalies Program and Vascular Anomalies Center. Occasionally, he'll take portraits of employees who need them for external publications, Websites and book covers, and sometimes he's asked to cover check presentations and hospital events, like graduations, dinners and award ceremonies. No matter whom the photos are for, he prefers taking candid shots. "I like to catch people when they aren't aware of the camera," he says. "I like to try to catch people making a particular expression or with a certain look in their eyes."
One of Bickford's current projects is documenting the clinical trial of children with progeria, a disease that causes premature aging and is so rare that it affects only about 40 children in the world. "Taking photos for clinical trials is very scientific," he says. "I'm basically documenting any physical changes in the children."
Bickford says he's come a long way since his first snapshots at age 8, and that he finally considers himself to be an artist. "I'm not surprised I'm a photographer, but I'm surprised I get to do what I love here at Children's. I'm glad to be a part of it."
Multi-Media Services provides hospital-wide services, including audio-visual support, video production, graphic design and print services. For these services, contact Multi-Media Services at ext. 8-4478.
Bickford is taking requests from employees who need print or digital images of patients, staff and hospital events. He's also happy to answer questions about photography and digital images and file sizes. Contact him at ext. 8-4476. If you hire him to take pictures, he'll take your department's cost center number and Multi-Media Services will bill your department internally. For pricing information, go online to web2.tch.harvard.edu/multimedia/pricelist.html.