How to Tell Stories with Your Healthcare Photography with NYC Photographer Karen Haberberg

How to Gain Authority Using Healthcare Photography that Tells Stories

In this week of the Garlic Marketing Show, Ian sits down with freelance portrait and healthcare photographer Karen Haberberg to discuss the importance of using photography to tell a story and how she has given a voice to many children with rare genetic conditions and their families through her work.

Since getting her first camera at 13 years old, Karen always realized she had a passion for telling people’s stories. Influenced by her own family’s experience dealing with the passing of her older brother, who passed from a rare genetic disease, Karen realized she wanted to use her skills to help raise awareness about families in similar situations and give them the chance to have their voices heard.

Over her career as a professional photographer, her work has been featured in numerous publications, such as The New York Times, The Daily News, and Huffington Post. After publishing two photo books that include real stories from people she encountered, who have genetic conditions, she continues to photograph with the intent to have her message heard and to educate her audience.

Karen and Ian dive into the many nuances of healthcare photography, how to properly prepare for a shoot, and how to ensure you’re hiring the right healthcare photographer for you. 


The Importance of Preparation and Empathy

When asked about the process of photographing actual healthcare patients, healthcare photographer Karen Haberberg explains that it is important to remember that the subjects of the photos are real people. Not only are they actual patients who are not adapted to being in front of a camera, but they also have more needs than the average model. She emphasizes the importance of ensuring that, first and foremost, the top priority should be the comfort of these individuals that you are photographing.

One way to ensure their comfort and health is being taken care of is by preparing the shoot fully ahead of time. Make sure that you have enough water, any snacks or food they might need, as well as scheduled breaks planned throughout the day since patients are more likely to fatigue easily. 

Not only is preparation ahead of the shoot great for ensuring that the patient is well taken care of, but it also guarantees that the shoot itself will be successful. Karen points out that the majority of mistakes she witnesses people making in the health photography space is in the pre-planning space. The less that is planned ahead, the more mistakes are likely to pop up during the day of the shoot.

Another key point to the success of a shoot is how effective the collaboration process between the photography and the person hiring them is. She advises anybody with a healthcare brand or service who is looking for a healthcare photographer to first talk to the photographer face-to-face or over the phone versus an email. The photographer should be asking a variety of questions in order to accurately get the client’s vision for their photos. 


The Most Effective Storytelling in the Healthcare Space

Due to the fact that the words ‘healthcare’ and ‘medical’ can seem dull or off-putting, Karen highlights the significance of telling stories and being authentic. What tends to work is not what you tell or show people, it’s what you make people feel.

When you make people feel things, they begin to remember you or your product, and they start to trust it more. By using healthcare photography, you are able to build a connection for your company or product.

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