Smile Bright: Preparing Your Teeth for Photoshoots

As a pet photographer who happens to be a dentist, I understand the importance of a confident smile when getting your photo taken. Are you one of those people who hates being in front of the camera but understands the importance of capturing important memories? I know I am! One of the reasons I took up photography as a child was because I hated being in front of the camera, so I thought if I was behind it, I wouldn’t have to be in so many pictures. Unfortunately in life however, you sometimes have to do things you don’t want to do.

Maybe you need a headshot for work

You are getting married and there is no getting away with not having pictures for that!

You need to have pictures with the family because it would mean the world to your mum,

…or most importantly of all, you want to capture memories with your pet to put on your feature wall in the lounge.

Are you someone who is terrified of going to the dentist? You are not alone, a lot of people have either had a bad experience, have heard some horror stories from social media, or just don’t like the idea of it. Maybe you’re embarrassed because you haven’t been for a long time, or you are just self conscious of your smile and don’t want to draw attention to it. Honestly as a dentist who has been working in the profession for 20 years, I have heard it all. I can sympathise with it because my dad was a dentist and I was too embarrassed to tell him I hated my teeth!

A lot of other people will be concerned about not only the pain that its going to cause them, but also the discomfort they will feel in their back pocket because going to dentist means taking out a second mortgage right?!

Well, I’m here to reassure you there are a lot of treatments that can make a world of difference without costing the earth and don’t even require having the dreaded needle!

Here are some of the common complaints people have about the appearance of their teeth that can be fixed easily.

  1. My teeth look yellow: This is the most common issue and can be treated by whitening. I can’t stress the importance of seeing a dentist for this however. It is vital you get a proper clean before you have this treatment or it won’t work properly. It’s also important that you get your teeth checked to make sure this is the correct option for you because fillings and other porcelain work will not change colour. This means if you try and whiten your teeth without considering this, you could end up with a very patchwork looking smile! It can also make your teeth really sensitive, so you must seek professional advice first.
  2. Brown fillings that make it look like I’ve got food stuck: I love these ones because it can be such a simple fix but can make the world of difference. White fillings in the front of your mouth will darken over time, depending on your diet. I’ve seen patients who would never smile, walk out the door with their confidence through the roof, just because we replaced one simple brown filling.
  1. My teeth are crooked – in photos it looks like I have a missing tooth because it’s tucked in behind the other ones. – Did you know you don’t have to have braces to straighten your teeth, you don’t even have to have clear trays. Yes that is an option, but you can just have a composite veneer put on the teeth to give the illusion that they are in better alignment. This might not be possible for everyone, but if you don’t ask a professional, how will you ever know? A veneer by the way is like a false nail. It just sticks on the front. They can be made of composite (white filling) or porcelain.
  2. I have gappy teeth, they look like tomb stones – I can relate to this one, I have gappy teeth because two of my teeth developed really small. We can use white filling material to close those spaces, and guess what, you most likely won’t need a needle!

There are of course more complex and expensive treatments available like porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, bridges and implants but for the purposes of today’s blog, I just wanted to point out the simpler options.


It’s essential to plan ahead when considering dental treatments before a photoshoot. While some treatments like composite veneers can be done in a single visit and provide immediate results, others such as teeth whitening may require several weeks to achieve your optimal brightness. I recommend scheduling a consultation with your dentist well in advance of your photoshoot to ensure you have enough time to achieve your desired results.

What about just editing the appearance of teeth in photoshop afterwards?

Well there is a certain amount that can be done in post processing its true, however, you can’t edit confidence into a person. If you feel good with your smile, that will show in your whole body language in the pictures. I prefer to try and get the image right when we are making the pictures, because changing it afterwards can take ages, and it looks so much better if your teeth have already been edited before we start!

Expert Advice:

Before your photoshoot, take some time to assess your smile and identify any areas that you’d like to improve. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss your goals and explore your options for enhancing your smile. Practice smiling in front of a mirror to find your most flattering angles, and don’t be afraid to express your personality during the photoshoot – your smile is a reflection of who you are, so let it shine!

Here in the Northern Rivers we are spoilt for choice when it comes to dentists. I know a lot of them personally and they are all very good at what they do. Also, pro tip, any dentist is qualified to do cosmetic dentistry, you don’t need to go to a surgery that advertises themselves as a cosmetic dentist!

Call to Action:

If you’re preparing for a photoshoot with me or any other photographer, and want to ensure your smile looks its best, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist for further information. You can even ask me if you like!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you found the information helpful, and I wish you all the best with your upcoming photoshoot!

Thinking about getting a photography session with Rustie and co?

Contact Emma on 0432 428 002 or send her a message.

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