Digital photography increasingly developed to be an essential facility to support the clinical work. More than in any other speciality it is relevance is unsurpassed in the field of maxillo-facial surgery.
Standardization seems to be the key to high quality photography in our field for accurate planning, documentation and demonstration of surgical procedures. Therefore we want to highlight the requirements to ensure precision and consistency in patient portraying. A standardized set of both facial and intra-oral views that fit the needs of accurate digital photo-documentation in maxillo-facial surgery is presented. In the year 2006 a multinational team within Europe developed and published a special picture set and guidelines for clinical photography. An additional picture set for special topics, which include dysgnathia and other related skull base and jaw deformities, Cleft lip and palate, Facial palsy as well as Aesthetic surgery are introduced.
Although most surgeons are not professional photographers it should be possible to obtain technically correct pictures by following some simple rules. We want to provide some guidance on the technical aspects of digital photography concerning camera, lightning and background. Frequently occurring mistakes and hints for error avoidance in digital photography will be presented.
Finally recommendations for dealing with structured data storage of medical photographs, image optimization and manipulation and archivation are given.