Tips for Taking Pictures to Share with Your Healthcare Provider

This information will help you take better pictures of your skin, wound, mole, or incision (surgical cut) to show your healthcare provider (HCP). Sending clear pictures will help your HCP see how you’re healing or if there may be any problems with the area.

It’s very helpful if you take pictures at 3 different distances. This will help your HCP understand the size of the area.

  • In the first picture, you will want the entire body part that you are photographing, such as your back or arm.
  • In the second picture, you will want a closer image, such as the section of your back or arm that has the area you are photographing.
  • In the third picture, you will want a close-up picture of the actual area, such as your wound or mole.

You may want to have someone to help you. Pictures often turn out better if you have someone take them for you.

  1. Gather Your Supplies
  • A camera or a device with a camera, such as your cell phone.
  • Solid-color background, such as a bed sheet or cloth. Light blue or green work best.
  • A tripod or phone stand, if you’d like to use one.
  • A measuring tape or ruler if your healthcare provider asked you to measure the area.
  1. Set Up the Background
  • Find a place to take the picture where there will be no clutter in the background.
  • Place a solid-color background behind or under the area being photographed. This will help the camera focus.
  1. Plan the Lighting
  • Set up the tripod or phone stand, if you’re using one.
  • Turn on the flash on your camera. The flash will provide the light you need.
  • Make sure light is shining directly on the area. If something is in the way of the light, it can cause shadows in the picture.
  • Make sure that you or your caregiver can hold the camera so that it doesn’t cast a shadow on the area being photographed.
  • If your HCP asked you to measure the area, place the tape measure or ruler near the area you are photographing. Don’t let the tape measure touch what is being photographed, especially if it’s an open wound or incision.
  1. Take the Picture
  • Hold the camera flat and pointed directly at the area being photographed. This helps to make sure your picture looks correct.
  • Hold the camera still while taking the picture.
  • If you’re using your phone, look at the area being photographed on the screen. Tap the screen to make the camera focus.
  • When you’re ready, take the pictures. Remember to get pictures at all 3 distances, as explained above.
  • Check each picture on your camera or phone to be sure it’s clear. If any of the pictures look blurry or don’t show the right area, take that picture again.
  1. Send Your Picture using MyMSK

To send your picture to your doctor or nurse using MyMSK (your MSK patient portal account), you will need to save it to your computer. An easy way to do this is to email the picture to yourself, open the email, and save the picture. Once the picture is saved to your computer, follow the steps below.

  • Log onto your MyMSK account.
  • From your homepage, click on “Messages.” Then click on “Compose Message.”
  • From the Compose a Message page, click on “General Office Communication.”
  • This will bring you to a text box where you can write a message to your healthcare provider. To attach your picture, click on “Add attachments” underneath the text box.
  • Open the folder where your picture is saved and click on your picture. Then click the “Open” button.
  • You will see the name of your image underneath the text box.
  • When your message is ready, click the “Send Message” button to send your message and picture.

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