Instructions for the Amateur Photographer

download free click hereThe following instructions can be read here and also can be downloaded for free from the Dog Bite Law Bookstore.



During the day, when the sun is bright



Outside, in the open shade

The sun must NOT hit ANYTHING in the photo

Stand away from colored objects like red brick

Nothing distracting in the background

No dogs


CAMERA SETTINGS (digital only)

Camera must take at least two megapixelsFile size: largest

Flash: off

Zoom: off (but use OPTICAL zoom for face)

White balance: shade or auto

Focus: auto (exactly on the wound in all shots)

Exposure: auto

File type: .jpg



Clean, very well washed. No dirty face, dirty nose, dirty ears.

Shaved or hairless face, if an adult. No day-old beard on a man. No hair on the upper lip of a woman.

No make-up.

No jewelry, wristwatches or chains.

Conservative clothing — clothes that would be appropriate for a meeting at the bank, or for testifying at court. No doggie images on clothes.

However, if the wounds were to an area that clothes would cover, then that particular clothing should be removed. If undergarments appear in the photograph, they too should be conservative, and the victim’s face should not appear in the same picture as the undergarments if possible.

If the wounds are to the buttocks, thighs, breasts or another private area, there must be conservative clothing around it so that the victim appears modest. Conservative appearance even if the bite wounds are on the buttocks, thighs, breasts, etc. Nothing that would embarrass the onlooker or the victim, if it can be avoided. The victim must appear modest.

No fashion accessories.



Body position should be natural and conservative. Unless it is physically impossible, the victim should be standing, even if the wounds were to the legs or feet.

Serious. The victim must not smile. No smiles except where the smile has been affected by the bite wounds.

Eyes looking straight ahead, with little or no expression. However, if the scars or wounds affect the victim’s smile or any other expressions, then there should be a series of photos in which the victim is smiling or making those expressions, so that there is a complete photographic record. Show the relaxed face and then the expression in adjacent shots.

No pressed lips. Mouth to be slightly open, relaxed — except in an “expression” photo.

No crying. No tears. No photos soon after crying.

Do not point at anything. Do not point at wounds.

No doggie in the photo.

No friends or family in the photo.



When injury is to the face: 

  • ENTIRE head in ALL shots
  • Front view
  • One-quarter to the left
  • Left side
  • One-quarter to the right
  • Right side

When injury is to hand or fingers:

  • ENTIRE hand and wrist
  • The OTHER hand and wrist

When the injury is to arm or leg: 

  • ENTIRE arm (from shoulder to hand)
  • ENTIRE leg (from hip to foot)
  • Shoulder to elbow OR elbow to fingertips
  • Thigh to knee OR knee to toes
  • Closer shots of wounds
  • Same shots of OTHER arm or leg