Visualizing the Message
By Brent Thompson
By Brent Thompson
Canadian Chiropractor asked Dr. Brent Thompson, chiropractor and
founder of Axon Images, Inc., to tell DCs about how he came to choose
to communicate chiropractic through photography and design, how he
carries this out and why it is effective.
Inspiring through photography
Canadian Chiropractor asked Dr. Brent Thompson, chiropractor and founder of Axon Images, Inc., to tell DCs about how he came to choose to communicate chiropractic through photography and design, how he carries this out and why it is effective.
“Chiropractors are always looking to improve the experience for patients under care. An integral part of our treatment program is education and inspiration. We all work hard to develop a passion about chiropractic in our patients, hoping that their passion will, in turn, help to build a reputation for chiropractic in their communities. These fundamental DC goals were the foundation for developing cutting-edge images for chiropractic offices around the world.”
WHY HE DID IT
While attending Northwestern College of Chiropractic (NWCC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I was intensely involved in technique clubs and travelled extensively throughout the U.S., attending technique-based seminars. I became very focused on technique. It wasn’t until I attended the Parker and Carter seminar series, that I really became excited about what chiropractic can actually do for patients, as well as the significant impact that it can have on patients’ lives. It became about more than just knowing 50 ways to realign the spine – it became about helping people live better.
I graduated from NWCC in 2000 and opened a practice in Barrie, Ontario. But, in practice, I came to feel that there was something missing. I continuously felt the need to give patients more. Through my experience as a chiropractor, and the interest I’d always had in photography and design, I recognized an opportunity to combine my two passions into a tool that could: a) help patients get more out of their experience in their chiropractor’s office, and b) assist DCs to reinforce key points essential to a patient’s success, in every visit. My goal became to create a new and exciting look for chiropractic, helping to solidify the place of chiropractic care at the forefront of the health-care community. By getting patients passionate about their care, I – and my partner in Axon Images – hope to take this mindset beyond the walls of the clinic and create more excitement and awareness in the community.
Over the past eight years in practice, I have placed many of my personal photographs around my clinic. On many occasions, patients have made comments, or suggested that I should do more with the photos. It was really these comments along with the constant drive to do something “more” that stimulated me to develop the concept of Axon Images and provided the opportunity to combine these two aspects of my life into one. Along with my creative partner and fellow photographer Andrea Desjardins, I have created images that are artistically driven, while keeping in mind the education and information needs of the patient as well as the chiropractor. One of our goals was to emphasize the arts of photography and graphic design in our work. We want to elevate patient inspiration to an art.
HOW IT WORKS
We feel it is important to stimulate patients to think in ways they may not have considered before.
In order to grow, we often have to venture beyond the borders of our comfort zone. It is incredibly challenging to capture a concept as diverse as chiropractic, and its impact on health, in a single photograph. Instead, we developed concepts that targeted key areas of chiropractic, from philosophy to maintenance. Most people understand the basics of health. We want to take these key concepts to a higher level. If an image can impact patients in a way that might stimulate conversations about their health, or lead them to a different perspective on a topic, the image has succeeded.
Watching my patients pause at an image in my clinic, tilt their head to one side, and start a conversation with me about an aspect of their health – or that of a family member or friend – that they didn’t think applied to chiropractic is incredibly satisfying. I feel like I’ve reached them on a new and different level.
HARNESSING THE WEB
Often, a good idea gets shelved. I didn’t want to be one of those people who wished they’d done something about an idea.
|Andrea Desjardins, creative and photography partner in Axon Images.
We felt passionate enough about this idea to take a leap, develop the concept, do the research, build a website and learn the details of online commerce, all on our own. Through countless hours of tinkering and many, many mistakes, our website has developed into an effective tool for delivering our images to chiropractors all around the world.
The Internet has opened the door for ideas such as ours.
The end result of our effort is a collection of images that we’re proud of, and that DCs can confidently display to patients.
We believe the future holds endless possibilities. We are constantly developing new ideas and concepts – and we are currently developing packages for new doctors that will supply them with images to “dec out” their clinics.
While there is a wealth of educational materials on the market for chiropractors, we wanted to offer DCs something new and exciting. If Axon Images can play even a small role in the recognition, development and expansion of chiropractic care around the world, as well as in our own backyard, we’ve achieved a huge success. •