The Best Subject for Healthcare Art is in Your Own Backyard

By Kurt Johnson Photography • May 17, 2024

We were recently installing our nature images at a hospital in Minnesota, and one of the staff members was surprised to find that we didn’t live in the area, even though all the images being hung were taken in the area in and around the hospital.  We explained that’s one of our specialties – capturing healing nature images, backed by years of biophilic research, that are specific to the location of the facility. 

So even though we live in Nebraska and all our framed art production comes out of Wichita, Kansas, Kurt travels across the country photographing images for healthcare environments.

Kurt gets to know the locals, researches the landscape and unique flora of the area and captures the most healing images so you can have the best results for your facility.

The combination of Kurt’s photographic eye, our background in biophilic design, and our knowledge and understanding of which types of images produce the most healing results, all come into play so the nature art in your facility can produce the best outcomes for the entire care team.

Because local images improve outcomes.

Many facilities choose stock imagery for their environments without realizing nature imagery isn’t all the same.  And while the open fields of the Midwest might be perfect for a Kansas hospital, a medical office building in Florida might prefer a view of the nearby ocean.

Why?  Because nature images of the local area add a sense of comfort and familiarity to patients. When patients are feeling stressed or confused, seeing landscapes, flowers, and wildlife from the surrounding area makes them feel at ease. 

It also increases patients’ confidence and trust in their providers – “they know the area, they know this community, they can help me.”

“Artwork focused on nature or familiar landmarks reduces stress and improves patient outcomes such as a decreased need for pain medication and length of stay” (Dickinson,  2023).

Displaying local nature images reflects community involvement, fostering a sense of solidarity and support for both patients and staff.

Add that to benefits like faster recovery time, and reduced pain meds for patients, and increased focus and job satisfaction for staff, and it’s easy to see why we get lots of requests to photograph specific locations for hospitals and other healthcare environments.

We recently completed an installation where Kurt traveled to Lakeville, MN to shoot local imagery at Allina Health’s designer, Monica Albertson’s request.  Using local nature imagery was an important element for Lakeville’s Specialty Center because of the many benefits to patients and staff:

“I love working with Kurt Johnson Photography because they always provide what I ask for. They came up to the cities and we did a photo shoot around Lakeville Specialty Center, so we went to Marion Lake and Orchard and took shots that day . . . (for) the people who are going to be coming to this clinic. It’s their backyard. It’s where they have birthday parties. It’s where they live. Their life happens here so we wanted to be able to incorporate that into the space.”

The response to the clinic and the artwork displayed throughout has been extremely positive.  According to Albertson, “We were able to capture the community and hopefully really connect with a lot of people in this area.”  Allina’s project highlights how images of local flowers and landscapes provide a sense of personal relevance and engagement, enhancing the emotional impact of the images.

Before you purchase stock images or hire a photographer who isn’t well-researched in biophilic design, give us a call.  After working in this industry for 20+ years, we’ve seen the research, talked to patients, staff, and CEOs, and we’re believers in the power of nature.  Big time. 

We’re also pretty easy to work with (hey, we spend a lot of time in nature) and can handle quick turnaround times.

We have a vast library of nature images from across the country that Kurt’s been building for over 30 years and we continue to update weekly or bi-weekly (depending on how much caffeine we’ve had).

So if you don’t think there’s time to capture custom images of your area, between Kurt’s vast library and our contributing photographer, Jerred Zegelis, we likely already have images from your area.

If you have an upcoming project or or looking to enhance the healing potential of an existing facility, reach out.

From small, rural hospitals to larger names in healthcare, we handle every project with the same care and commitment – to make your walls come to life with images from YOUR area.

Research supports that local imagery that follows the tenets of biophilic design, produces the best outcomes for the entire care team.

  • Patients recover faster and require less pain medication. 
  • Nurses feel less stress leading to better focus and staff retention. 
  • Visitors feel confidence that loved ones are being well-cared for.

All of these have a huge impact on the overall health of everyone who moves through the facility – mentally and physically.  And isn’t that the goal of every healthcare environment after all?

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