There are some practical points in connection with palatography that should be noted.  Firstly, care should be taken in selecting appropriate words.  We are often interested in comparing the places of articulation of different sounds.  Accordingly words must be chosen that contain these articulations, and do not contain any other similar articulations that might overlap with them.  Thus when investigating the difference between s and sh in English one should use words such as "sop-shop" rather than "sot-shot."  Similarly one should use either a range of vowels ("seep-sheep, sip-ship, same-shame, Sam-sham, sop-shop, etc.") or, if this is not possible, just open vowels which might be expected to have less effect on the consonant articulation.  As with all instrumental phonetic investigations, time spent selecting suitable words is a good investment.

When doing palatography, one should allow the speaker to practice the task extensively.  It is important to get the speakers to relax after the tongue or upper surface of the mouth have been painted, so that when they say the word being investigated they do so naturally.  It also requires practice to stick the tongue out of the mouth the same way every time.  It is obviously important to date and label the photographs as soon as they are taken.  In addition, again as with all instrumental data, it is preferable to make records of several different speakers saying a few utterances rather than one or two speakers repeating a large number of different utterances.  Ideally one would like to get a dozen speakers of the same dialect each repeating a dozen times all the contrasts to be investigated.  But making palatographic records is fairly time consuming, and in a world in which time and effort are limited one may have to be satisfied with half a dozen speakers saying each word once.  We hope, however that gone are the days when phoneticians such as Ladefoged made general statements about some West African languages based on the palatographic records of a single speaker of each language. We need to find out the properties of the language that a group of speakers have in common, rather than the details of an individual's pronunciation.