Beginners Help Card Printing Tips & Advice

How to Take the Perfect Staff ID Card Photo

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What’s the most critical aspect of any ID card project? You guessed it, it’s taking the perfect staff ID card photo.

It’s deemed to be one of the most important things, but it brings a lot of trouble for businesses to try and get it right.

Employees may feel uncomfortable with their picture being taken, the image may contain a shadow, or your colleague may have their eyes closed.

Would you like to make this process smoother for your organisation?

By following the steps below, you’ll hopefully achieve a professional result and make your colleagues feel proud of their ID card photo.

Summary of the steps:

  1. Location
  2. Positioning
  3. Backdrop
  4. Lighting
  5. Take practice shots of numerous employees
  6. Atmosphere
  7. Make sure the camera has enough memory

Let’s jump straight in and take a look at how to take the perfect Staff ID Card Photo.

  1. Location

You don’t need a huge room, in fact, you don’t necessarily need a room. Finding an area that has enough space for you and the subject will work just fine.

Bonus Tip: Make sure that your chosen location isn’t a busy area as this could cause distractions when photos are being taken and could slow down your productivity.

  1. Positioning

To make things easier for both yourself and your colleagues, our photographer suggests encouraging your colleagues to sit down. If they’d rather stand up, then let them do that, we’ll go over this more in the Atmosphere section.

By having your subject sit down, you can keep the camera and tripod at the same length, which gives a little bit more consistency to the photos.

  1. Backdrop

A white, grey or light blue backdrop are the most common colours for corporate images. Backdrops can be a solid wall or a pop-up that is mobile so that you can take photos in different locations, which could be more convenient for larger organisations or if there are multiple sites.

A solid background can enhance the face of your subject, which in turn, makes the ID cards look more professional than an ID card with a messy and dull background.

Bonus Tip: Have your colleague stand about one foot away from the wall, to create a softer shadow behind them.

  1. Lighting

One of the most critical factors in getting a bright and sharp photo is lighting. From experience and speaking to customers, light has always been an afterthought. We’d say with confidence that it’s probably one of the leading causes of low-quality ID card photos.

Don’t be tempted just to use the office lights. They’re often not the right shade of lighting you’d want to be using when taking photos of people’s faces, and they’ll usually lead to photos with an “off” white balance.

Our advice is to invest in a professional lighting kit such as this one. Once you have the equipment, you should then run some test photos until you get the angle right.

If you fancy getting creative with your lighting, then take a look at this insight into basic lighting techniques. Otherwise, stick lights to both sides of your subject’s face by using a method like the below:

  1. Practice Shots

You know the saying, practice makes perfect. Find a colleague who doesn’t mind being your model for half an hour and snap away.

By taking practice shots not only will it help run the operation as smooth as possible but it also means you’ve got a bit of time to become a bit more comfortable with the camera.

  1. Atmosphere

Jumping in front of a camera that is on a tripod with a human behind it – staring at you, and two big lights to each side of you can be a pretty daunting task, and then you’re going to get asked to smile – talk about intimidating.

When your colleague comes in, try to make some small talk with them to put them at ease. Make them aware that they’ve got all the time in the world – so try not to rush them. Try to make them as comfortable as possible as well; a comfortable person is a happier person. And while you’re at it, have a quick search for some bad jokes to tell them, nobody can’t smile at a bad joke.

  1. Camera Memory

If you’re in full flow, the last thing you need is for the camera to run out of memory. Make sure to check you’ve got more than enough space before taking your first photo.

Some Other Things to Consider:

  • For our staff photos our photographer uses the Canon 70D, but this may be out of your budget for a camera – you can buy it for around £740 (Amazon – February 2018). If it is, then a point and shoot camera can do a good enough job also. Make sure that the camera is on a tripod as any handshake can result in shaky and unclear photos. Also, try not to zoom in through the camera, just try to get the camera closer.
  • Aim to shoot head-on with their entire face in view, making sure that their nose in the centre, or go for a bit further out by shooting their shoulders as well. Just make sure the camera is pointing straight at them.
  • Our photographer likes to tell people to concentrate on the lens, this way the subject should be completely straight on, and it’s a little less daunting than looking at the photographer.
  • You’ll need somewhere for your cards to sit. Browse our range of ID card holders and get an instant quote online Personalisedied Lanyards.
  • Don’t forget to create your own ID card policy to ensure staff display their card at all times.
Adam Bennet
Adam has been the Digital Marketing Manager here at Digital ID since 2015. Adam is in charge of the content creation and promotion on our blog and has been featured on sites like Entrepreneur, Talk-Business and Brighter Business to name a few. See what he gets up to in the office by following him on Twitter @adamjbenno.

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