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How to Take ID Photo

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How to Take a Good ID Photo

Taking a photo for your license, employee ID, security badge, or ID card can be stressful - but you don't have to end up with a bad ID photo if you follow these guidelines.

How to Take a Good ID Photos

Taking a great ID card photo can be somewhat intimidating - most people hate their various ID card photos and dread having another repeat of the night-of-the-living-dead drivers license picture. Taking a good ID card photo isn't that difficult, though. Follow these steps for both taking an ID photo and having your ID photo taken to rid yourself of ID photo hate forever!

If You're Taking ID Card Photos

The photo fate of your company or organization rests in your hands - but don't be nervous! ID photo disasters can be avoided with only minutes of effort and a few simple precautions. Before starting, consider the following factors:

Camera quality

Not all digital ID cameras are created equal. Make sure you're familiar with your camera and its quirks, most importantly the delay between when the shutter is pressed and the picture is actually taken. Take a couple of test shots to see what the finished products will look like and make adjustments accordingly. Not only will this speed up the picture-taking process, it will help you be more comfortable and confident in using the camera.

Photo Lighting

Nothing ruins a potentially good picture more quickly than bad lighting. Crucial to taking a flattering shot, the light in a room may illuminate your subject in a soft heavenly glow, or bring out all their worst features with harsh flourescent lights. Consider setting up an alternate light or taking photos near a window with natural light (the most flattering) if your current lighting situation is unfortunate

Photo Background

Choose a background that is very unobtrusive - a white wall is perfect. If you need to take photos in several locations, a portable backdrop will help you keep the background consistent.

Framing the Photo

Frame your subject so that their face and shoulders are visible and directly facing the camera. Don't worry about size, the photo can always be cropped to fit the photo field.

Communication When Taking the Photo

Communication is key when taking any photo. Not only do you want to develop a rapport with your subject (it makes them more comfortable in front of the camera), expressing how you want the picture to look can make the process much more efficient. Should the subject smile, or is the photo more serious? Let them know.

When it's time to snap the picture, hold the camera steady and notify your subject when the picture will be taken so they can be prepared.

If You're Having Your ID Photo Taken

The most important thing to remember when having an ID card photo taken is to relax. Being calm and prepared for the photo is 90% of the work. If you're nervous and want to look your best, the best way to prepare is to practice. Thanks to the power of digital cameras, practicing for pictures is easy and waste-free. Practice a couple of smiles in the mirror and then take photos of yourself with those smiles. Work until you find the expression that works best for you.

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