How To Create A Truly Professional ID Photo

How To Create A Truly Professional ID Photo

Does your business rely on the use of photo ID cards to ensure the security of your company? Photo ID cards provide an easy way of knowing what everyone is called, what their role is,  and whether they are authorized to enter particular areas of the building. For photo ID cards to be effective it is important that they are high-quality cards containing images which allow individuals to be clearly recognized. This guide will show you everything you need to take perfect ID card photographs.

Overcoming the cringe factor

Does your passport photo look like you? Are you happy showing people the picture on your driving license? Few people enjoy the process of having their picture taken for official documentation and as a result, the images produced are rarely attractive. For passports and driving licenses the quality of the image doesn’t matter too much since they will be tucked away somewhere safe and only produced when needed. Photo ID cards are a greater challenge since they must be worn every day and be on constant display. For people to feel confident carrying a photo ID card the image on the card must be one they are happy to display to the world.

Taking great photo ID pictures

There are three parts to taking a fantastic ID photo, the technical quality of the camera, the happiness of the subject, and the composition of the photograph. Follow these steps to take a great ID photo:

Choose the right location

Don’t try to take ID photos in a crowded entrance way as people arrive for work. Not only will everyone be stressed and in a rush to reach their desks on time but the environment will not be conducive to good quality pictures. Look for a quiet room where there is plenty of natural light available. You may also want to consider a professional ‘photo backdrop’ so that you can easily set up your portable photo studio anywhere.

Relax the subject

Relaxing for holiday snaps taken on the beach when everyone is enjoying themselves is one thing. Trying to act naturally for professional headshots for an ID card is quite different. People rarely feel comfortable when posing for professional pictures and so part of the role of the photographer must be to relax the subject before they take the picture. Try to give people advance notice of the photography session so that they can wear clothes they like, and they will have time to arrange a haircut or apply some make-up before facing the camera. When the subject arrives for their photograph spend a few minutes chatting with them and putting them at ease before you take the image. The more comfortable the subject feels the more natural the photograph will appear on the ID card.

Invest in the right equipment

If you want to use professional quality photographs for your ID cards then you don’t want someone snapping images on their mobile phone. To get the best results you must use the proper equipment. Ideally, you will need a high-quality camera with a tripod, backed up by ID card software so that you can edit and crop the pictures to ensure they are correctly centered and fit on the ID card perfectly. If you are looking for the right digital camera to take your pictures then IDSecurityOnline has a great range of cameras and printers that make it simple to capture, upload, and edit the images before applying them to your ID cards.

Which camera should you choose?

The right equipment for your organization is going to depend on several factors such as the number of ID pictures you need to take and the equipment you already have available for use. If you don’t produce a lot of ID cards and only want to take an occasional picture then something simple like the Microsoft LifeCam Studio ID Camera may be the best choice. This easy to use camera  offers HD quality for crisp, high-resolution results and includes auto focus, from four inches to infinity. It is compatible with both Mac and PC operating systems.

For an organization that needs to print ID cards more regularly, the Credential Cam could be a better solution. The Credential Cam comes with up to 8MB still image quality and has plenty of extra features including auto exposure, internal microphone, and automatic color compensation. For an organization that prints ID cards frequently then only a fully-featured photo ID camera will be sufficient. The VALCam Pan Tilt & Zoom Camera is the best camera available. This camera automatically adjusts for your lighting conditions and offers great high-resolution images. The camera is crammed with features such as zoom, tilt & pan and improved white balance options. With this camera you can live crop your images in the preview mode and therefore produce your ID cards more quickly by cutting out the additional editing step.

Optimizing your ID card photographs

Taking the best image you can is often only the first part of the process. A professional image frequently needs to be re-centered, cropped and enhanced to create the best possible appearance for the ID card. If you look for a camera with a TWAIN driver not only will the camera be able to automatically upload your images to your ID card software but it will probably also come with additional features such as:

  • Auto adjust tilt & pan
  • Face-finding feature
  • Subject-focused zoom

What other factors should you consider?

When it comes to choosing your camera think carefully about the image quality and features that you will need, but also think about the printer you will be using. The quality of the image on the photo ID depends not just on the quality of the image you take but also on the ability of your printer to reproduce that image on the ID card. You must also bear in mind the portability of the camera for most organizations space is at a premium and the photo equipment will need to be moved, you may even need to move around the premises to take pictures rather than having the employees come to you. If you select a camera that needs to be permanently connected to a computer rather than a standalone model your portability could be seriously compromised.

By carefully thinking through the features you will need you will be able to purchase the equipment you need to create high-quality photo ID cards with only a few clicks.