Tips for Taking Photo ID Pictures

There are an endless number of horror stories when it comes to taking photo ID pictures. From driver licenses to company ID badges, it may sometimes seem like taking a flattering, professional photo is close to impossible. The pressure of waiting in line and the close angle on a person’s face certainly presents a challenge, but there are tips and tricks for success. Whether you’re the subject of the photo or behind the camera, follow these tips to make sure you take the best photo ID picture possible.

Company ID Badge

When Posing…

  • Always Smile

Believe it or not, there’s an art to smiling for your ID picture. Find the perfect balance for you between not too much teeth and not smiling at all. A slight smile will add warmth and professionalism to your picture.

  • Practice makes Perfect

Part of the beauty of living in a world with smartphones is you have a portable, instant camera in your hands at nearly all times. Take a few practice selfies before photo day to find your most flattering angle. Practice different head tilts and smiling with slightly squinty eyes to find what makes you look the most confident.

  • Hair & Make Up

If you’re planning to wear make up for your photo, make sure you go for a more natural, every day look so it doesn’t come out too drastic and distracting. Professionals say it’s best to have long hair neatly pulled back so it doesn’t cast shadows on your face. If you have a dark beard, be sure it’s trimmed before your photo.

  • Professional Attire

When choosing what you will wear, avoid bright, busy patterns and nude-colored options. A dark color like black, navy blue or grey are your best choices and will make for the most professional-looking photo.

Canon camera

When Photographing…

  • The Background

If you’re taking company photos for a group of people, be sure to choose a plain, uniform background to use for all. A white background will make your photos pop, but a dark blue color is best for corporate headshots. If the photos are for a company’s photo ID badges, you may want to consider what the design of the ID badges will look like beforehand.

  • The Positioning

Once your background is in place, measure roughly a foot away from the backdrop and mark the ground with a piece of tape. Set your camera on a tripod and adjust the height according to each subject. Have your subjects stand or sit in a chair on your mark when you take their photos. If you have your camera in a stationary place and your subjects positioned correctly, your photos will look uniform across the board and more professional.

If you’re photo is being taken for a photo ID of any type, whether for your license or your company ID badge, chances are it will be with you for a long time. Be sure you like your photo and it presents you in a professional way by following these tips. Check out the many benefits of company photo ID badges, from personalized security to increased productivity, here.


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