What’s the first thing that captures your attention on a school ID card, employee badge, or other ID credentials? The badge picture, right?

Apparently, taking a badge photo seems like an easy job. You just have to look at the camera while the photographer snaps the photo, uploads the file on a computer, crops it to fit, and voilà –a great id photo is ready!

But, anyone who has ever tried to take an ID headshot knows that it is easier said than done. In this blog post, you’ll find a few tips and tricks on how to take a good ID photo, giving you a better chance at getting those perfect professional employee ID badges the first time.

From what to wear for an ID badge photo to what kind of lighting and background to use, you’ll find everything in this guide.

Top 8 Badge Photo Tips

1. Use proper lighting

When it comes to capturing a great badge picture, lighting is king. Most workplaces have overhead fluorescent lights that often lead to harsh, discolored pictures.

You may want to use natural light from windows. Or, it’s perhaps worth the money to invest in a lighting kit.  These allow you to set up and adjust the lighting.  Continue to play with the angles to get the look you want in your images.

2. Keep the background neutral

You want the viewer to focus on the person in the photo. Therefore, choose a neutral background that minimizes distractions. A plain, neutral background helps highlight the face of the person standing in front of it.

Your background should add something to the photo, not take attention away from the person in the photo. Go for soft blues or subtle patterns, and avoid bright colors like lime green or magenta.

3. Use a tripod

No matter how steady your hand is, it is recommended to buy a tripod for taking a professional-looking badge picture. It will decrease the risk of snapping a blurred image from a subtle quivering of the hand.

Plus, a tripod helps you set up your subject and then fine-tune other aspects of your shot, such as the lighting or the subject’s hair. As a result, you’ll save both time and effort, while providing a high-quality badge photo.

4. Shoot at a slightly downward angle

Nobody wants a mug shot as their ID badge. Forward-looking pictures appear awkward and forced. You want the person in the photo to look relaxed and comfortable.

So, use a sight  downward angle in your photos to give them a more natural look. I helps make the face look more natural and avoids any under-chin shots.

5. Wear the right attire

Wondering what to wear for a badge photo? It’s recommended to wear a nice top that will look great in the picture. Avoid bright colors, bold designs, and colors like taupe, plain white, or nude. These colors may wash you out or be off-putting in a picture.

Stick to darker colors like black, navy or dark blues and greens, or softer tones like soft creams, blues, greens, purples, etc.

6. Smile subtly

An employee ID badge picture is a great way to show how employees enjoy working with their company. Photos that feature blank stares or slight frowns can send the wrong message about a business.

So, practice your smile in the mirror. Make sure your smile looks natural and relaxed. Avoid smiling too big or too small. Even if you don’t want to smile, at least relax your face to avoid looking anxious or irritated.

7. Fix your hair and look at the camera

To ensure a great ID photo, make sure your hair is neatly styled and away from your face.

Also, look at the camera. It’s surprising how many badge photos are taken with the person looking to the side or above the camera.

8. Review the badge photo

If the photographer doesn’t like the photo they take, chances are their team members won’t like it either. Carefully review each photo after it’s taken so you’ll know before printing the ID badge if you should take another.

How do I take ID pictures with my phone?

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1. Make sure you have plenty of light

While phones can take excellent photos phone sensors are small, so they struggle in low light. Get every lamp at your disposal and make sure you’re well-lit!

2. Leave room in the picture for cropping later

Your phone takes photos with plenty of pixels. Leaving space around you allows for cropping later, making sure you end up with the perfect picture for your ID card template.

3. Shoot in front of a neutral background

This goes for all ID photos, not only ones taken with a phone!

4. Use your phone’s timer function

Your phone had a built-in timer, allowing you to take ID card photos of yourself!

How to Take a Good School ID Picture

  • Use flat, diffused lighting or a ring light.
  • Make sure no hair is in the student’s face
  • Use a Tripod (even if shooting with a phone.
  • Shoot more scene than needed and crop later.
  • Shoot more than one photo, to have a choice.
  • Have the student give a slight, subtle smile.

ID Badges from InstantCard

Taking a great badge picture is more than worrying about what to wear. You must consider the lighting, use the right camera, choose a neutral background, and so much more.

Looking for a reliable service to print your employee ID cards? With InstantCard, you don’t have to worry about pictures mismatched with employee names, poor quality, or improper sizing. You’ll see an exact image of the card so you can verify spelling and presentation before choosing to print it. Call InstantCard today at 888-980-6179 or request a free sample online.