Taking 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 their dreaded 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 fears forever!

If you’re the Photographer

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:


Most modern Digital Cameras, Smart Phones and SLR Cameras are all perfect for capturing great portrait photographs for your ID Badges. Make sure you’re familiar with your camera and its quirks. 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.


Good lighting is 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 fluorescent lights. When photographing indoors turn on room lights and or consider taking photos near a window with natural sun light (the most flattering) when ever possible. Avoid positioning your subject directly under tungsten lighting, this will help minimize shadows being cast upon your subjects face.

id tag photo shoot

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.

portrait for photo id card scaled


Always pause to consider the location before you start taking photos. Choose a comfortable location with minimal distractions. It’s ideal to have your subject seated during the photo shoot allowing them to relax and fall into a natural pose. When taking pictures the background is important. White walls or light coloured backgrounds such as sky blue backdrops work well and if possible keep the background consistent. Avoid using your cameras digital zoom, simply move closer to the subject for better clarity and minimize blurry photo’s by using a tripod.


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 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.

Portrait Photography Troubleshooting

Common Mistakes to Avoid when taking ID Card Photographs

shadows on face id photo

Shadows on Face

shadows behind face id photo

Shadows Behind Face

hair across eyes id photo

Hair Across Eyes

closed eyes id photo

Closed Eyes

wearing hat id photo

Wearing Hats

Turn on room lights or use natural sun light.

Avoid bright or busy backgrounds.

Move closer to the subject.

dark sunglasses id photo

Dark Sunglasses

head turned id photo

Head Turned

looking away id photo

Looking Away

underexposed id photo


overexposed id photo


Use a soft camera flash or soft fill lights.

Use a consistent backdrop or wall.

Avoid using the camera zoom.

unnatural skin tone id photo

Unnatural Skin Tone

washed out colour id photo

Washed Out Colour

pixelated id photo


blurry id photo


Switch camera to Portrait setting if available.

Use a tripod when possible.

Sending Your Photographs

Digital Photos

Digital Photos can be saved as the persons Name/Surname preferably in JPEG format then sent as attachments to our e-mail address: info@idcardstore.com.au

Large orders with large amounts of photos can be saving to a USB Stick and mailed to our postal address. Your USB Sick will be returned with your order.  Please save each JPEG photo as the persons Name/Surname.

Passport & 35mm Photos

Passport photos can be obtained at your local Chemist or Photography Store. You can scan the passport photos and e-mail them to us (refer to digital photos). Or mail them directly to our postal address.

On-Site Photo Shoot

YES, we come to your door at a pre-arranged time that is suitable to you to photograph your staff on your premises with a minimum of disruption to the normal running of your business. With our digital camera, you can preview your photographs before going to print. If you don’t like the look, we’ll take another shot. Resulting in good photographs every time. How’s that for service?


All information gathered on the web site, phone or email will be only used to conduct business at your request. We don’t send unsolicited email, sell or share information with other companies. All information collected (photos, names etc.) will only be used to produce ID badges at your request, it won’t be used for any other sales or marketing purposes.