What do I need to take good ID card photos?

Category: Tip of the Month

DIDBlogImage_cameraThe main reason to add photos to your ID cards is to make it easy to identify the cardholder – but how do you take a clear photo that makes identifying people easy? A few basic supplies will help!

Photo ID Camera

First off, you’ll need some sort of camera. We have a variety of photo ID cameras on DiscountID you can easily bundle with your card system at purchase – these are designed to work with your ID card software and printer.

But you can also import photos from a digital camera or other camera if you store the files on the computer to access with your software.


Keeping the camera steady and level is an essential step to taking good photos. This helps you frame the subject the same way for every photo, even if your location changes. Tripods are available in small sizes, making them easy to pack up and move.


Lighting is perhaps the most important factor in taking clear, focused photos. The fluorescent lighting so common in office environments is not your friend when taking cardholder photos – instead opt for a light kit with a flash and diffuser.

Or if that’s not an option, place a desk lamp near your subject to better illuminate the photo and off-set the harshness of overhead fluorescent lights.


Finally, if you want every cardholder photo to have the same background, you’ll need to invest in a background. A portable background with stand is easy to store when not in use, and allows you to maintain consistent photo standards even when you take photos in another location.

Having the same background color in every photo has several advantages – it allows you to easily spot fake cards if the background color is wrong, and keeps the focus on the person’s face instead of a distracting background.