May 30, 2017
by Dermott Renner

How to take Employee Photos

How to take Employee Photos

Taking photos of employees for a company website is not difficult but going from the results, you see on the internet, I think it is harder than people think. I have taken hundreds of employee photos for customers and here are some things I have learnt. Remember, professional level photos for a business are different from photos for a hen’s party in Bali, Ibiza or Newcastle.

  1. Do not use a smartphone – they are too light which makes them harder to hold level (in portrait mode) and stable so the person is in focus. Use a digital camera – it does not have to be worth thousands for it to take decent photos.
  2. Set the lens to 80mm if you can – watch the photographers taking celebrity photos and you will see they more often than not use fixed focal length lenses, not telephoto lenses (many of those big white Canon lenses are 300mm, 400mm or longer fixed lenses.
  3. Use a small f/ stop – if taking photos of individuals, set the f/ number low (f/2.8, f/4.0 or lower). This blurs the background and concentrates the photo on the person.
  4. Do not stand people against a wall – and do not use a white wall. Closer to a wall and the persons head will have a grey halo around it. Do not zoom in – one reason to use a fixed focal length lens (called prime lenses). Leave plenty of room around the person so you can crop the photos to all the same size.
  5. Shoot in portrait mode – yes it harder to hold but it is the correct mode for these type of photos.
  6. Advance warning – give staff advance warning so they can make sure they are well groomed and do not look like they have just climbed out of a ditch. 
  7. Group photos – different rules to photos of individuals. You need a higher f/ number (f/11 to f/13) because the chance of 5 to 10 people all standing on the same line next to each other, and exactly square on to the camera is zero. So you need more depth of field otherwise some people will not be in focus.  Focus on the closest eye of the person nearest the camera.