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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 10 Jan 2017 (Tuesday) 07:00
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Taking photos for a IDs?

239 posts
Gallery: 12 photos
Likes: 157
Joined Jun 2012
Location: Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
Jan 10, 2017 07:00 |  #1

I am going to take some pictures for IDs here at work.

According to the company that manufactures the IDs its ok for us to take the images our self, but of course some rules.

Some examples:

"The face should be portraited straight from the front. The background should be light and without shadows.
Both eyes should be visible and the pupils should be clearly visible. The eyes should be facing the camera"

No problem here. I'm thinking two strobes with umbrellas agains a white wall (if needed a third strobe to blow out the background)

No reflexes can be visible in glasses
I'm guessing I have to work a little with angles here and look closely in the display, for those with glasses.

And here comes the tricky parts:

The distance between the pupil and jaw should be in between 14-17 mm
The Format of the picture should be 35mmx45mm

How do I combine the two measurements in directly in the camera, to get the correct size?


Feel free to correct my English. I'm from Sweden ;)

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Senior Member
335 posts
Gallery: 11 photos
Likes: 83
Joined Nov 2012
Location: Colorado, USA
Jan 10, 2017 08:00 |  #2

Yeah, badge pictures. Your rules are more precise than ours but not all that much different. It's basically a math problem with conversions.

Let's start at the end and work back to the beginning. The final image size is 35mm x 45mm. When measured in millimeters (and not pixels) it sounds like you need to produce a small printed image. (We use digital for everything, and measure in pixels.) Assuming that this is to be a vertical (portrait) orientation, then it's 45mm tall. If the printed resolution is ... oh, say 200dpi (or about 7.874016 dots per millimeter), then the vertical size is about 354 pixels. If you wanted to go with 300dpi, then it's about 11.811024 dots per mm, or 531px.

The aspect ratio is approximately 3:4. More precisely, it's 3.1111 to 4. You'll need this when cropping.

Now we get to the facial dimensions. What they're looking for is that the image is "zoomed" close enough and not too close. The minimum pupil-to-jaw distance is 14mm. Dividing 14 into 45 is 31%. The maximum distance is 17mm, which is 37%. After taking the picture, and viewing the image on your computer screen, simply measure the pupil-to-jaw distance (in any unit of measure) and the overall height. As long as you're in that 31% to 37% range, then you're good.

In your post processing program, set your cropping square ratio to 3:4 (or more precisely 3.1111 to 4, if you have that degree of precision). Make sure your final crop is at least 354px to 531px, and print it at 200dpi or 300dpi depending on your print software.

You may have some corrections to my assumptions and can either adjust or feel free to ask.

A big part of answering your questions will end up being based on what software you're using for post-processing.

Mostly using 5D3 with lots of different lenses and flash, but also still using a large format 4x5 film camera.

Cream of the Crop
5,139 posts
Likes: 401
Joined Aug 2009
Jan 10, 2017 18:54 |  #3

Large light sources, like umbrellas, will make it more difficult to avoid reflections in the glasses. Some lens shapes are more difficult than others. Getting the lights as far away from the camera, and as high as possible will help. Although I've found if you have a low ceiling, with some glasses you almost have to side light the subject to avoid reflections. If you can't find a solution with the umbrellas, keep in mind that smaller light sources (like a small strobe reflector or a bare speedlite) will product MUCH smaller, almost point-sized reflections, which can more easily be cloned out.

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Taking photos for a IDs?
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