If you do not have access to a professional photographer, there are things can do yourself to set up and take good quality photos for your contact directory. These images are used in faculty profiles... and publishers logging in can change their profile pictures themselves.
Some organizations choose to start fresh and line up their faculty to come through and get their picture taken. Whether you set them up in front of a solid color background, or stage a set outside under a tree, here are some best practices to help you in getting good faculty images for your site.
- Use a 5mp camera or better.
- Make sure the zoom is all the way out. To make the subject fill the screen more, move the camera closer to the subject.
- If you have access to a tripod, use it. Mounting the camera and keeping it in one place makes it so you can move through faculty shots quickly and achieve consistent results. It also reduces blurs from inadvertent motion during the picture.
- Proper lighting is important and artificial lighting is very hard or impractical to achieve for the typical person. Use natural lighting to your advantage. Open the windows or find a place outside with the sun at your back.
- Be sure to position the subject so that each picture has consistent treatment. This is helpful later when processing and cropping the picture.
- If you are inside, consider your background. It's OK to set people up in front of a bookcase or plant to add some life into the photo, just be sure that it doesn't compete with the subject. The subject should take up as much of the photo as possible. Alternatively, you could use a solid color backdrop. We recommend avoiding black, or solid white. Grey and earth tones do well especially if there is no common dress requirements for each person.
- If you can avoid using the flash, that is also advised, especially if you are inside. The flash often is too harsh and floods the picture, removing colors and detail.
- Take some test pictures first to see how they turn out before lining everyone up an dismissing them. There's nothing worse than having to call everyone back to have to do it again.
- Do not web-optimize the image. You may color correct, but leave the picture at the higher resolution so that the receiver has more options when processing the picture for it's destination.
There's the basics. You may choose to set your own standards for how your faculty photos should be taken. Check out this document used by law enforcement agencies to maintain consistent standards when taking mugshots.
Parental/Guardian Consent Form
As you are aware, there are potential dangers associated with the posting of personally identifiable information on a web site since global access to the Internet does not allow us to control who may access such information. The law requires that you ask for permission to use information (photo/image) about their child.
Below is an example form that you are free to use to send to parents or guardians to ask permission for you to use imagery or content that relates to your child.