Self-Portrait Photography Guide


Each COLA faculty / staff member is able to submit a Photo ID of themselves for their COLA web profiles. 

Follow best practices to achieve professional quality photo portraits using your cellphone at home.





Guide to Taking Self-Portrait at Home

Choose a place with good lighting. It is best to have an even lighting across your face, so there are minimal shadows on your face. You can achieve this by facing yourself against the source of light.

facing source of light light source
Here is an example of uneven lighting. Backlit photos, or photos with the light source directly behind you should be avoided, since this cause most of the face to be in the shadow.



Keep the background simple and not busy, such as a plain wall or with some nature.
You can see that the image on the left has a nice nature background, while the one on the right is too busy.


Ensure that your face is centered, and that the entirety of your head, chin, and ideally shoulders are visible. Avoid getting your face cut-off.

To the left is an example of a well-centered portrait (left) and a cut-off one (right).



Having a partner take your photo will make it possible to have enough distance between you and the camera so that you are properly framed in the composition. Ensure that your face is in focus.


Ensure that the photo you submit has a dimension of at least 200x300 px. Most cameras (traditional cameras and smartphone cameras) will provide photos that exceed this threshold. Here is how you can check this.

  • Mac: in your Finder, right-click on the image and click "Get Info."
  • Windows: in your Files, right-click on the image and click "Properties.




Submit your photo to Please keep in mind the naming convention LastName_FirstName_UTEID_role_mm-dd-yyyy.

  • Role can be shortened to fac or g-stdnt.
  • Date is the date the photo is uploaded.



Thumbnail Photo ID and Profile Photo ID

The photo you submitted will appear in two different places, as thumbnail Photo ID, which will appear on the faculty / staff / graduate student list, and as Profile Photo ID.