Shoot A+ Pictures with Your Smartphone for Your Recruitment Microsite

Recruitment microsites work best when they feature genuine images of your staff. However, one problem our clients run into is a lack of imagery. Some of the issues they run into are:

  • No budget for professional photos
  • Issues with permission for outsider photographers

Due to these kinds of issues, we oftentimes recommend that recruiters use their Androids or iPhones to take stellar snaps of their employees. After all, chances are they are going to be more comfortable with them anyway and they most likely have easy access! With that being said, quality matters, so I wanted to take a moment to impart some top tips for shooting smartphone recruitment pictures that really pop.

Keep it Simple

While it is sometimes appropriate to include a detail-filled backdrop, it isn’t always necessary. Interesting elements of a radiological machine may be distracting from the main statement of the campaign: your people. If you do take a picture of the machinery or technology your staff uses, make sure to have them demonstrating it or interacting with it as opposed to just standing in front of it.

Alternatively, positioning a group of smiling people in front of a blank wall can sometimes be more engaging because it will force the viewer (hopefully a potential candidate) to look at how happy they are.

When it comes to photography, negative space can be a great asset. Don’t be in a hurry to cram everything into one picture. Shoot some images of the people and some of the technology so that candidates get a full understanding of why you took each shot and ultimately, why they should work for you.

Avoid the Flash


Even with traditional photography onboard flash is almost always a no-no. I actually had professors in college who joked about ripping it off your Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR)! Unlike negative space, basic flash (as opposed to off-camera flash) is not your friend. Here are some reasons why:

  • It will wash out your subject
  • It will most likely skew the colors
  • It may give your subject red eye
  • It may blind your subject leaving them with an odd expression

Instead of using the flash, try to take advantage of the light around you. A pretty window, a white light lamp or the outdoors. Also, make sure to keep in mind that you can always play with the brightness and exposure in the editing phase if the picture is just a bit darker than you’d like.


With recruitment, most pictures are of people, so it’s important that they are tack sharp and really prominent. Take the time to focus (usually by tapping the screen where the face is located) on the person you are trying to highlight. Nothing is worse than a fuzzy-faced person and a razor sharp backdrop when your trying to reach people. 

Rule of Thirds

One of the major rules of photography is the rule of thirds. Though it isn’t a hard and fast rule, this compositional style can help you make sure your pictures are active and engaging.

Practical Photography Tips states, “when composing a photo based on the rule of thirds you use these guidelines to position horizontal and vertical items in the photo. Placing the main subject at or close to one of the intersecting points of the horizontal and vertical lines will usually help give it more emphasis and a more pleasing composition or layout than if the subject is centered.”

So how do you make sure that you’re using the rule of thirds to the best of your ability? Simple! Turn on your phone’s photo grid. Different types of phones have these settings stowed away in unique locations. Your iPhone’s can be found via: “Settings”, “Photos & Camera” and then “Grid.” Alternatively, other smartphones may have it under the camera application itself.

Stay Where You Are!


I know that sometimes it can be tempting to zoom in on a tiny item or on just one face, but zooming pixelates images so fight the urge! One of the best things about smartphones is that (at least with portraiture) you can get pretty close, so rather than zooming, consider physically moving yourself. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a more interesting angle that way too!

*Pro-tip! One bonus to not zooming is that most smartphone photos are now taken at a high enough resolution that they can be used for modest print jobs like flyers for hiring events. Multi-use photos are extremely practical and helpful when it comes to recruitment.


Above all, recruitment photography should be fun and painless. Think of your smartphone as a minimally invasive tool that will help you tell the story your department wants to project. For instance, most companies want to promote their company’s workplace culture, and that starts with catching happy employees on “film!” 

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