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How to Effectively Photograph Documents for Loan Requirements?

How to Effectively Photograph Documents for Loan Requirements?

Cy M – March 19, 2022

Scanning documents nowadays has been made easy with the use of smartphones. No need for scanners to create digital images of these documents, all you need is the camera from your smartphone and snap. As easy and quick it seems, how can we make it more readable and presentable for its purpose?

In this short article, we will give you simple and easy tips on how you can also edit your images before submitting them.

1. Ensure they are laid on a flat surface

- Place the document on a flat surface like a table, or the floor.
- If the light is being blocked above the document and a shadow is appearing, you can temporarily tape the document on a wall.

How to Effectively Photographing Documents for Loan Requirements 1

2. Create Effective Lighting

- Having enough background lighting is essential.
- For better lighting, angling two lights at an off position at around a 45-degree angle from the camera enable the lights to not directly bounce off the page and create distortions.

How to Effectively Photographing Documents for Loan Requirements 2

3. Ensure an Equal Camera/Document Height

- The camera and document need to be at the same height so that the document will appear straight at the edges, without any distortions
- On the other hand, you can always edit the images and crop it up to the edge of the document.

How to Effectively Photographing Documents for Loan Requirements 3

4. Photography Angles

- For obvious reasons, Head-On is the only angle you want to be using – in most cases. This point goes back to the importance of having the camera set up at the same height or level as the document.

How to Effectively Photographing Documents for Loan Requirements 4

5. Zoom from a Distance to Avoid Issues

- Zooming in from a distance, instead of standing too close to the documents, reduces something called the ‘Fish Eye Effect’. The fish eye effect is when you get a blurred circle around the edge of the image.

Zooming in and out GIF 2

6. Turn off the Flash

- Leaving the flash On will leave a spot of light in the center of the document or produce far too much glare when not done under the right conditions.

Flash On and Off GIF 2

7. Settings: Focus

- Auto-focus, in this case, is going to be the best choice. But for most smartphones now, you can long tap the part of the image to stabilize and focus the lens on it.

Auto Focus GIF 2

8. Timer Vs Manual

- Using the timer avoids possible distortions that can arise from pressing the button manually, which might make the camera shake slightly.

Camera Timer GIF 2

9. Editing: Crop

- As mentioned in item 3, you shouldn’t need this step if you used correct distancing, zoom and the landscape view. However, you can always use the manual crop function on your smartphone when editing to get that perfectly edged shape of your document.

10. Editing: Brightness and Contrast

- It may well be that you were either over or under generous with your lighting, If that’s so, just tweak things slightly until it’s up to your standards.