Looking for Tips For Taking Your Own E-Learning Photos

Hey community peeps, 

Taking our own photos for e-learning projects has never been easier since we all carry smartphones everywhere. I'd love to hear from the community on your own tips and experiences taking your own photos for your training projects. What did you photograph? What was the outcome? Any lessons learned? 

I'd love to hear from the community with your tips :) TIA! 

8 Replies
Ulises Musseb

Well, I went around the office and photographed the facilities, cubicles, the pantry, etc. The nI went outside the building where I work and took pictures around. I photoshopped them into cartoons and used them for an Email Etiquette course.

I have the fortune of having a specific department in my workplace that takes pictures of everything and everyone. All I have to do is download them. That's one of the advantages of working for a large organization.

David Anderson

I'm a big fan of taking photos to use as course backgrounds.  In fact, one of our first e-learning challenges was on this topic: https://community.articulate.com/series/e-learning-challenges-complete-list/articles/diy-elearning-background-graphics

Looking forward to seeing how others are creating their own stock photos.

Michael Oppenheimer

I am creating laboratory research training. It requires lots of photos and videos.  I use my iPhone since it can be aseptically cleaned.  The photos and videos are of the equipment being taught as well as the researchers handling the equipment.  I often capture the images from over the shoulder of the researcher.

I edit the images in Affinity Photo (much cheaper than photoshop). 

I remove the background of the photo so just the equipment that i want to teach about is visible.  Some times i will do a different technique so that the background is visible but lighter or darker so the focus is on the subject but still has the background context. 

Sometimes i want to use an illustration of equipment. I will take the photo using the iPhone and then trace the parts that i want in Affinity Designer (cheaper than Adobe Illustrator). 


Nicole Legault

Thanks for sharing that Ulises! As a learner it can be fun and exciting to see environments we are actually familiar with in real life in our e-learning so it's fun that you're taking photos of your own office space. You are so lucky to have a department that takes pictures ! What department is that in, if you don't mind me asking? 

Thanks for chiming in David!

That's a great tip about taking photos of equipment, Michael. Do you capture your images over the shoulder to avoid getting their actual faces in the shots? Any other tips or things like that that you do or can share with others? That's a great little nugget! PS I've never heard of Affinity Photo that's one I will have to look into. 

These are helpful tips! I hope the community keeps them coming :) 

John Morris

I use an iPhone so these tips are iPhone based.

There are two really easy things that everyone can do to improve their images immediately:

Adjust white balance. Is the camera set for sunny light while you are under an incandescent bulb?  Is it set for fluorescent while you are in the sun?  On the iPhone click the icon in the upper right that looks like three little circles and then select from the choices that appear across the bottom of the image.  They are things like Vivid, Warm, Cool.  iPhones are pretty good at doing this automatically, but you might be able to improve the image manually in this manner.

Use exposure compensation to lighten/darken the image as you take the picture.  If your subject is standing in front of a window or other light background, the camera will try and expose for the bright window and the subject will be too dark.  On an iPhone you can manually adjust the exposure compensation by pointing the camera and framing your picture, tapping the image on the area on which you would like the camera to focus, then drag your finger up and down on the right side of the image to lighten and darken.  When it looks the way you want, take the picture.

Robin Weggeman

Yes I have :)
- Take photo's of locations on the same part of the day, in sunny weather, photo's taken with cloudy conditions look said and grey.
- Plan ahead, a landscape or portrait layout?
- Practice in photo editing software, Adobe CC of take a free one like GIMP2.
- Use the same filters and edits throughout the training. Keep it simple!
- Realise that your picture had a very limited space on a monitor or smartphone. Zoom in on details that you want to show
- Use the Golden Ratio 1 : 1.61 for resizing when in doubt of the size of the picture.

Michael Oppenheimer


The focus of the training I am creating is about experimental medical lab procedures and the equipment the learners are expected to use. So I want the images to be from their point-of-view. Since I can't place a camera on their forehead, over-the-shoulder is the best I can do.  

I just saw a press release for a new 180-degree camera called Insta360 Go that looks really promising for creating hands-on procedure training videos. The marketing mentions that it is water-resistant.  A big plus since my lessons includes surgical procedures and everything in the sterile field is required to be sanitized. 

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Nicole:

A few tips:

1. Take the wider/longer shot than you need. You can ALWAYS crop in, but if you are too close, well, your stuck with that shot. 

2. If you are shooting "actors" in the field, make they have another set of the same clothing (if you are shooting on a hot day or multiple days).

3. Resist the temptation to take 8 versions of the same shot, just because you can. This will slow you down in the development phase.

4. I love shooting with the iPad because the viewing area is so delightfully big. However, make sure you iPad has a case, you know, in case it decides to sled off a two story roof. 

Hope one of those helps.