I've often told my customers that fingerprinting truly is an artform. This artistic fingerprinting capability is not an inate skill though, but rather one developed over time. The same can be said for capturing beautiful fingerprints electronically. It just takes practice.
There are things that you can do to facilitate successful fingerprint image capture on a tenprint scanner, such as:
ensure hands are clean and have proper hydration;
ensure glass platen is cleaned before scanning each finger if hydration is used;
place the scanner so that the glass platen is approximately 39" above the floor;
ensure the environment is conducive for capturing legible fingerprints (not too cold and not too hot).
I've found that individuals over 50 typically need some form of hydration (younger subjects, especially youth and young adults do not need hydration). This hydration can include water from a sponge, oil-free lotion or a fingerprint hydration pad (see Livescan Supply Kit).
Once the techniques above are addressed you are left with working on the fingerprint capture (slap and roll) technique. Much like learning how to ink fingerprint well, you will need to practice to learn how to livescan fingerprint well. Fortunately, with livescan, you can scan and rescan without having to burn through fingerprint cards.
I've recorded a video to show you Good and Bad Slaps and Rolls using the FingerPRO ID software and the Suprema RealScan G10 tenprint scanner. I have another video that shows Livescan Fingerprinting Made Easy using this same equipment.
There are other resources on the internet that can provide you with fingerprinting best practices as well. Here are some of my favorites:
Some states,but not all, require you to go through a fingerprint certification program. This is actually a very helpful program if you are new to fingerprinting and your state offers this. You would need to check with your state department of public safety (DPS), state patrol or bureau of investigation to see if they offer fingerprint training or require you to go through fingerprint certification.
The bottom line for capturing legible fingerprints using a livescan system is to practice, practice, practice. In no time at all, you'll become a livescan expert.