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Frequently Asked Questions
Tips for taking better photos

Full List of Countries for Passport/Visa Photos

Passport Photo Specs for:
(Passport, Visa, Citizenship, Naturalization, Lottery Visa, DS-160/1648, etc.)

Canada (Passport, Visa, Immigration, Temp Resident Visa Digital Photo)
China Visa
India (OCI, Passport, PAN Card)
New Zealand
Schengen Visa
United Kingdom/UK

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Passport Photo size

Passport photo size for US Passports is 2x2 inch or 51x51mm. However the size can change dramatically if you have passport from some other country. Australian Passport Photo size is 35mmx45mm and for China, it is 33mm x 48mm. In UK, it is 35mmx45mm while in Canada, it is 4x6 cm.

Important note: Please take photos without glasses for USA passport photos. This is a new requirement effective November 1, 2016. (See this link for details:

What this video : How to Take Photo at Home to Make Passport Photos

Tips for Taking Photos at home for converting into Passport pictures (Passport photos) (Passport picture size 2"x2")

Top Tips:

* Set Camera to 2 MPto 8MP resolution mode.
* Set the optical zoom to 3-4 times or 3x to 4x
* Stand 1.2 meters, around 4 feet from the person and take photo.
* Use white or light colored background.

* Do not take close up of head only. Include at least 10 to 12 inches of body below chin in the photo. We can always trim what they do not need in Passport or Visa photos; but if you include less than what is needed, there is no way we can fill in/add missing things (like shoulders etc)!!!

Compare your photo to the following offical specs by USA. Your photo needs to include full shoulders and body below Chin level, as shown below.
passport photos

  • Please do not take very high resolution photos. Set Camera resolution to 2 to 4 MP. 2x2 inch photos are tiny and printing them on paper needs only 240k pixel image!
  • Use white or white like ****PLAIN*** background behind head. If needed, use bed sheet or a large white paper behind head.
  • Find a place that has a plain white/light colored wall to use as background or use white bed sheet or paper as a background.
  • If using flash, please stand 2 to 3 feet away from the background to minimize shadows on the background if using flash.
  • If Flash is turned off, Minimize the distance between the person being photographed and the background to reduce shadows on the background.
  • Make sure to include the personís upper body and have space above the head in the viewfinder or screen display of your camera.
  • Keep camera around 4 to 5 feet away from the subject (person whose photo is being taken) and at subject's eye-level

    Passport photo tip
    (Courtsey: US Department of States Website: Photographer's Guide under Passprots section)

    (Courtsey: US Department of States Website: Photographer's Guide under Passprots section)

  • Try taking the photos at a time when there is good indirect natural light. If the light is not uniform and one side of the face gets darker compared to the other, force the camera to apply flash (Compulsory FLASH ON mode). Flash will uniformly brighten the face and this will result in nice passport photos. However Flash creates shadows so it is preferred to take photos without Flash.
  • Avoid use of flash by taking photos when good amount of natural light is available. Also make sure the light is coming directly on the face and not from one side (which can cause half of the face to be brighter than the other half. For Visa and Passport photos, whole face needs to be nicely exposed).
    -- If there are manual settings on your camera, use the Av mode and set Aperture to the most wide setting (smallest f number). If the picture is not coming well, try to bump up ISO to around 400. If you are using a compact camera, do not set ISO too high. If you are using a Digital SLR, you can set ISO up to 800.
  • If photos are not coming out well without Flash, please use the Flash. Try to minimize the shadow by flash by taking some photos by turning your camera 90% so that the flash is aligned vertically with the lens.
  • DO NOT ZOOM IN too much. We do not need just the face! Please make sure you include at least full shoulders.
  • Remember this rule: Keep eyes open and mouth closed while being photographed for a Passport photo (Second part of the rule works for a successful married life too, particularly while arguing with spouse!).
  • Make sure there is ample blank space above head, and on right and left side of your face as shown below. Make sure at least your FULL shoulders are visible in the picture. Pictures up to elbow level are recommended.

(To download these tips in a PDF file or to print on your computer, click here)

How to take good photos without using in-built Camera Flash (to avoid shadows created by in-built flash):

* Use Natural light: Find a place (with plain white or light colored background) where there is good amount of light coming directly on the face and not from one side. If needed, try to adjust time.
* If it is still dark, if your camera allows, please try boosting up ISO to around 400 level. Try with different ISO settings.
* If you Camera has Av Mode, set Aperture wide open (smaller f value) so more light passes through than compared to narrow opening.
* If you have a separate Flash unit, use it instead of the built-in Flash.

If you have to use the built-in Flash to get nice exposure, try using Camera in different positions. Hold it horizontally and take some photos. Then hold the Camera vertically and see if the shadow is minimized.
* We can digitally remove some shadows but if it is mixing with hair, it is a tough challenge to eliminate it neatly. So if possible, tie your hair so the shadow and the hair do not get mixed up.
* If you are using Flash, do not wear glasses to avoid glare in the photo. Most passport/visa photo require no glare on the glasses.

X Your photo should NOT be a close-up. Face should be around 10%-20% of the photo or full shoulders (both) should be visible with some open space above the head.
X Photo background should be light colored and uniform
X Your photo should have enough resolution. File size of the picture must be more than 50KB
X Face in the photo should be uniformly exposed (One side side of the face should not be remarkably darker or lighter than the other)
X Avoid shadows created by camera flash (We can fix some shadows but if the shadow is mixing with hair, we can not fix it)


passport photos

Composition tip:

-Imagine the photo you are taking is made up of 9 identical pieces/squares. The face has to be no bigger than one of those 9 squares and should be in the middle. The square in Green line shows how a Passport photo will be made out of it. Please do not crop the photo at your end. Let us do the cropping.


Here is a good sample picture that we at simply love to convert into passport photo size 2"x2":

passport pictures at home


Here is the list of complete guideline for Passport Photos for US Passport application

"Passport Photo Size":Passport Picture Size 2"x2"

  • Two Passport Photos (Don't worry. will take care of this)
  • "Passport Photo Size": Your photographs must be: 2x2 inches in size (Don't worry. will take care of Passport Photo Size)
  • Identical (Don't worry. will take care of this)
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Color
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head (Don't worry. will take care of this)
  • Taken in normal street attire Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
  • No glasses are allowed.

    Passport Photo sample

    passport pictures


Click here to look at more tips on what type of digital photo to upload with your order.

**** Want to improve your photography skills, visit our photography site at ****

Good Passport Pictures

    Tips for taking PROFESSIONAL QUALITY passport pictures at home for US Passport/VISA/Citizenship Applications

    Note:You don't have to follow every step but this will be helpful to make your picture stand out on your passport.

  • Position light sources on both sides of subject to avoid shadows on face. (Desirable but no need to worry about it. Use can use a while wall. Stand 4 feet away from it and fire Flash (Flash Fill in) to take a nice picture)
  • Use a light source to illuminate background behind subject to avoid shadows in background.

    passport photos DIY

  • Camera/ Subject Position Place camera approximately 4 ft (120 cm) from the subject.
  • Have camera at subject's eye level. Position subject facing the camera.

    (This information is taken from Official US Passport website. Click here to look at the original page. It also has information that may come handy with your passport application and to know the current 'Passport Photo requirements' and passport photo size dimensions)

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