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DIY: Passport Photos

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

Quick Tips: How to Take A Good Passport Photo

  • Please take your photo without glasses for a USA passport or Visa. The USA doesn't allow glasses anymore in passport or visa photos.
  • Please wear dark or colored clothes instead of white or light colored so the photos have nicer contrast.
  • Include full shoulders and at least 12 inches of the body below the chin in your photo. (Do not crop or try to size the photo on your phone or camera. We will do the necessary cropping to make a valid passport photo)
  • Remember: Best passport photos have Eyes Open and Mouth Closed. The teeth are not visible and have a neutral expression to reduce the rejection risk significantly.
  • Take photos indoor. Never Outdoor to make risk-free passport photos.
  • Take photos in good daylight for beautiful skin tones. (Avoid nighttime or artificial overhead lights as they mess up natural skin tone.)
  • Stand in a place where the light falls directly on the face and the whole face is more or less uniformly bright. (Avoid standing closer to a window with a lot of light on your left or right)
  • Keep the camera at eye level. Hold the phone or camera horizontally, not vertically.
  • Keep the camera at least 3 feet away from the subject so the nose does not look too big.
  • Avoid taking a selfie if possible. Ask someone to take your photo or put the camera on a tripod or a table.
  • Avoid busy or dark backgrounds. We will make it white but the dark background and dark hair make it difficult to work with such photos.
  • See the video below. (Above tips are enough. However, If you need more tips, read this whole page).

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

How to take a photo at home to make a Passport Photo:

make passport photo

Photo Composition tips

Keep around 4 feet of distance between the person and the camera. Or, 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 the Green line shows how a Passport photo will be made out of it. Please do not crop the photo at your end. Give us an original photo from your camera or smartphone.

photo composition

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

Camera Tips DIY

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 a good amount of light coming directly on the face and not from one side. If needed, try to adjust the time.
  • Boost ISO: If it is still dark, if your camera allows, please try boosting ISO to around 400-800 levels. Try with different ISO settings.
  • If your camera has Av Mode, set Aperture f3 to f5.6 for sharper images. If it is low light, you can use the smallest number or wide lens opening so more light passes through than compared to a 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 the 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 mixed with hair, it is a tough challenge to eliminate it neatly. So if possible, tie your hair so the shadow and your hair do not get mixed up.
  • If you are using Flash, do not wear glasses to avoid glare in the photo. Most passport/visa offices allow no glare or reflections of light on the glasses

Official Specs for Passport Photos for USA Passport

  • Passport Photo Size: "Passport Picture Size 2"x2"
  • Two Passport Photos (Don't worry. OnlinePassportPhoto.com will provide you 6 photos)
  • Identical photos (Don't worry. OnlinePassportPhoto.com will take care of this)
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Color photos
  • 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. OnlinePassportPhoto.com will take care of this)
  • Taken in normal street attire Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except in religious attire that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
  • No glasses are allowed.

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 "Better Photos with Any Camera"****

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 the subject to avoid shadows on the face. (Desirable but no need to worry about it. Use can use a white wall. Stand 4 feet away from it and fire Flash (Flash Fill-in) to take a nice picture)
  • Use a light source to illuminate the background behind the subject to avoid shadows in the background.
    passport photos DIY
  • Camera/ Subject Position: Place the camera approximately 4 ft (120 cm) from the subject.
  • Have a camera at the subject's eye level.
  • Position subject facing the camera.
    (This information is taken from the Official US Passport website. Click here to look at the original page. It also has information that may come in handy with your passport application and to know the current 'Passport Photo requirements' and passport photo size dimensions)

Professional Passport Photos