Even if applying for a new passport can be a tedious job, you can save your time and money when taking it yourself. Especially with having to go somewhere and take a photo and then not even being satisfied with it. Indeed, if you have any basic photography or lighting knowledge, it will be quite easy to do. I decided to do it myself this time, so here is a checklist on how I took a passport photo with an iPhone. Institutions will tell you the image should be taken by a professional photographer, but this is simply not true.
Although the final image should be of good quality, there is really no need for fancy equipment. I used my iPhone for this and then edited the rest on Photoshop. White plain background and strong enough lighting are what you’ll need when taking a passport photo.
Make sure there is a strong contrast between your face and the background.
What to do:
- Use a plain, light-colored background – light greys and creams work well.
- Stand about half a meter away from the background.
- Make sure there are no people or objects in the background.
- The image must not have ‘red eye’
Centre your head, with space around the top and sides
Center your head in the image, with a clear gap around the sides and top of your head. Additionally, this can be done afterward in Photoshop too but will make it easier if you take it into account already during the photography stage.
Include part of your shoulders and upper chest in the photo.
- your face is fully visible, and not tilted or turned to the side
- your hair is out of your eyes, and away from the sides of your face.
Remove tinted and thick-framed glasses
You can wear prescription glasses in your photo as long as they are not tinted or thick-framed. However, no sunglasses are allowed.
If you wear glasses in your photo, make sure:
- you have a clear gap between your eyes and the frames
- there is no glare or flash reflection on the lenses.
Make sure you do not wear hats or other head coverings
You must not wear a head covering in the photo unless you wear one for religious or medical reasons. If you do, you need an endorsement in your passport.
In case you do wear a head covering for religious or medical reasons, make sure your face is fully visible.
Your photo must be:
- a portrait photo with a 4:3 aspect ratio, or 3:4 on a smartphone
- digital (we cannot accept scans of physical photos)
- in color
- saved in .jpg or .jpeg format
- between 250KB and 10MB
- between 900 and 4500 pixels wide, and 1200 and 6000 pixels high.
If you need to edit your photo, keep a copy of the original. Remember that your appearance should not be digitally altered in any way. Do not use a filter or change the way you look.
However, you should check your photo using the online photo checker. These are easy to find on google, one of them being this US Department of State Photo Tool.
Additionally, if you liked this article, you might like The Art Of Portrait Photography.