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How to create a passport photo at home?

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“Travel broadens the mind” – says a traditional English proverb. And not only this. Travelling is a pleasure, adventure, challenge and the best way to know people and learn about other cultures. But going for an international trip always requires some preparations. One of the points on “travel check-list” is getting a passport.

Getting a passport is our citizens’ right but we need to apply for it and submit some documents and a passport-style photo. This photo that will be seen in our formal document must always meet particular demands. Of course, we can go to the professional photo studio but we really do not need to. The most important thing in the specifications list for passport photos is that they are not required to be taken professionally. This means that we can take the photo at home or wherever we want and process it in purpose to obtain a perfect document picture. But how to do it and be sure that the photo will be accepted by a Passport Office?

If you want to know the answer to this question, just read our article and download the artificial intelligence-based passport photo app which will do all the job instead of you or use passport photo tool online!

Little atelier at home? Why not?

Maybe you are thinking right now: is it very complicated to prepare a passport size photo on my own? Am I able to do it and avoid mistakes? Sure you are! Just read our guidelines and create your perfect document photo by yourself. 

Ready? Great! You do not need to go to the photography studio and wait in a line. You can organize your atelier wherever you wish, even in your kitchen or bathroom. Don’t worry about the proper background, correct crop or image resolution. Our smart photo editor can process your image and after a few seconds, you will receive the photo ready to upload to the online application or to print.

Reading the rest of the text below will take you not more than 7-8 minutes and after further reading, you will know: 

  • how to pose in the picture
  • what to wear and what to wear not capturing the photo
  • what is allowed and forbidden in official images
  • how to avoid the most commonly made mistakes

Once you decide to capture a passport photograph at home you need to know some general rules. We will talk about each of them, in a nutshell, to help you save your time.

Rule #1: no selfies

We all love selfies. Everyone has dozens of them in the phone’s memory. We look pretty, relaxed and attractive in them, but… we cannot use one of them for any documentary.

Selfies, in general, are not approved by authorities and institutions. The required distance between a photographed person and the camera lens is approximately 1,5 m so the best idea is to ask somebody to help or use a tripod.

Rule #2: no webcams

You are not obliged to buy an expensive SLR camera to prepare a correct and beautiful picture in passport style. You are allowed to capture the picture by phone, digital camera or tablet but not with a webcam. Photos produced by webcams have poor quality and can serve to official documents.

Rule #3: no home printers

Today’s laser and inkjet printers are so good that reportedly certain individuals try to print banknotes at home. We strongly discourage you to do that because it is illegal and just stupid. But unfortunately, not only banknotes must not be printed on home printers. Photographs to official documents neither.

This is important to print your photo on high-quality photo paper by using the dye sublimation process. Inkjet and laser printers do not fulfil these conditions. If you want to print your photos, you can do it in a store, pharmacy or photo kiosk in your neighbourhood.

Rule #4: use a plain background

This is the general requirement executed by every passport office, embassy and consulate in the world. Background in the formal photo must be in indicated color (usually light or just white) plain, free of shadows, patterns, other visible objects or persons. But don’t worry, you do not need to paint your wall or arrange your apartment. Use the background removing photo app which erases every kind of the wrong background and exchanges it into a required one. And all this in one second!

Rule #5: pose correctly

Do you remember how your parents used to say: Sit up straight and don’t slouch? Who doesn’t, right? Now, preparing to capture a photograph to your future passport, you might recall this command because the straight head position is a formal requirement here. 

Before standing in front of the camera lens, please learn how to pose in the picture. You should remember about certain rules applying to face expression, head position, sight direction etc. Read carefully the next paragraphs to be informed about all of this.

Passport photo – really serious thing!

For some years all passport pictures, regardless of the country, must be biometric. Also, most offices and institutions also want photos in “biometric style” even if they are not required to be machine-readable. The general rules for this kind of pictures are always the same and the photo itself reminds a mugshot. It means that you must take it seriously. Really seriously. We mean: you are not allowed to smile. Even if you are very happy that soon you will go on your dream trip!  And also:

  • this must be en-face view
  • a photographed person must look straightly at the camera
  • the head must be centred and not tilted in any direction
  • all the face, neck and upper part of shoulders must be visible in the crop

 At the same time, other demands may vary depending on the country and the document’s application. For example, the background must be always plain and free of objects behind the photographed person but requirements about its color are different. Predominantly is white but sometimes cream, light-grey, it also happens to be dark-grey.

The same applies to size. Whereas the usual passport photo size is 35 x 45 mm, in the United States of America this is 51 x 51 mm.

What to wear for this special occasion?

You will travel with your new passport for the next ten years and this is the age in fashion trends! Choose therefore some ageless outfit. Classic button-down shirt, collared shirt, V-neck dress or even your favorite t-shirt will be fine. There is not an incontestable rule, but good advice. On the picture in a passport only your face and area and area around the collarbone will be seen, so it’s not recommended to wear a tank top or a shirt with a wide neckline if you don’t want to look like naked.

In some countries, the candidates are not allowed to wear any kind of uniform or clothes resembling uniform (f.ex. with visible insignia or in moro pattern) so it is better to wear something else.

Eyeglasses in the passport photo – allowed or not?

Again: it varies depending on the country. In the US everyday prescription glasses are not allowed but in Europe they are. There is only the condition that glasses must not cover the eyes of a photographed person and give a glare.

In some countries, only medical reasons confirmed by a certificate signed by a doctor or medical practitioner can justify the presence of eyeglasses in a passport photo. The good idea is to check previously how the situation is in your country or just read our guidelines about a given passport/visa/ID document photo.

Head coverings in the passport photo – different rules in different countries

Generally speaking, the rules about covering the head are uniform. Fashion headgears such as caps, hats or headbands are forbidden whereas head covering used as a part of a religious attire may be worn in the passport or visa picture. The only variations apply to the requirement of proving that a photographed person is indeed obliged to wear a  head covering by his/her religion’s regulations. In some cases, the written statement is good enough but other situations the authorities require other proof of the religious affiliation.

Bling, bling! Jewellery and piercing in passport photos

If you like bling, don’t worry, you don’t have to remove it before capturing a photograph to the passport. Also facial piercing is accepted under the condition that it does not obscure your features. So if you are sure you are still recognizable with the piercing and your earrings don’t “touch” the facial oval line, there are no contraindications you look pretty and shine if you like it!

Hair matters! A few words about hairstyling before you capture the passport photo

Let’s be clear: you can present yourself in any hairstyle in your passport photo. It is a myth that you cannot have your hair down in a passport photo. It existed this rule indeed but it was many years ago and now nothing stands in the way to have long hair covering ears and shoulders. The only condition is that the hair must not obscure the face below the eyebrows and drop a shadow on the skin. Every hairstyle –  fringes, curls, ponytails and buns are welcome! There is only one big “BUT”. If your hair is really voluminous you may need to wear it up because all your head with the hair must be visible in the picture and a little margin between the edge of the image and the head must be kept.

Our advice is not to do radical moves with your hairstyle just before a photo session to the passport or another official document. A big cut, hair dyeing or perm are terrific ideas to feel younger and better but if something goes wrong and after leaving a hairdressing salon you regret this decision… hm… maybe this is not the best moment to take a picture which you will look at and show to different people for the next ten years, right?

But a visit in the hair salon to style your hair is absolutely a great idea! As everybody knows: you look better, you feel better!

Forbidden magic of Photoshop. Why can’t I retouch my picture? 

In the age of digital revolution, we are used to playing with filters, retouching tools and graphic computer programs to beautify our pictures posted on Facebook or Instagram. Nobody is innocent here and we perfectly know it! But when it comes to biometric photos dedicated to passports things change. We are not allowed to alter the image with any computer software. And you can believe us – the artificial intelligence which checks incoming photographs in passport offices is really smart and sensitive. AI is able to detect even the smallest interference in the picture and automatically marks it as rejected. So what to do if we don’t like a shot? Oh, that is easy! We can always take another one. Or 100 next ones! And we can at the end choose the shot we really like ourselves in. Of course, if you use our intelligent photo app you can prepare as many professional pictures as you wish and pay only once. Thanks to our app you can:

  • try many different outfits and choose the nicest one
  • compare different hairstyles and makeups
  • correct all mistakes
  • produce the perfect photo without any rush

And the best for the end: you are not allowed to use Photoshop to process your picture but you can still change the background for an ideal one. Don’t do it on your own – the AI could take it as a forbidden interference. But if you use a professional photo background erasing tool, which in just one second removes everything that is seen behind you.

Feel like a VIP and let us do the job!

Now you know everything about posing, dressing and preparing yourself for the professional photo session at your home. To remind you, you will need:

  • a phone or a digital camera
  • a friend’s helping hand or a tripod
  • our guidelines about passport photo specifications
  • a smart passport photo app to resize, crop and adjust your picture to requirements

With our passport photo online app you can prepare a correct picture for the most part of official documents in the world, not only a passport. Maybe you also need a visa? No problem, we know everything about photos dedicated to different documents in many countries. And we are ready to work for you!

Once you capture a picture satisfying disclosed requirements, the rest can be done by high technology. The photo generator automatically crops, resizes, adjusts the dimensions and resolutions and verifies whether the photo is correct or not. All you need to do is to take a picture or choose one from your photo album, upload it to the app and wait a couple of seconds. So once you have taken your photograph and have uploaded it, get comfortable, and relax – the artificial intelligence is at your service!

Passport-style in a good style!

With our app, you can, among others, create a photo for the UK passport. As you probably know, its required size is 35 x 45 mm and there is a long list of other demands. Those specifications change depending on the country but this is not a problem for the technology which we have at our disposal. Our intelligent photo tool is able to prepare a correct picture for passports and documents issued by a wide range of countries and institutions. Once you pick up a template, the app will automatically adapt the details such as size, crop, background color etc. to the requirements list given for a chosen doc

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