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Make your own Passport Photos

Updated on September 13, 2014

Where to get Passport Photos and School Portraits

Passport photos can be printed at home on high quality photographic paper, taken on disk to a local photo store, or printed via photo printing services. Don't pay high costs at passport photo shops. Passport and visa photos to meet the specifications of almost any country can be printed cheaply! Making passport photos has been transformed from a highly trained expertise into a simple task.

f you have a digital camera and access to a computer (which you must to be reading this) then you can make your own photos. I have focused on tips for US, Canadian and European passports but many of the services discussed have the capabilities for dozens more countries around the world. discusses supporting passport photo creation for "Albania to Zimbabwe."

My recommendation is that you use a free online service for photos and save some money - pick the tools that best supports your country and your device (computer, iphone etc.).

PassportPhoto4You - Online Passport Photos screen capture screen capture

PassportPhoto4You is a great resource. It is an easy to use tool to create passport, visa and ID photos for free with automatic face detection. It offers, as shown above, excellent tools to help you crop and create a photo to match the standards for more than 70 countries including US Passports, Indian Passports and Chinese Passports. Also suitable for passport size photos of children (babies/infants).

How to Make Your Own Passport Photos is the Internet passport photo booth, empowering people around the world to make free and valid passport photos. They put an end to the passport photo rip-off - join the revolution today by following 3 simple steps for making free passport photos!

They will offer to upsell to Premium service, including human validation, printing and shipping - but you can choose printing yourself or using their service.

Passport Photo Software

Passport Photo allows you to create passport size photos for a passport, license or ID. Passport Photo can create JPEG files for printing in a shop (just like regular photos), and also lets you print passport photos using your own printer. At the same cost of buying a single passport photo, you can get Passport Photo and create as many passport photos as you need.


Great Resource on Passports around the Globe

This site is a great resource for details on passport photo standards around the world. They have also made some very nice improvements since my original review. Still a very plan text based interface that is not always the easiest, but the range of countries that they can assist you with is awesome: US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and more! I also like there section that helps you verify that your photos meet all the required standards.

Passport Photo
Passport Photo

Mobile Passport Photos

iPhone and iPad

Now you can get a passport/visa photo with Passport Photo Booth right on your mobile device. This apps lets you take a photo from your iPhone or load an existing image from your photo gallery. Then you can select the size of paper as well as how many copies you want. The final passport ready image will be stored in your photo library so you can print it later. Supported Passport/Visa Photo Type include the following countries: United Kingdom, United States, Canada Visa/Passport, Australia, China, India, Japan,Korea,Taiwan POC.

CNET - Tips on Making Your Own Passport Photos

Tips for taking Perfect Passport Photos

  1. If you wear prescription glasses daily than your photo should show the glasses. You will want to tilt the glasses down on your nose slightly to prevent a glare. Your eyes must be visible (sunglasses won't work) and glare is a key reason, at least in the US, for rejection of a photo.
  2. Colors Not To Wear - Don't wear white or black colored shirts.
  3. Colors to wear will vary based on your skin tone. For example, If you have pale skin you should wear navy or teal. If you have olive or dark skin than you will typically look good in bright shades of red or blue. If your skin has gold tones then you would be better off with an orange or brown color.
  4. If you have oily skin then you should wash your face right before the photo and/or tap some oil-absorbing face powder on your forehead and nose.

Passport Photo History

Only Now Are Passport Photos Easy to Make

Passports have been in use for centuries but weren't commonly required until 1918 when they became mandatory for international travel. Photographic prints were in wide circulation by this time and so they became an essential ingredient. The shots were of course black and white and bore the somewhat fantasized tint of the period's studio portraits. They identified, but in an idealized fashion. The photos were loosely attached with staples and stamped along with the document to discourage forgery. Obviously, only the very few photographers of that time could assist you in making these photos. Only recently, with the advent of digital photography and broadband in most people's life, the passport photos business has changed. People no longer depend on what used to be the proprietary proficiency of professional photographers

7 Steps to Successful US Passport Photos

    • Frame subject with full face, front view, eyes open

    • Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm)

    • Center head within frame

    • Make sure eye height is between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from bottom of photo

    • Photograph subject against a plain white or off-white background

    • Position subject and lighting so that there are no distracting shadows on the face or background

    • Encourage subject to have a natural expression

Tips for US Passport Photos

Passport photographs must be 2 inches by 2 inches in size, identical and taken within the past six months. The image size from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head should be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches. They may be in color or black-and-white, full face or front view, with a plain white or off-white background. Photographs should be taken in normal street attire, without a hat or headgear that covers the hair or hairline. Uniforms should not be worn in photographs with the exception of religious attire that is worn daily. If prescription glasses, hearing aids, wigs or other such articles are normally worn, they should be worn when the picture is taken. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not allowed unless they are required for medical reasons.

At Photomat you can easily make your own school photos, portraits and passport photos for US passport, drivers licence, membership cards etc. For free! You simply crop your photo online, we automatically make a jpeg photo set of your crop that you may download and print for free. It has never been easier to create your own passport photos, school pictures and portraits. Offers options to match specs from multiple countries.

  • No registration. No fees
  • 100% for free
  • Professional photo quality
  • Superior resolution
  • Automatic resolution control

Photo4id - US. British, German Passport Photos

Screen capture of
Screen capture of

Canadian Passport Photo Guidelines

  • Must be taken with a 2 Megapixal digital camera or better
  • Eyes must be open and clearly visible.
  • Glasses, including tinted prescription glasses, may be worn as long as the eyes are clearly visible. Sunglasses are unacceptable.
  • Facial expression must be neutral (not frowning or smiling) with the mouth closed.
  • Photos must show both edges of the face clearly.
  • Photos must show a full front view of face and shoulders squared to the camera.
  • The face and shoulders image must be centered in the photo.
  • Photos must reflect/represent natural skin tones.
  • The length from chin to crown of head (natural top of head) must be 31 mm to 36 mm.
  • The image must be clear, sharp and in focus.
  • Photos with shadows on the face or background are unacceptable.
  • Photos must be taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows or flash reflection on the face and head.
  • Photos must be taken against a plain, uniform, white or light-coloured background.
  • Hats or head coverings are not permitted except when worn for religious reasons and only if the full facial features are clearly visible.
  • Black and white or colour photos are acceptable.
  • Only the head and shoulders of young children may appear in the photo (e.g. no hands holding the child).

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    • Max Globe profile image

      Max Globe 3 years ago

      this is so useful, thank you! I managed to take my own passport photo but it took quite some time)

    • CodeNameRJ profile image

      CodeNameRJ 3 years ago

      Lol I could have saved a bit of money if I knew this.

    • profile image

      abcplumb 4 years ago

      Very helpful, wish I found this earlier.

    • profile image

      gd-tsg 4 years ago

      I used to make my passport photos. It helps to generate 6 passport photos on a 4R sheet. And I printed the photos at $0.19 at CVS.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi great info and tips here. Thanks for sharing.

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