How To Get A Perfect Passport Picture?

The rules of passport photos are very strict and simple. This is due to a simple requirement to guarantee the best security possible all around the world. Indeed, passport is a piece of paper needed to travel everywhere in the world, and the most important document to get when you are preparing to travel anywhere out of your home residence country.
How To Get A Perfect Passport Picture?

Why a correct passport picture is necessary

The rules of  passport photos   are very strict and simple. This is due to a simple requirement to guarantee the best security possible all around the world. Indeed, passport is a piece of paper needed to travel everywhere in the world, and the most important document to get when you are  preparing to travel   anywhere out of your home residence country.

That is why the rules are generally uniform in the world. It would be inappropriate if it was not the case. Imagine allowing black and white pictures in some countries and not in others. Then, once the person with a black and white passport picture travels for its  summer vacation   to a country where it is not allowed, the security controls could not work properly, which could lead to insecurity.

Some countries do not even trust those strict picture rules and add a visa. This other official document is helpful in order to understand the reasons behind people’s travel.

Can you get a perfect passport picture from home? Yes! You can get your passport picture professionally edited online and sent to you by post or email

Three quarters of all people believe that their passport photo is ugly and unfortunate. Sometimes it’s even embarrassing to look at your own image in a visa or other documents! Not to show it to others. See examples of bad  passport photos   for proof. Why does this happen? How to take a good passport photo?

Try to avoid a few simple but common mistakes in the process of photographing.

It is possible with actual technologies to get a valid passport photo from your home, or to get a national identity card photo by post! Let’s see together how to get a perfect passport picture, and how to make it from home to get it delivered contactless by email or postal service.

The complete guide to getting a perfect passport picture

The rules of passport photos

When you renew your passport, the authorities will ask you a picture of you. But you cannot give them your casual vacation picture. The photo must respect some clearly defined rules.

Passport photos must be in colour and taken with a white or off-white background, according to the U.S. State Department. Selfies are not allowed. The picture must be taken by someone else, either a professional, a machine, or you can use your tripod.

US Passport photos rules

Passport picture requirements

The resolution must be high, not blurry, grainy or pixelated. The image of your face must be clear, without filter, your hair should not cover your forehead. You cannot wear a hoodie. You should remove your glasses.

The paper itself is important. It should be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper and cannot be photoshopped. If you have red eyes, we encourage you to take another passport picture. But you should not use an app to fix those. The size of the paper is also important. It must be 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm). Your eyes should be right in the middle. All your head must be visible.

Examples of valid and invalid passport photos

Why so many rules?

When you read all those rules in one batch of time, you may feel overwhelmed. You should not. Basically, when you take the picture, just make sure that nothing looks suspicious.

Put yourself into the State’s mind. Think about every detail you would not want to see. Think that the rules are here for your security. The goal of this picture is to recognize you, not to fake you. Fooling the State would be dangerous. Imagine they are looking for someone, and your photo is so blurred that they start suspecting you. Think that a bad picture is a suspicious picture.

Having a bad picture will make you lose time at all airports. Indeed, the controls at airport are very simple. They take a picture of you during the controls at the airport, which they compare to the picture of your passport. Then, once you arrive to the destination airport, they take another picture of you, and they compare it to both the departure photo and the passport photo. If you have a bad passport photo, the security checks will take longer and might lead to uncomfortable questionning at the border control.

Good and bad passport photos examples in picture and explanation

1. Passport photo format

The passport picture must be 2x2 inches for US, or 35x45mm for most other countries. The head, from the bottom of the chim to top of the head, should be 1-1 3/8 inches (32 - 36 mm) and make up about 70 to 80% of the picture.

1. Passport photo quality

The photo must be clear, without folds or marks, and not show any sign of usage – it must have been taken recently.

3. Picture contrast

The passport picture contrast must be good enough to allow for direct recognition. It must not be overexposed or underexposed, must be in color, and should have a good contrast, without any visible shadow on the face or in the background.

4. Plain background

The passport picture background must be plain, and has to be either light blue or light gray. It cannot have bright colors, or other pattern, and white is expressly prohibited.

5. Head decoration

Head must be bare, without any hat, cap, scarf, headband or any other kind of face decoration.

6. Head position

Head has to be upright and facing the lens. Do not lean on any side, and stand facing straight.

7. Face look

Face must face the lens. Expression should be neutral, smile is prohibited, and mouth has to remain closed.

8. Eyes visibility

Face should be clear, hair should not cover eyes. They must be perfectly visible and open. Hair should not cover the face, and bangs can only be accepted provided that they do not cover the eyes.

9. Vision glasses

If you are usually wearing vision glasses, you are not required to wear them on your passport picture. However, if you decide to wear them, make sure that the frame is not thick and do not hide the eyes, and that glasses are neither tinted (sunglasses forbidden!) nor colored and without reflection visible on the passport picture.

Bad passport photos examples

It can be easy to miss your photo, especially if you are doing it yourself, and to end up with an invalid passport photo.

Examples of bad passport photos include:
  1. Not adopting the right format of 35x45mm or not centering your face,
  2. Not have a quality picture,
  3. Getting too much or not enough light,
  4. Having a colored or white background: only plain light grey or blue are allowed,
  5. Wearing something on your head or not keeping it clear,
  6. Not standing straight,
  7. Not looking straight at the camera,
  8. Smiling or closing your eyes on the picture,
  9. Wearing sunglasses or glasses reflecting the light.

Avoid making any of these bad  passport photos   examples to make sure that your picture will be accepted, otherwise it might lead to a lot of time – and money – lost trying to get a good one.

To make sure to get a good passport picture, it is recommended to ask a professional photographer to edit your picture.

How to get a perfect passport picture?

Nowadays, it is very simple to get perfect and acceptable  passport photos   without even leaving the comfort of your home to prepare your next  swimwear centered vacation   or any other business or leisure travel.

Online services nowadays are able to get your official document  passport photos   with all international requirements applied, and it can be even easy and affordable.

They work that way: you select the document you want, you take your picture yourself, you send them your picture, and you receive your photos by mail the next days.

Pretty easy, isn't it? Get your  passport photos   now from your sofa and start packing efficiently!

Driving in bikini might cause a distraction to others

Frequently Asked Questions

What tips should individuals follow to ensure a perfect passport picture, and why is adhering to passport photo guidelines important?
Tips include following official guidelines for background color, avoiding heavy makeup, wearing appropriate clothing, and ensuring proper lighting. Adhering to guidelines is important to avoid delays or rejection of passport applications.

Comments (1)

 2020-11-11 -  Bakrena
Thanks for sharing this article. I am waiting for your next articles

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