A while back, passport photos could only be taken at designated places or a professional studio providing these services.

However, with technology’s rising development speed today, we can save up on a trip to the photo booth and just have our pictures taken home.

That’s right – digital formats of your passport photo are now accepted. But, of course, there are several requirements that you need to fulfill so that your photo can be accepted as a valid one. What are those?

Keep reading this post and check the most important things you need on how you can take a passport photo at home.


Passport Photo Requirements

If you have decided to have your passport photo taken at home, you must first learn the appropriate requirements.

The official U.S. passport photo criteria are rather specific, so if you want your homemade passport photo to be accepted, you’ll need to make sure you stick to them.

Passport Picture Standards

Before you get a guaranteed passport photo online, there are some technical standards you need to follow. Those are:

  • You may only submit a photo in color;
  • A passport photo must be exactly 2 inches square to be used in the document;
  • You must not manually alter passport photos using editing tools;
  • High-resolution images, free of blur, grain, and pixelation, are required;
  • There should be no more than 1 3/8 inches of space between the chin and the highest point of the head;
  • You mustn’t send in flawed photographs.

Passport Photo Pose

Passport photos should be kept straightforward to help the authorities quickly and easily recognize you. So:

  • Turn your whole face toward the camera;
  • Keep your expression neutral or just a mild smile and your eyes open.

Dress and Demeanor for Identification Pictures

Keep your appearance as natural as possible; no need to load up on makeup and jewelry. If you stick to it, you’ll have the best chance of getting a passport photo that will be accepted. To put it simply:

  • Ensure that your hair does not hide your features;
  • No hats or other headwear are permitted;
  • Don’t use any sort of head accessories like glasses, including devices like headphones;
  • Dress casually – any kind of uniform or camouflage is strictly forbidden.

Steps for Taking the Perfect Home Passport Picture

With all of the formal requirements out of the way, you may move on with taking passport photos. Digital cameras are ideal for this, although using a smartphone camera will do in a pinch.

However, selfies are not permitted, so you must use a tripod or ask someone to snap your photo.

Here are the steps you need to tick off before taking the picture.

Step 1: Lighting

This is the most crucial step for those who take the passport picture themselves. Face or backdrop shadows are a huge NO; it’s essential that the photo accurately captures your natural skin tone and has an even hue distribution.

Natural light coming directly at you from the front is ideal for this purpose. Ensure no flash or other illuminants are used when taking your passport photo.

Step 2: Invest in a Decent Camera

The next step is getting a camera, which you can use to take photos. In most cases, any mobile phone with a high-quality camera would serve the purpose, but to get the best results possible, you should opt for a camera.

Taking the photos in these cases can be a bit hard if you’re doing it on your own, so get a decent and stable tripod. If possible, ask a friend to help you take the shot.

Step 3: Set the Scene

You should stand in front of a light background—a white, grey, or cream wall would do—and remove any distracting elements, such as plants, from the shot.

Get the camera or your friend to stand back 1 and 1 3/8 inches, and move away from the wall. If you stick to these tips, it should guarantee a sharp image.

Step 4: Dress Appropriately for a Passport Picture

A passport photo has no hard and fast rule about what you must wear. Everyday clothing is fine, but people should not wear any form of headgear or glasses in the shot.

A Turban or Hijab worn for religious reasons must not obscure the wearer’s eyes or nose in the passport photo; they must also provide a written reason.

Additionally, you may only wear transparent-shaded glasses if you have eye abnormalities. Still, you’ll need to submit your doctor’s written report of the medical reason alongside your application.

Step 5: Hold Your Position

To complete this step, stand in front of the camera with your eyes focused on the lens, and wait for the shutter to release. Always use a photo that complies with the official specifications for passports:

  • Stand up straight;
  • Maintain your focus;
  • Do not laugh;
  • Avoid turning your head to either side.

Children Passport Pictures

There are some exemptions when it comes to taking passport photos for kids. Namely, there is no need for youngsters under five to produce genuine facial expressions or look directly into the camera when photographed.

Babies who haven’t reached their first birthday are exempt from the requirement that they open their eyes.

For them, you just need to make sure that their head is supported, but the hands providing that support cannot be seen.

Other than this, all previously mentioned requirements apply.

Wrapping Things Up

Taking a passport photo at home might seem impossible, but in reality, it is a far more convenient and quick method because many already have the necessary equipment.

Moreover, you can save time and start your passport issuing process faster.

Ensure you follow the above steps to the smallest detail because even one minor mistake can hinder the procedure.

So, find the proper lighting, get a friend to help out, and snap the picture – and while you wait for the passport, start choosing the place for your next adventure!


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