Home Passport Application All You Need To Know About Passport Pictures

All You Need To Know About Passport Pictures

All You Need To Know About Passport Pictures

All You Need To Know About Passport Pictures

A passport is an essential document that is proof of your identity and nationality. It allows you to travel internationally and serves as a government-issued ID. One of the critical requirements when applying for a passport is a passport photo. The photo must meet certain guidelines to be acceptable. In this article, we outline everything you need to know about passport photos, from the guidelines to the process of obtaining one.

What is a Passport Photo?

A passport photo is an individual’s photograph that is used on their passport. It must meet specific government regulations for the passport application process. Passport photos are used to identify individuals, and they must be clear, properly exposed, and unedited.

Guidelines for Passport Photos

When taking a passport photo, it is crucial to follow specific guidelines to ensure that the photo is acceptable. The Department of State outlines the following requirements for passport photos:

Size: The photo size should be 2×2 inches (51x51mm) square. It is essential to note that the head should be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22mm and 35mm) from the bottom of your photo.

Quality: The photo should have high resolution and be in color. It should be a clear and properly exposed photo with no shadows.

Background: The background of the photo must be white or off-white. There should be no patterns or shadows in the background.

Expression: A neutral expression is required for passport photos. A natural smile is permitted, but it should not be exaggerated.

Wear glasses only if you do regularly: On most regular passport-sized photos you can wear glasses as long as they do not change your appearance significantly. However, you must try to avoid wearing glasses with very thick lenses, excessive glare on the lenses in the photo, or a frame that obstructs the eyes.

Headgear: Headgear is not allowed on passport photos except for religious purposes. Those wearing headgear must submit a signed statement that verifies that the headwear is part of their religious attire.

For infants and children: For children under the age of 16, the same guidelines apply as those for adults. However, parents or guardians may hold the child as long as their hands are not visible in the photo.

Many countries have their own set of guidelines for passport photos. It is important to check with the issuing authority or embassy of the country you plan to visit to ensure that your passport photo meets its requirements.

How to Take a Passport Photo

There are several options available for taking passport photos. Most passport agencies and post offices will offer passport photo services for a fee. Another option is to take the photo yourself or have a friend or family member do it.

When taking the photo, it is important to ensure that the camera is at eye level, and the subject is directly facing the camera. The photo should be taken against a white or off-white background, with the subject standing or sitting with their shoulders straight. The face should be well-lit, with no glare or shadows on the face.

When taking a photo, it’s crucial to avoid filters or lenses that taper or sharpen features, as these can cause the photo to be rejected. It is also important to avoid editing the photo in any way, such as removing blemishes or red-eye.

If you are not sure that your photo meets the requirements, you can bring it to a professional photographer or a passport agency. They will check and retake the photo if necessary.

Tips for Taking a Good Passport Photo:

Take the photo in natural light if possible, with no shadows on the face.
Wear dark or solid clothing to create contrast with the background.
Avoid excessive makeup or hair products.
Avoid smiling too much or too little, a neutral expression is preferred.

How to Submit a Passport Photo

When submitting a passport application, it is necessary to include two identical passport photos. The photos must be printed evenly on photo paper, with no creases, kinks, or tears. It is also important to ensure that the photos are not mounted on a backing board or glued to anything.

When submitting the application, the photos should be paper clipped or stapled to the application in the designated area. It’s important to note that it is a federal crime to submit false or fraudulent information on a passport application.

Passport Photo Frequently Asked Questions

How much do passport photos cost?

The cost of a passport photo varies depending on where you have it taken. It can cost between $10-$30, depending on if you take it yourself or a professional photography studio takes it.

Can I wear makeup in my passport photo?

Yes, you can wear makeup for your passport photo, but it should be natural, with no excessive makeup.

Can I smile in my passport photo?

A natural smile is allowed, but it should not be exaggerated. A neutral expression is preferred.

Can I take my passport photo myself?

Yes, you can take your passport photo yourself, but it’s essential to ensure that it meets all the guidelines.

How long is a passport photo valid?

A passport photo is valid for six months from the date it was taken.


Passport photos are important, and it’s essential to ensure that they meet the guidelines. Taking a proper passport photo can be straightforward, but it’s critical to follow the guidelines, especially for those planning international travel. These tips and information on how to properly take and submit passport photos should help make the process easier. Remember, taking a passport photo is simple, and with the appropriate guidelines, your photo will be accepted and will be an essential part of your passport application.

What are Passport Pictures?

A passport is a necessary document used by all individuals interested in travelling abroad. The passport is a government-issued legal document that provides travelling agencies as well as the government with a distinct form of identification for the traveler.

The passport is a small legal document which is issued by the United States’ Federal Government. The document contains several pages which are used for stamps; whenever an individual travels to a foreign country; their passport is stamped with the date and location of their travel.

The passport’s first page is comprised of a photo ID of the holder. The photo ID serves as the passport’s foundation; it is the dominating image that is used to signify legal ownership of the document.

The passport photo must be taken of the individual holder of the passport; any false pictures or misleading pictures will result in the termination of the passport and a subsequent investigation. As a result of the passport’s basic function (allows foreign travel) the procedures and requirements for issuance are stringent and regulated in an exacting manner.

Requirements for a Passport Photo

When filing for or renewing a passport the applicant must supply the government office with two valid passport photos.

In some locations, a passport picture will be taken at the site; however, this is dependent on your local municipalities’ equipment and their specific passport procedure. As a result of this variance it is suggested that all applicants bring at least two color photos when filing for a passport.

The photos must be taken in an exacting manner. The photos attached to the United States’ Passport must be 2X2 inches in terms of length and width and must be in color. The individual applicant, in the passport photo, must be dressed in everyday clothing—any suits, military wardrobes, or occupation-related gear is not permitted in a United States’ passport photo.

The applicant must also exclude any accessories that change their image. If the applicant wears glasses on a daily basis they are permitted; however, any attempts at altering a physical appearance are not allowed in a United States’ passport photo.

The photo must be recently taken; any older pictures which portray a different physical appearance will not be accepted as a valid passport photo.
The applicant must be facing the camera in their passport picture. Any poses or blocked features will not be accepted as a valid United States’ passport photo.