How to Take Passport Photo at Home: Do It Yourself

How to Take Passport Photo at Home: Do It Yourself

How to Take Passport Photo at Home: Do It Yourself

Today, you don’t need to purchase cutting-edge technology in order to take a passport photo at home. The majority of traditional cameras can now snap pictures of papers in acceptable quality thanks to advancements in digital photography technology. In addition, you may take a passport photo today using a camera built into a smartphone or connected to a personal computer, print the photo at home, and avoid going to photoshop. Simple guidelines must be followed in order to succeed. 

The relevant advice listed below should be kept in mind by everyone who takes home pictures for official documents. Both amateur photographers and those just beginning their careers in the production of professional ID photos will find them helpful. 

When do you need a new passport photo? 

If you are planning a trip in the near future, you need to carefully look at your current passport in order to understand whether it is necessary to update the photo in it. The answer to this question may depend on the country of residence. As a rule, in many countries of the world, a passport is valid for 10 years, but in some cases, it may be necessary to take a new photo before the expiration of the previous document. Do not worry too much – a simple change of hairstyle does not require pasting a new photo into the document. However, deeper changes in appearance will certainly require re-shooting. Here is a list of cases in which photo updates are required: 

  • Significant changes in the appearance of the passport holder as a result of the maturation or aging process (especially for young people who received their passport at the age of 16 and must renew it in 5 years instead of 10 years). 
  • Facial surgery or major trauma (excluding minor cosmetic procedures). 
  • Significant weight loss or gain. 
  • Extensive tattoos were added (or were removed) on the face, piercings were added or disappeared. 

Taking a passport photo at home: How to do it 

Therefore, the choice has been taken to replace the current passport photo with a new one. You may prevent typical blunders and ensure that the new photo in the document satisfies official criteria by following the advice provided below. 

Position and settings for the camera 

Two meters is the ideal separation between the camera and the subject. Every official document requiring a photograph must include a front-facing shot of the subject’s whole face (often also required that the upper part of the shoulders be visible). Utilize the camera’s zoom feature to include the complete face in the shot, from the chin to the top of the head, while leaving some room above and below. Place the camera so that the person can see it well. In terms of camera resolution settings, you should choose the 640×480 option, which is available on the majority of contemporary cameras, to obtain a decent image appropriate for a passport. 

Environment and lighting 

It is typical to photograph documents against a plain, uncomplicated background. You can choose between white, pure white, light blue, gray, or cream for the backdrop, depending on the specifications of each individual type of paper. The photo’s lighting should make the subject’s skin tone appear natural. The optimum time to take passport photographs is during the day. If this isn’t possible, change the lighting such that there aren’t any shadows on or beneath the face. Several sources should be used to create artificial light. To prevent underexposure if a flash is not available, the subject should be near the backdrop. 

Face expression and eyewear 

You shouldn’t grin, grimace, or blink in the document shot; instead, your facial expression should be natural. In order for the subject’s eyes to be clearly visible, they must stare straight into the camera. If someone is wearing glasses, they do not need to take them off as long as they don’t have a big frame or tinted lenses. Lens flare should be prevented by slightly lowering the glasses or raising the camera above eye level. 

Wearing clothing and headdress 

Clothing ought to stand out against the surroundings. If you didn’t take the time to choose the appropriate clothing in advance, you can “alter” them when editing the photo. The individual cannot be wearing a hat or any other type of headgear. Only specific headgear used for religious purposes is an exception. Head coverings, however, are not permitted. Before taking the picture, make sure that the entire face can be seen, from the chin to the top of the forehead and from the right border to the left. 

How to edit a photo to fit a standard passport size 

After you have acquired a presentable appearance and taken the perfect picture, you need to crop the document photo in accordance with the dimensions standard for a passport. You can find and download a handy photo editing tool that crops and resizes images according to official requirements. Or use an online service like

In such programs, you can also adjust the color balance, remove the red-eye effect, or get rid of shadows. However, you should not get too carried away by “correcting” the shortcomings of your appearance: know when to stop, because a photo that has been overly edited may not be accepted by regulatory authorities due to a strong discrepancy with the real appearance. 


You can take an electronic passport photo in two simple steps – taking a picture at home and editing it without any problems in a special program online, on a PC, or on a smartphone. Thus, you can save money on photography services and master the all-in-one program for preparing perfect photos for all kinds of official documents – such as visas, driver’s licenses, student ID cards, and many others. 

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