How to Take Passport Photo at Home - Photographer's Guide

How to Take Passport Photo at Home - Photographer's Guide

A successful result begins with a proper source image. Here are the guidelines.


You will need a digital camera with resolution of 5 Megapixels or higher. Using modern smartphones is OK.


You need to use a white or off-white wall, backdrop, screen, or sheet. The person being photographed should not cast a shadow on the wall (or the shadow should be minimal).

Lighting, Flash

Lighting arrangement is an important thing for the proper result. The best scenario is to take a picture on a bright yet cloudy day with no direct sunlight. Аvoid shadows and glares on the face. It must be evenly lit. Use flash if the lighting conditions are poor, or if there are shadows on the face or it is not evenly lit.


No white clothes. Clothes must be dark enough to make a good contrast with the background.


Generally you should avoid wearing glasses while making a photo. If you cannot do without them, make sure they are not dark or tinted and that there are no glares on them. Eyes must be fully visible. Note: if you are taking a photo for the US passport or visa, glasses are not allowed since November 1 2016.


Your hair should not cover the face, especially eyes, and for some kinds of documents even your ears should be visible. Avoid voluminous hairstyle and wearing earrings.


The camera should be put about 5-7 feet (1.5-2 meters) from the face. Make sure to include the person's upper body and enough space above the head and on the sides. Take several pictures slightly changing the distance.


The person must be looking straight at the camera. Facial expression must be neutral (no smiling or frowning), mouth closed, and eyes fully visible.

Take a Few Shots With and Without Flash

Take a few shots slightly varying the distance, body position and lighting arrangements. Take some shots with flash and some without it.

Do Not Edit

Do not edit your image with any software before uploading it to our site.

Examples of bad passport photos


© 2017 | Make photo | Requirements | Contacts | About | Photographer's guide | Examples of bad passport photos | Terms of Service | Blog
Other languages: Русский