Baby Passport Photo Guidelines
According to the rules of most countries, even the youngest babies need a passport if you plan to take them abroad.
Table of contents
- DIY baby passport photo
- How to take a newborn baby passport photo
- Can an infant be photographed for a passport when sleeping?
- How to take a photo of a 3-5-year-old child?
- How to photograph fidgety children for documents?
- The child passport photo is out of date - what to do?
- Canada: signing a child's passport photo
- What is not acceptable in a child passport photo?
- What if a baby passport photo is not approved?
As with any passport, you will need a passport photo for a baby. In most cases, it is necessary to have a photo ID for a child to fly. The size, format, and background requirements for these pictures are the same as those for adult documents. Find the country you need in our list.
You will need a baby photo ID even if the kid is a few days old. Usually, the parents take an infant passport photo themselves: it's much faster and more convenient than taking your child to the photo studio. Let us give you some practical tips, and you will see that taking a baby passport photo at home is not as difficult as it seems at first glance!
DIY baby passport photo
What will you need:
- Camera. You don't need professional equipment; a basic digital camera will do. Although it is not necessary: a smartphone camera with a decent resolution will also be fine.
- Lighting. Make the most of natural light. Choose the brightest place in the apartment near the window. If it is cloudy outside - you can turn on an overhead light or a floor lamp. But don't use any lamps pointed at your child's face! And don't use a flash - it won't help (only spoil it).
- Background. You will need a background for a baby passport pic, preferably a light one. A sheet or a white diaper will do. You can place your baby in a cot with a small pillow under the head.
Lifehack: if you use Visafoto tool to edit your passport picture you can take a photo of your kid against absolutely any background. Visafoto will replace it automatically. Detailed instructions are given below.
How to take a newborn baby passport photo
- Make sure there is enough light. See how shadows fall and if they obscure the baby's face too much;
- If the light in the room is too bright and the baby's face is overexposed, you can soften it by curtaining the windows;
- The newborn may be completely swaddled. When doing so, choose a colored sheet that contrasts with the white background;
- It's easier if two adults take the photo simultaneously. One of them should hold the camera or the phone, and the other should hold the child's favorite toy to attract the kid's attention;
- Position the camera exactly in front of the infant’s face and then bring the toy close to the lens. This brings the child's gaze to the correct frontal position;
- Try to keep the camera at eye level with your baby and catch the moment he/she looks into the lens;
- The child's head should be upright in the frame, without tilting or twisting, and the eyes should look straight ahead. Some authorities may accept a newborn passport photo with eyes closed, but you have to check this info in advance;
- Line up the frame so that the child gets into it waist-high;
- There should be enough free space around the child's head: when you format the image, the excess will be cropped;
- To avoid red-eye and overexposure, turn off the flash. If the eyes appear red in the photo, use photo editors like Visafoto to correct the defect instantly;
Take several snapshots and choose the best one. Now it is time to edit your picture to meet official requirements. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to use special software like Visafoto. Just upload the photo, choose the country you need a passport for, and instantly get an infant passport photo matching all the required criteria.
Visafoto will adjust the background, set the required size and format, make a slight color correction and even fix a tilt head if needed. The child passport photo made at Visafoto will look like you’ve made it at a professional studio - but in fact, it will take much less effort and funds.
Visafoto provides customers with two versions of a photo:
- A digital photo for online applications. If you can apply for a minor’s passport electronically, you do not have to print anything out. Simply upload the file to the relevant form on the official service;
- A printable template for paper filing. Simply print the image on photo paper, or use your nearest copy center if you don't have a printer. Cheap printing services are usually available from large chain shops: Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS (USA); Tesco, Boots (UK); Carrefour (Europe); Office Works, Kmart (Australia), etc. Learn how to print baby passport photos online in this article.
The above guidelines are applicable to newborn baby passport photos, to passport pictures for toddlers as well as to adult passport photos.
Can an infant be photographed for a passport when sleeping?
In most countries, it is acceptable for children under one-year-old to keep their eyes closed in the passport photo. Therefore, you can take a passport picture of a newborn in sleep, saving time and effort. However, remember that you need uniformly bright lighting, so it's best to catch your baby at daytime nap time.
How to take a photo of a 3-5-year-old child?
The approach to the photo shoot depends on the child's character, and how used they are to be photographed. If the baby regularly poses for the camera, it is enough to set the right tone for the photo session: choose comfortable, familiar clothes, and make a neat hairstyle. If the child is often naughty or fidgety, you can invite one of your adult friends: children take the process more seriously when other people are present.
It is advisable to shoot in the morning, when the child is not yet at peak activity and there are no problems with good light. Stand 1.5-2 metres away from the kid and put the lens at face level. Make sure the child's posture is straight, the expression is calm and the gaze is directed to the lens.
Always take several photos to choose the best one.
How to photograph fidgety children for documents?
If we are talking about an infant, then, as mentioned above, you can take a picture of the baby in sleep. For an older child, you can take a video and then take a screenshot of a good pic or cut it out with a special application (e.g., Video2Photo). In addition to video, you can also use burst mode.
The child passport photo is out of date - what to do?
Suppose you took a 1-month-old baby passport photo. Even some parents may have trouble recognizing their child in an old portrait. Will you need a new passport photo for a 1-year-old in the future? Formally the passport is effective for the entire period of validity. There is no need to make a new passport because of the changes in appearance. But if you are making a visa for another country, then, of course, it is necessary to bring a fresh baby visa photo, taken no later than 6 months ago.
Canada: signing a child's passport photo
Canadian officials require that the ID photo be signed to verify the identity of the applicant. Who can sign a passport photo for a newborn in this case? Commonly, the person who signs the photo must have known the baby or child and it could be your friend or neighbor.
What is not acceptable in a child's passport photo?
If any of the following details are present in the photo, it is likely that the passport application will be rejected:
- Any extraneous objects in the frame (from parents' hands to toys). Bulky ruffles or frills should also be avoided;
- Headgear (only those worn at all times for religious reasons are allowed);
- Dark glasses or glasses with glittering lenses; sparkling frames. In some countries (including US) any kind of glasses are not allowed on the passport photo;
- Unnatural facial expressions (slanted mouths, grimaces, etc.);
- Tilting, or turning the head;
- Shadows or highlights on the face;
- Red-eye and any other distortion of natural colours;
What if a baby passport photo is not approved?
With Visafoto that happens very rarely: our photos have a 99.7% pass rate. But if your photo is not accepted for any reason, just contact our support to get an immediate refund.
Last update: April 2023