Where can you take a passport photo in New York?

Documents, unlike people, never have a lockdown. Passports, visas, ID cards tend to expire as well as a legal stay in the US for foreigners. And if you are going to renew any document, you will definitely need at least one passport photograph. Old photos might be unsuitable: each picture you submit for any document should be made no longer than 6 months ago.

And do you know the best way to take passport photos in 2020 in New York?

It's online. Forget drugstores, post offices and other places, as Covid-19 locks everyone at home. Most photo studios are closed. If you apply for a passport at USPS offices you must request an appointment in advance (as for spring 2020). That's when Visafoto.com comes to the rescue: all you need is just upload your homemade photo and get a professional passport photo matching all the official requirements.

But safety is not the only reason to get the photo via the Internet. It is also the fastest and cheapest way to take and print passport photos - when you know some life hacks, of course.

So, let's compare different ways to get passport photos.

Online at Visafoto

The process is easy as 1-2-3. Take a selfie with a smartphone (guide), upload it to Visafoto.com, select your photo type, and in a couple of seconds you get a professional photo at $7 USD. That's it. You don't need neither professional camera nor photoshop skills.

Visafoto does all types of passport and visa photos for US and all other countries.

The printed photos are not included, but Visafoto gives all customers a printable image with 4 individual photographs on it. And if you need prints you will have to pay extra $0.34, see the Print section below.

Taking passport photo yourself

Pharmacies and retail stores (Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, Walmart)

Using drugstores is pretty easy. You can find their locations around downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island - well, everywhere in NY. Services at each chain are quite similar: you can get two compliant photos for about $15 for 2 passport photos. The cheapest service is offered by Target: 2 passport photos cost $9.99. But you will not get a digital version of your photograph (at least for the standard price) , it means that if you are going to submit your photos online it won't work for you. Also they typically make only US passport photos, and if you need a Myanmar visa, Chinese passport or Colombian cedula photo, for example, then you have to look elsewhere.

Walmart, if you order online, prints 2 passport photos for $7.44 only, but you must not only take and then upload the photo yourself, but then lay it out properly as if you are a pro (making sure head size is OK, eyes are located in within a proper range, etc), which is pretty hard, as the process is not clear.

Post offices (USPS, FedEx)

USPS offers official passport services, and at some locations you can take passport photos as well. Two passport-sized photos cost $15, no digital version is included . Bear in mind, that here you can take photos for the US passport only. If you are applying for another type of document, you need to look elsewhere.

Among USPS offices offering this service are: Times Square post office, Grand Central post office, Rockefeller Centre post office, Long Island city post office, Cliffside park post office, Madison Square post office, Midtown post office and much more.

Use PO locator to find the nearest point with passport photo services.

Note: as of April 2020, you must request an appointment for passport services at USPS.

Professional photo studios

Let's have a brief look at various places:

As you can see, prices vary depending on the studio. Photographers working at such places are usually better skilled, than pharmacy or post-office staff, and they usually have a more personal approach to each customer. But bear in mind that some of the offline services are now closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to print out your passport photos?

First of all, check if you really need it, as most applications accept digital photos. Visafoto gives all customers a printable image with 4 individual photographs on it, you will need to use it.

Warning: if you come to a drugstore with a flash stick with an image file to print your passport photos, usually they refuse to print it at a regular price, and will charge you about $15, as if you were taking your passport photo at theirs.

Meanwhile, printing a 4x6" photo online at the same place costs just $0.34! This is how you can print out your passport photo at Walgreens for $0.34:

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