How to take a good passport photo at home?

If you need a passport or visa photo, there is no need to wait in line for a professional photographer. Progress is not standing still: it is possible to take a high-quality photo on an ordinary smartphone, and a specialized passport photo app will help you format the image to meet the necessary requirements.

Table of contents

Let us tell you how to take a passport quality photo at home in a few simple steps!

Step 1: Check the official passport photo requirements

It is important to remember that different documents have different requirements for the photo, and it is better to find out these requirements in advance. Some documents, for example, require a serious facial expression (passport, visa), and for some, you can afford to smile (if it's a photo for a student card or ISIC). And, for example, the USA passport photo requirements prohibit the wearing of any glasses - even for myopia. You can specify the parameters beforehand, choosing the document you need in our database.

Step 2: Set up proper lighting for taking a passport photo at home

The passport photo should be taken in good light, without distinct shadows or glare. Daylight is best for this purpose. The sun's rays should not fall on your face. The source of light should be in front of you. Any deflection will create unnecessary shadows, so if the window is at the side, it’s better to cover it with a curtain.

Artificial light, on the other hand, must come from several sources. If no flash can be used, you should stand close to the background to avoid a low shutter speed.

Step 3: Appropriate look

Practice monitoring your facial expressions in front of the mirror. During your passport photo session, it is important not to press your lips together, twist your mouth, close your eyes, frown, or make unnatural expressions.

Also, rehearse your posture. To take a good passport picture, you should look straight ahead, not too much chin tucked in. Keep your shoulders level.

As for the passport photo dress code, it’s preferable to choose classic clothing in a business style or a casual style. It is worth abandoning the "fashionable", too prominent things. Fashions pass and the passport will be with you for a long time. And most importantly: take your photo in a good mood, as it will improve any picture.

Step 4: Background

If you use Visafoto to edit your passport photo, skip this point: absolutely any background will work for you. If you prefer to process the photo yourself, prepare a large sheet of white poster board. Sheets and curtains are worse since they almost always have noticeable creases. If you get shadows on the background, you can remove them later in Photoshop. To create a high-quality photo you must be 0.5 - 0.8 meters away from the background.

Step 5: How to take a passport photo with a phone?

Taking passport photo with phone

Today's smartphones can replace professional cameras in terms of image quality. To get the best passport picture possible, just follow the rules below:

Step 6: Instantly edit your passport photo online

You can instantly make a passport size photo at home by using our online tool. Simply upload your image here, select the document you need and - voila - the picture is ready! Visafoto will remove the background and set the required size and format. All you need to do is to download the file and proceed to the passport or visa application.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Visafoto specializes in creating passport and visa photos since 2013. We know the requirements for all documents worldwide, and hundreds of thousands of our customers have successfully applied for passports and visas thanks to our service.

Step 7: How do I print passport-size photos at home?

Use a color printer to print passport photos on heavyweight photo paper. Make sure that the photos are set to the right size. Visafoto takes care of everything beforehand: you will receive a template with four individual photos corresponding to the required format. You can print the template at home or at your nearest copy center or pharmacy. Learn how to print a U.S. passport photo for less than $0.50 here.

Step 8: Passport photo quality check

How do I make sure my passport photo is in the correct format? If it is a U.S. passport photo, you can use this free US passport / visa and DV Lottery photo test tool.

The requirements for a U.S. passport photo and a Green Card lottery photo are identical, and if your photo passes the automatic check, it's a valid one.

Alternatively, you can always send a request to our 24-hour technical support. We will check the photo for all parameters and let you know if anything needs to be corrected.

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