How To Take a Good Passport Photo At Home?

If you need a passport or visa photo, waiting in line for a professional photographer is unnecessary. Progress is not standing still: taking a high-quality photo on an ordinary smartphone is possible, and a specialized passport photo app will help you format the image to meet the 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 essential 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); 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: Setting up proper illumination

You should take your passport photo in good light, without distinct shadows or glare. Daylight is best for this purpose. If you have access to a window with natural light, try taking your passport photo nearby, as it can provide a soft, even illumination that is very flattering.

Artificial light, on the other hand, must come from several sources.

Some tips on preparing the perfect light for the passport picture:

Step 3: Preparing appropriate look

Practice monitoring your facial expressions in front of the mirror. During your passport photo session, it is essential 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.

Answering the popular question "What to wear for a passport photo," we recommend you choose classic clothing in a business or casual style. It is worth abandoning the "fashionable," too-prominent things. Fashions pass, and the passport will be with you for a long time.

Some essential tips on how to look good in a passport-style portrait are as follows:

Here you can find detailed tips on passport photo' dress code, makeup, and hairstyle.

Step 4: Adjusting the 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 picture yourself, prepare a white or off-white sheet of paper or poster board large enough to cover the area behind you. You can tape it to the wall or drape it over a chair or other surface to create a smooth, even backdrop.

Sheets and curtains are worse since they almost always have noticeable creases.

Regardless of your choice, ensure the background is smooth and free of wrinkles or blemishes. Also, check if it is well-lit and evenly illuminated, with no shadows or dark spots.

If you get shadows behind you, you can remove them later in Photoshop or any photo editing app with an eraser.

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 take a passport-size photo by yourself with our online tool. Simply upload your image here, select the document you need, and the picture is ready! Visafoto will remove the background and set the required size and format. You only need to download the file and proceed with 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 has specialized in creating passport and visa photos since 2013. We know the requirements for all documents worldwide, and hundreds of thousands of 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.

Last update: April 2023

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