How To Get A Passport Photo By Yourself: A Detailed Guide

ID photos taken in the nearest photo service do not always turn out well. The background color may not be suitable, the format of photos may not meet the requirements, and sometimes the retouching and the portrait itself are far from perfect. Also there are situations when photos are urgently needed, and there simply is no time to visit a pharmacy or photo salon. There is a solution: self-made passport photos. A camera, the right lighting and a computer or smartphone – that’s all you need. 

A special online software will help you to reduce the time for processing photos: learn how to instantly make a Passport photo online from this article

For best results, follow our set of recommendations.

Before shooting 

Prepare your equipment. It should be a camera or smartphone with a minimum resolution of 5 Megapixels If possible, also use a tripod or just a hard surface to stabilize the camera. 

Specify the requirements for the photograph.  The main thing: do not forget that different documents have different photo requirements that are better to find out in advance. Some IDs, for example, require a serious facial expression (passport, visa), while in some you can afford to smile (in the case of student ID or ISIC). Some specify one size, some specify another. Be aware of these details and clarify them in advance. 

Arrange the background. If you use special services for making passport photos, the white background is not needed: it can be replaced later. In other cases, ideally it should be a part of white wall. There should not be any pictures or other decorations, otherwise you will have to spend extra time to remove them when processing the photo. One “free” square meter is quite enough. The role of the background can be also performed by a white sheet.

Take care of the lighting.  If there is not enough light, the pictures will not come out clearly. To make the most of daylight, open curtains, but avoid direct sunlight. If lighting is poor, use the flash.  Make sure your face is evenly illuminated on both sides.

During shooting

Position the camera correctly. Both head and upper torso should be in the frame. Distance from the camera should be at least 1.5 meters; closer placing may distort the subject. The camera should be set at the eye level. If you take photos yourself, use a tripod and a timer.

Look directly into the camera.  Do not tilt your head to the side, or lift or lower your chin. Keep a calm, neutral expression on your face.

Photo processing 

If you are going to use professional software, then your work is done. Check out how to instantly get a passport photo in the example article Canada passport photo.

If you are going to process the photo yourself in Photoshop, use the following tips.

Avoid excessive retouching

Most authorities refuse to accept photos with obvious retouching that could distort facial features. Of course, it’s okay to cover up a few pimples or smooth out the background, but it’s better not to touch the hair and eyes with Photoshop!

Set the correct size

In Photoshop, the fastest way to do this is to select the desired area of the photo with the crop tool and set the necessary values in the Ratio field in the upper toolbar. A detailed tutorial on how to make a passport size photo in Photoshop can be found here: 35 x 45 photo.

Printing the passport photo

You will need a  printer that allows you to do color printing and a  photo paper size 10×15 cm (4×6 inches). Before printing, make sure that you have set the image to the correct size to print in centimeters (you can do this in the Image section of Photoshop).

Otherwise, use the printing services of the nearest copy center or drugstore. As a rule, the cost per print out does not exceed 50 cents.