Photo Tips

Tips for taking better photos at home for converting into Passport pictures

Top Tips:

* Set Camera to 2MP or 4 MP resolution mode. For printing tiny 2×2 inch photos, there is no need to take 14 MP photo. It will just add dealys in uploading and processing at our end.
* Do not take close ups. Include at least 10 to 12 inches of body below chin AND full shoulders in the photo. We will trim what they is not needed in final Passport or Visa photos.
Compare your photo to the following offical specs by USA. Your photo needs to include full shoulders and body below Chin level, as shown below.

  • Use white or white like ****PLAIN*** background behind head. If needed, you can use bed sheet or a large white paper behind head.
  • If possible, use natural day light instead of flash.
  • If using flash, please stand 2 to 3 feet away from the background to minimize shadows on the background. Remove glasses or make sure there is no glare of flash on the glasses.
  • Make sure to include the person’s upper body and have space above the head in the viewfinder or screen display of your camera.
  • Keep camera around 4 to 5 feet away from the subject (person whose photo is being taken) and at subject’s eye-levelPassport_Photos_tip1
    (Courtsey: US Department of States Website: Photographer’s Guide under Passprots section)Passport_Photos_tip(Source: US Department of States Website: Photographer’s Guide under Passprots section)
  • Make sure there is no shadow on the face If the light is not uniform and one side of the face gets darker compared to the other, force the camera to apply flash (Compulsory FLASH ON mode). Flash will uniformly brighten the face and this will result in nice passport photos. However Flash creates shadows so it is preferred to take photos without Flash.
  • Avoid use of flash If there are manual settings on your camera, use the Av mode and set Aperture to the most wide setting (smallest f number). If the picture is not coming well, try to bump up ISO to around 400. If you are using a compact camera, do not set ISO too high. If you are using a Digital SLR, you can set ISO up to 800.
  • If photos are not coming out well without Flash, please use the Flash. Try to minimize the shadow by flash by taking some photos by holding your camera vertically so that the flash is aligned vertically with the lens.
  • DO NOT ZOOM IN too much. We do not need just the face! Please make sure you include at least full shoulders.
  • Remember this rule: Keep eyes open and mouth closed while being photographed for a Passport photo (Second part of the rule works for a successful married life too, particularly while arguing with spouse!).
  • Make sure there is ample blank space above head, and on right and left side of your face as shown below. Make sure at least your FULL shoulders are visible in the picture. Pictures up to elbow level are recommended.