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Make your own Passport Photos


Where to get Passport Photos and School Portraits

Passport photos can be printed at home on high quality photographic paper, taken on disk to a local photo store, or printed via photo printing services. Don't pay high costs at passport photo shops. Passport and visa photos to meet the specifications of almost any country can be printed cheaply! Making passport photos has been transformed from a highly trained expertise into a simple task.

f you have a digital camera and access to a computer (which you must to be reading this) then you can make your own photos. I have focused on tips for US, Canadian and European passports but many of the services discussed have the capabilities for dozens more countries around the world. ePassportPhoto.com discusses supporting passport photo creation for "Albania to Zimbabwe."

My recommendation is that you use a free online service for photos and save some money - pick the tools that best supports your country and your device (computer, iphone etc.).

PassportPhoto4You - Online Passport Photos

Passport4You.com screen capture

Passport4You.com screen capture

PassportPhoto4You is a great resource. It is an easy to use tool to create passport, visa and ID photos for free with automatic face detection. It offers, as shown above, excellent tools to help you crop and create a photo to match the standards for more than 70 countries including US Passports, Indian Passports and Chinese Passports. Also suitable for passport size photos of children (babies/infants).

How to Make Your Own Passport Photos


ePassportPhoto.com is the Internet passport photo booth, empowering people around the world to make free and valid passport photos. They put an end to the passport photo rip-off - join the revolution today by following 3 simple steps for making free passport photos!

They will offer to upsell to Premium service, including human validation, printing and shipping - but you can choose printing yourself or using their service.

Passport Photo Software

Passport Photo allows you to create passport size photos for a passport, license or ID. Passport Photo can create JPEG files for printing in a shop (just like regular photos), and also lets you print passport photos using your own printer. At the same cost of buying a single passport photo, you can get Passport Photo and create as many passport photos as you need.



Great Resource on Passports around the Globe

This site is a great resource for details on passport photo standards around the world. They have also made some very nice improvements since my original review. Still a very plan text based interface that is not always the easiest, but the range of countries that they can assist you with is awesome: US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and more! I also like there section that helps you verify that your photos meet all the required standards.

Passport Photo

Passport Photo

CNET - Tips on Making Your Own Passport Photos

Tips for taking Perfect Passport Photos

  1. If you wear prescription glasses daily than your photo should show the glasses. You will want to tilt the glasses down on your nose slightly to prevent a glare. Your eyes must be visible (sunglasses won't work) and glare is a key reason, at least in the US, for rejection of a photo.
  2. Colors Not To Wear - Don't wear white or black colored shirts.
  3. Colors to wear will vary based on your skin tone. For example, If you have pale skin you should wear navy or teal. If you have olive or dark skin than you will typically look good in bright shades of red or blue. If your skin has gold tones then you would be better off with an orange or brown color.
  4. If you have oily skin then you should wash your face right before the photo and/or tap some oil-absorbing face powder on your forehead and nose.

When Your Photo Is Not Perfect, Then Edit it to Perfection

  • PicMonkey
    PicMonkey was created by several former Google engineers and it offers a simple and easy to use tool for editing photos.
  • Ribbet Photo Editor
    Ribbit is a great free web based photo editor - great photo editing without spending dollars and hours on learning a new software.
  • Photoshop Express Photo Editor
    Photoshop Express is a web based and free version of Photoshop. Photoshop requires a bit more learning, but produces highly professional photos. Recommended if your photo needs lots of editing.

Passport Photo History

Only Now Are Passport Photos Easy to Make

Passports have been in use for centuries but weren't commonly required until 1918 when they became mandatory for international travel. Photographic prints were in wide circulation by this time and so they became an essential ingredient. The shots were of course black and white and bore the somewhat fantasized tint of the period's studio portraits. They identified, but in an idealized fashion. The photos were loosely attached with staples and stamped along with the document to discourage forgery. Obviously, only the very few photographers of that time could assist you in making these photos. Only recently, with the advent of digital photography and broadband in most people's life, the passport photos business has changed. People no longer depend on what used to be the proprietary proficiency of professional photographers


7 Steps to Successful US Passport Photos

    • Frame subject with full face, front view, eyes open
    • Make sure photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches (25 mm to 35 mm)
    • Center head within frame
    • Make sure eye height is between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3/8 inches (28 mm and 35 mm) from bottom of photo
    • Photograph subject against a plain white or off-white background
    • Position subject and lighting so that there are no distracting shadows on the face or background
    • Encourage subject to have a natural expression

Tips for US Passport Photos

Passport photographs must be 2 inches by 2 inches in size, identical and taken within the past six months. The image size from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head should be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches. They may be in color or black-and-white, full face or front view, with a plain white or off-white background. Photographs should be taken in normal street attire, without a hat or headgear that covers the hair or hairline. Uniforms should not be worn in photographs with the exception of religious attire that is worn daily. If prescription glasses, hearing aids, wigs or other such articles are normally worn, they should be worn when the picture is taken. Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not allowed unless they are required for medical reasons.

Official Rules For Passport Photos By Country


At Photomat you can easily make your own school photos, portraits and passport photos for US passport, drivers licence, membership cards etc. For free! You simply crop your photo online, we automatically make a jpeg photo set of your crop that you may download and print for free. It has never been easier to create your own passport photos, school pictures and portraits. Offers options to match specs from multiple countries.

  • No registration. No fees
  • 100% for free
  • Professional photo quality
  • Superior resolution
  • Automatic resolution control

Photo4id - US. British, German Passport Photos

Screen capture of Photo4id.com

Screen capture of Photo4id.com


Canadian Passport Photo Guidelines

  • Must be taken with a 2 Megapixal digital camera or better
  • Eyes must be open and clearly visible.
  • Glasses, including tinted prescription glasses, may be worn as long as the eyes are clearly visible. Sunglasses are unacceptable.
  • Facial expression must be neutral (not frowning or smiling) with the mouth closed.
  • Photos must show both edges of the face clearly.
  • Photos must show a full front view of face and shoulders squared to the camera.
  • The face and shoulders image must be centered in the photo.
  • Photos must reflect/represent natural skin tones.
  • The length from chin to crown of head (natural top of head) must be 31 mm to 36 mm.
  • The image must be clear, sharp and in focus.
  • Photos with shadows on the face or background are unacceptable.
  • Photos must be taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows or flash reflection on the face and head.
  • Photos must be taken against a plain, uniform, white or light-coloured background.
  • Hats or head coverings are not permitted except when worn for religious reasons and only if the full facial features are clearly visible.
  • Black and white or colour photos are acceptable.
  • Only the head and shoulders of young children may appear in the photo (e.g. no hands holding the child).

More Tips For Great Passport Photos

© 2009 Edit Photos

Please share your thoughts and ideas:

Max Globe on January 14, 2014:

this is so useful, thank you! I managed to take my own passport photo but it took quite some time)

CodeNameRJ on November 10, 2013:

Lol I could have saved a bit of money if I knew this.

abcplumb on June 15, 2013:

Very helpful, wish I found this earlier.

gd-tsg on May 07, 2013:

I used www.123passportphoto.com to make my passport photos. It helps to generate 6 passport photos on a 4R sheet. And I printed the photos at $0.19 at CVS.

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on May 02, 2013:

Hi great info and tips here. Thanks for sharing.

posterboardonline on January 25, 2013:

Thanks for sharing such interesting resources! If you buy some photo paper, you can also print your own passport photos with the help of an online design tool that lets you import your photos and arrange them on a template. Ex: on a sheet of 4"x6" photo paper (which is a common size for album photos) you can print six 2"x2" passport photos. It's a very convenient way to print them for multiple people at once.

cgbroome on August 17, 2012:

This was a great lens and very timely for me! Thank you so much for the information!

kmyangel on May 27, 2012:

great idea ! Thumbs up !

anonymous on May 15, 2012:

Used http://www.onlinepassportphoto.com for my China passport photos. Very weird size 33x48mm and they want specif background, head size width and head size height. Onlinepassportphoto.com provided accurate photos and worked like a charm. Very responsive and exceptional photo editing work

anonymous on May 15, 2012:

@anonymous: Agreed. http://www.Onlinepassportphoto.com created nice passport photos and the quality of service was exceptional. A++++

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 06, 2012:

Really useful especially in places where these photos are expensive. Very thorough instructions as well.

anonymous on March 15, 2012:

I went to get passport photos done at Walgreens for my passport/visa/green card and ended up with mugshots/terrible photos. I was so bummed with my pictures that I searched the web for a service that would let me take them myself and found www.passportica.com. They were easy to use, not very expensive, and they shipped the photos to me so I didn't have to make another trip. Highly recommended.

SimplyTonjia on March 15, 2012:

Very informative, nice lens. Thank you.

KandH on February 23, 2012:

What an excellent idea - thanks for sharing!

VillaDejaBlue on January 01, 2012:

Nice lense

itgraphix on January 01, 2012:

Nice lens Thank you

anonymous on October 19, 2011:

this is clever, 'thumbs up' from this reader to you.

NidhiRajat on September 07, 2011:

Informative lens

trustytraveltip1 on September 06, 2011:

Very handy info!

PhotoTours on August 28, 2011:

Cool lens and good info! thanks...

Light-in-me on August 12, 2011:

This is a great resource for people looking to make passport photos.

Nice work,

Robin :)

WorldVisionary3 on July 26, 2011:

Great tips for making passport photos! Thanks

anonymous on June 19, 2011:

I use makepassportphoto.com for making my passport photos and print them at home.

Edit Photos (author) from Earth on June 10, 2011:

@anonymous: My impressions were accurate when I first reviewed onlinepassportphotos but they have made some great updates!! I just updated my commentary and gave them much higher placement on this lens as they have made great improvements and nos serve a wide range of countries. Thanks for the suggestion to revisit this site.

anonymous on June 10, 2011:

You have some wrong impression about http://www.onlinepassportphotos.com. Their process is simple and the quality of work is exceptional. I was amazed the quality of the Canada Visa photos they created out of my ordinary digital photo.

Jeanette from Australia on April 25, 2011:

Arrgh! I could have done with this lens a month or so ago when my daughter got her passport! We muddled by though and did it on our own. This is a very handy resource.

Kimberly Hiller from Chicago on January 20, 2011:

For having to get 6 passport photos for my visa to South Korea (which i had to go for two trips because they originally told me four). I really wish I knew about this. Great information. I am looking to go to Australia next, so I am definitely using your tips for that.

rt8ca on January 13, 2011:

Very interesting lens. I will definitely have a closer look at :epassportphoto.com

Always trying to save money!

Please drop by my travel tips website when you can:


KateTag on December 31, 2010:

Very informational lens. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this!

ChemKnitsBlog2 on December 25, 2010:

This lens is a fantastic resource. I never knew what the requirements for passport photos really were. Maybe I'll try taking my own next time!

anonymous on December 17, 2010:

I did not know you could make your own passport photo, what great information you have here. Nicely done.

anonymous on November 16, 2010:

I did not know it was that easy. It will save me money. Thanks for the tips. I like your lens.

Asinka Fields from Los Angeles, CA on October 18, 2010:

Very handy info :)

Znakomstva on October 13, 2010:

Thanks for all the great information. I do have a question though, near the top, you state that the official inauguration date is March 31, 1989. Did you mean 1889?

Louis Wery from Sarasota, Florida USA on October 12, 2010:

I like that you gave your recommendation about using free vs. paid. Sure would be nice to feel happy with my passport photo as Julie's husband was. Thank you for this resource.

NickOng on June 22, 2010:

hey interesting lens! was expecting something lame but you really enlightened me on this method to save money!

lasertek lm on June 02, 2010:

Thanks for the tips! I have been spending a lot of money on passport shops just to get the ideal picture. Now I can do it on my own at a cheaper price.

julieannbrady on May 25, 2010:

For my hubby's last passport renewal, we staged the photographs and actually created his passport photos right at home! It was a snap and he actually liked how he looked.

anonymous on April 27, 2010:

this website can create passport photos:


it uses face detection

LisaDH on March 06, 2010:

Great info. I think many people don't realize they can do this from home now. The last time we renewed our passports, I did all of them with my digital camera and inkjet. Easy and cheap!

anonymous on November 19, 2009:

if your needing help with visas in Colombia check out http://ColombiaVisas.com for requirements and tips in English.

Edit Photos (author) from Earth on October 12, 2009:

[in reply to Dan] Passport Corner appears to have a very nice interface - but it's still in the early stages. The file upload process is a a bit rough as you are limited in file size but that is not clear. Also at the end of the process the completed photo process often hangs up. I think that this site has potential for the future.c

anonymous on October 12, 2009:

You forgot to mention http://www.passportcorner.com which allows you to create passport photos online for dozens of countries.

mistyblue75605 lm on March 14, 2009:

great lens!! 5*'s

(random lens viewer)

anonymous on March 12, 2009:

Good Lens. 5*

I'll definitely follow these instructions next time.

anonymous on March 12, 2009:

good lens and good thinking to do your own photo, definitely a money saver, lol wish i had thought of that before i got mine ;)

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