The Ultimate Guide on How To Take a Flattering Passport Photo
Passports are valid for ten years, so you’d probably want to look good in your photo. Why are passport photos so unflattering? Is there a way to ensure you don’t look grumpy or just overall bad? Yes, and we can show you how!
What you need to consider when taking a passport photo is your wardrobe. Here is a list of clothing guidelines that you should follow:
- General attire—Preferably wear everyday clothing. You are not required to wear business attire, but you can if you want to. You cannot wear a uniform, costume, or camouflage attire
- Neckline—Make sure you wear a shirt with a high enough neckline to be visible in the photo. The passport photo measures 2 x 2 inches, so when it gets cropped, you may look naked if your neckline is low
- Color of your shirt—Since you’re required to take the picture in front of a white background, try wearing a colored shirt to prevent blending into it
- Glasses—If you wear sunglasses or tinted glasses, the photographer will ask you to take them off. In case you wear prescription glasses, you need to present a signed doctor’s statement to confirm that you shouldn’t take them off
- Hats or head coverings—No hats, scarves, or head coverings are allowed. If you wear them for religious reasons, you must make sure that your face is visible
There are some additional passport photo guidelines related to hair and accessories, as explained in the list below:
- Makeup—Since you can’t alter or retouch your photos, consider using light, subtle makeup to hide your blemishes and dark circles
- Jewelry—Wear minimal jewelry. Any jewelry that obstructs your facial features needs to be taken off
- Hair—Your hair shouldn’t cover your face, but that shouldn’t stop you from looking your best! You may even want to get a haircut and blowdry right before your appointment to ensure that your picture comes out flawless. If you want to tie your hair up, avoid using barrettes, scrunchies, or headbands
Once you’re ready, the next step is getting your picture taken. According to the passport photo requirements, you need to have a neutral expression, but that does not mean you have to look grumpy.
Here is a list of what you can do to take a good passport photo:
- Push your head a little forward to make your jawline appear stronger
- Avoid forcing your eyes open because your eyebrows will automatically raise, giving you an unflattering look. Try squinting them a little to make sure they remain open
- Practice your facial expressions in front of a mirror, and keep in mind that they should be as neutral as possible. You can smile slightly
- Get enough sleep the night before to prevent dark circles and puffy eyes
For some people, it is ideal to take passport photos at home, while others want to get them taken by a professional. If you’re heading out to get your passport photo taken, don’t forget to keep a small pouch with your makeup and hair essentials for some last-minute touch-ups!
Whichever option you choose, following the steps below will help you take a decent passport picture:
- Dress up appropriately for the photo, and make sure you bring a mirror to check if everything is in place right before the photoshoot
- Reapply makeup if you have oily skin before getting your picture taken. Dab a little bit of oil-absorbing powder to avoid looking shiny in your photo
- Arrange your hair over your shoulders so that your face is visible
- Sit or stand in front of a white background and face the camera directly. Make sure the lighting is even, natural, and flattering
- Take a deep breath to fix your posture, straightening your back and shoulders
- Strike your pose
Wait for the camera to click. You should take multiple photos so you have more options to choose from.
Are you tired of wasting time and money on passport photos that don’t fulfill the official government requirements? Let us help you out! With our Passport Photos feature, we can adjust your picture according to the expected standards and email it to you in a flash! All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Access DoNotPay from your web browser
- Choose the Passport Photos tool
- Take a headshot or upload an existing one
- Add your email address
In case you want printed copies, provide your home address, and we will ship them to you within three to ten business days.
Want to learn more about passport photos? DoNotPay’s learning center can provide valuable info, such as:
|Frequently Asked Questions|
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