You need to get or renew your passport but you don’t want to risk your health and waste time going to the mall looking for a photo booth or book a session in a photography studio? The good news is: you don’t have to! If you are an iPhone owner, you can organise your private atelier at your place, office, garden or wherever you wish. With the help of an intelligent photo app, our guidelines and somebody to help - you will be able to create a fully satisfying photo perfect for a passport or any other official document.
7 steps to success with making a perfect passport photo with iPhone
For the beginning, we present you a short “list of ingredients” you are going to need during all this easy and sometimes funny process. You will need:
passport photo app downloaded from AppStore
a help of a friend or a family member
tripod, if your you cannot or don’t want to ask anybody for help
list of requirements which we present in this article
a couple of minutes of free time
Once you are ready, you can move to the next steps.
Step 1: prepare a background.
The color of the background in passport photos always depends on the Passport Office in a given country but usually must be white, cream or light-grey. However, one thing does not change: the background must be plain, free of patterns and shadows. No other people or object can be visible behind you. How to obtain it in home conditions? This may not be so easy but fortunately, you have our photo app working with iOS! This app can in one second remove all the unsuitable background from your picture and exchange it into a required one. And you don’t even need to know what is a required color for the document you intend to apply - we know it and it will be done for you automatically.
Step 2: think about lights.
The main rule in this kind of photography is that the light must be evenly distributed on both sides of your face. Every shadow makes your picture incorrect and in consequence - rejected by a Passport Office. Lightning also should be white to expose your natural skin tones. All professionals will tell you that the best is daylight. So, if you have this possibility - stand or sit down approximately 2 m from the window and 1,5 m from the camera lens. do not use a flash lamp as it can provoke a “red eyes” effect.
Step 3: check what is allowed and forbidden.
The mustn’ts list may vary depending on a country, but we can say that in general there are some objects which are always forbidden in passport photos. They are:
sunglasses and tinted glasses
fashion head coverings (hats, caps, headbands)
massive hair accessories
all items obscuring face
However, there are some different points of view when it comes to eyeglasses. In the US you can wear glasses only if you submit a certificate signed by a doctor or a medical practitioner which explains why wearing eyeglasses is necessary for you. And it can’t be any reason. You may stay in glasses only for serious medical reasons (eg. recent eye surgery) whereas in the European Union you may wear your everyday glasses in the passport photo. Anyway, you always must make sure if your glasses don’t give any glare or do not cover your eyes.
Similarly, things are slightly different with head covering being a part of religious attire. Generally speaking, you may wear the headscarf or hijab for religious reasons in the photo, but in some countries (again the US) you must prove your religious affiliation and in others - not at all.
Piercing, jewellery, makeup and fancy hairstyle is allowed everywhere - always under this condition that the face of a photographed person is clearly visible.
Step 4: pick-up a nice outfit.
Your passport will be valid 10 more years so it is important that you like yourself in the picture. You will show the document to immigration officers, airlines crew’s members, officials and maybe to new friends. That is why looking good in a passport photo is a good idea. But what to dress? Whatever you feel attractive in! If you like suits, wear your favourite one. A V-neck neck dress is also a good choice. Avoid only tank tops if you don’t want to look like naked in the passport photo.
Moreover, in some countries, you absolutely must not wear a uniform and even clothes resembling uniforms (eg. with visible insignia). So the safest choice is to avoid them and pick up something neutral and nice. Our additional advice is to wear darker colors just to create contrast between yourself and the background behind you.
Step 5: take the right position.
All countries now issue only biometric passports. This means that the passport photo in itself must be biometric. Means how - you may ask. OK, have you ever seen a mugshot? Yes, this is how the biometric passport photo looks, give or take.
The first demand is not to smile. A neutral face expression is required. Also, you must look straight at the camera and not tilt your head in any direction. The picture must be en-face view and the head must be centred.
Step 6: adjust size and crop.
In most countries, the required size of the passport photo is 35 x 45 mm but there are some exceptions like the US (51x51 mm). Also, technical requirements as digital dimensions, resolution etc. may differ. And of course, when you attach your picture together with the application form, you are obliged to submit a photo in size and file required in your country. Even if you know those details, you may have some problem with resizing a picture. But honestly - why do you try to do it? Download our app from AppStore, upload the photo and relax. In the next 3 seconds you will have your passport photo accurately resized!
And what about the correct crop? You already know that in the shot your whole head, neck and upper part of arms must be visible, that there must be space left between the edges of the photo and your head with hair image, but how to do it correctly?
Again: you don’t have to if you have our passport photo maker on your iPhone! It is enough if you pick up the template and upload the picture in which you pose correctly and which you like. The rest will be done by high technology at your service!
Step 7: verify if your photo is correct.
Maybe you have read our guidelines twice and still are not sure if you can make it. Or you are almost sure that you are able to take a correct photograph but ask yourself: what if I’m wrong and the Passport Office will reject my picture?
This is a very bad option because in such a situation you need to provide a new photo, in some countries also pay a fee once more. But again: use our app and relax!
We use a photo validating tool based on artificial intelligence which in one second verifies uploaded pictures and marks it as correct or not. And this is completely free. You can upload as many pictures as you need and you will be informed about all of them. Just choose the one you like the most and have a warranty of success!
7 worst mistakes people make in passport photos
All the above sounds clear and easy but every year Passport Offices all over the world reject tons of candidats’ photographs. Why? Because they don’t meet the requirements. We know which are the most commonly made mistakes. There is the list of “winners”:
smiling (and less frequently frowning)
bad size or crop (people try to cut it on their own and do it badly)
forbidden items (especially fashion head coverings and eyeglasses obscuring eyes)
wrong background (without a professional photo tool is almost impossible to obtain a background free of shadows and spots)
retouching (artificial intelligence detects any kind of alteration by computer software which is forbidden)
shadows or glares on the skin (that is why good lightening is so important)
photos are selfies (it is not allowed anywhere) or the head is tilted
Why use a smart passport photo app on the iPhone?
We hope that we have helped you start thinking that taking a passport photo with your iPhone is really easy. It may also be fun because you have unlimited time for trying different outfits and hairstyles. In the photography studio you wait in the line, then enter the atelier and usually can take maximum 3 shots. Everything is in a rushing atmosphere and you need to accept one of those three shots even if you are not 100% satisfied.
You will also be pleased when it comes to paying. We charge you only for the photo or photos you buy. All previous trials are for free. And you pay only a part of a price you would pay in a studio.
We guarantee you 100% satisfaction. Why are we so sure you will be glad? Because if your passport photo for some reason is rejected by the Passport Office - we will return you the money. Isn’t it the best news for the end?