Category Archives: Passport Photos v.3 is up and running!

Given your wonderful feedback over the past few months, we have released today a friendlier version of the service.  We look forward to continuing providing the best online experience for passport photos.



What's Walgreens afraid of? (tiny!?)

Walgreens, you’ve lost my drugstore visits!

From a customer-oriented company always thinking about making life easier and cheaper for us, Walgreens turned into a store that censors the content of your photos


(Photo by

Listen to this true story about and decide for yourself what you think about Walgreens:

November 2005 – “Birth of free passport photos online”

Like my other solid business, it all started from a real customer need unmet until them: I needed to renew my passport and send the application with 2 passport photos.As many have experienced, getting the best passport photo (and not the usual mug-shot) is not that easy. Definitely given that this photo will accompany you for 10 years.Plus it costs a hefty sum of money for a simple digital photo when you think about it!

A casual lunch break got me and a friend Tom thinking: why wouldn’t we make this whole process of passport photos totally online and for free for people (and make a dime or two if we can from advertising): digital cameras are all over the place, broadband is ubiquitous, and a good passport photo can only be achieved when you have the time to take a few shots of yourself at your own leisure – we felt there’s something here!

After plenty of brainstorming and decent amount of web coding we brought to life (back then buying a decent domain name was easy compared to today!). With zero marketing we got great positive feedback and excitement on the free offering and the way to avoid the usual passport photos rip-offs.One posting led the another: the Times Online, Popular Science, King5 Network, Lifehacker, Boing Boing, The Consumerist and are just a few of the places that spotted how transforms the passport photos industry.

We did a plain 3-step simple solution for people from around the world to create passport photos for free. And yes, we started actually making some dollars from ads and premium customers of ours.

We got an enormous satisfaction – It was really heartwarming to see people from around the world in the thousands daily using our service.It was also fun acquiring the #1 spot for passport photos terms at Google!

March 2009 – The big “W” at work

Believe it or not after more than 3 years of running this service, more than 3 million people from practically every country on earth visitedePassportPhoto – did I mention how much did we spend on marketing?

Word of mouth played a significant role and here are some of the terrific feedback we’ve been getting and is captured in the recently opened Facebook page:

In addition to the free do-it-yourself option that we provide, we launched a guaranteed premium service for official passport photos.We treated all customers as good as it gets – people love us.Really.One of the premium service options is for customers to pick their passport photos – or more precisely a 4×6″ photo print bearing their passport photos – at a Walgreens store.We thought that anyone can print what they want to Walgreens photo center – right?

Well, note x a c t l y! at some point Walgreens’ radar picked up on our so called “scam”. A few emails were sent to us saying:

We have been getting passport prints from your online service, and we DO NOT print photos that are sent to our store … Customers need to come into the store to have their passport photos taken. We do not allow customers to create their own passport pictures and print them themselves…. It would be appreciated if you would no longer endorse our photofinishing services on your website

Or another example:

Walgreens is not affiliated with this scam or company and will charge your customers a second time for the cost of the passport in store because when they are sent over the internet there is a charge due in store. We will redirect all of our customers to contact this company for any issues.

Well, I read their policy and it’s amazing to see that this goliath can forbid people from printing 4×6″ photos according to its content.In any event, we definitely didn’t want to steal their customers (although that as a matter of fact they should probably give us some referral fees for driving customers to their stores)

Not so heartwarming anymore… So, heart-shattered, I wrote an email to Walgreen saying:

1. We come in peace

2. We respect Walgreen and we want to work together with your admired great company

3. Show us the right way, how can we change ePassportPhoto to be legit

Walgreens didn’t even responded back – nothing

Guys, is there anyone home? Are you people at Walgreens looking down little people’s alley?

I’ve heard of Walgreens acting like a big company but couldn’t believe it until now. Perhaps Walgreens is a place where few short minded clerks run the show with policy papers in their hands, not respecting customers anymore.

I don’t know if it’s CVS or Walgreens for you but if you ask me – Walgreens has lost my drugstore visits.

Hope you enjoy our website

– The ePassportPhoto team passes the TWO MILLION FREE PASSPORT PHOTOS mark
continues to revolutionize the passport photo market, achieving 100%
year-over-year growth and increasing global market penetration

Palo Alto, Calif. – October 20, 2008 –,
the leading online passport photo service, has provided over 2 million free
passport photos to users around the globe. provides a unique
system that allows users to upload photos and generate digital passport photo
sheets meeting the specific requirements of over 60 passport issuing
authorities. is a truly global online service
provider, able to provide passport photos according to the exact specifications
for over 60 different countries. This includes ensuring the photos are of the
exact size and resolution requirements, and that the subject is properly
positioned in the photo. The process is incredibly simple; the user uploads a
suitable image to, specifies which country the passport
application is for, and a digital passport photo sheet is returned, matching
that country’s requirements exactly. is used not only for
passports, but for any photo identification, ranging from immigration permits
to student IDs and ski passes.

In the last year has seen year-over-year
growth of more than 100% in visitors and revenues. Increased exposure has come
about though online and offline marketing, word of mouth and the localization
of the interface to eight languages. Fastest growing markets are within Europe,
especially in Italy, France and Germany, where is achieving
significant market penetration and acceptance.

In addition to providing a service for consumers, has started to market its white-label solution for companies
wishing to enhance their photo ID applications. A recent example is the
UK-based Boomerang student debit card (
Boomerang selected as a provider of ID photos, enabling
students to complete the entire application process online. By avoiding the
need to rely on standard mail to accept student photos, Boomerang was able to
significantly streamline the approval process and dramatically reduce costs.

“I’m extremely excited about the full online experience our
customers get with the photo engine,” said Andy Dagger,
Managing Director at Boomerang. “Our customers get access to a proven and
tested experience while we get the operational peace of mind.”

About is the leading online passport photos Web
site and has been operating since 2005, revolutionizing the way people obtain
passport photos.
offers a branded service, as well as a white-label solution that allows photo
ID providers, such as universities, sports facilities and credit card
companies, to shorten the application and review processes and significantly
reduce costs. is a privately held company headquartered in
Palo Alto, CA.  For more information
about, visit

German Passport Photo Requirements

Like many other countries, Germany has also adopted the new biometric system that requires a contactless smartcard chip and 13.56 MHz loop antenna embedded into the back cover page. The passport also includes two scanned fingerprints added in the chip. The passport photo specifications must be followed by all passport applicants. The validity period of the German passport for the holders under the age of 24 is now six years, while it is ten years for the older applicants. The cover design for the passport has been accepted to be burgundy red in accordance to the design of other EU passports.  

The guidelines for the German passport mention:

  • The size of the photograph should be 36mmx45mm
  • The height from top to bottom face must be between 32- 36mm.
  • The photograph should be centrally aligned with a full front view of the face for German passport and visa.
  • All the features from chin to hairline and both sides of the face need to be clearly visible.
  • The whole face is required to be clear, with proper contrast and sharpness.
  • There should be no reflections, shadows, or red eyes visible in the photo.
  • The background of the photo must be uniform and light colored, preferably a neutral grey.
  • There should be no other object or support to the subject in the photograph. The shadows in the background are also not acceptable.
  • There should be neutral face expressions with closed mouth avoiding smile.
  • The subject has to look straight into the camera.

Requirements for German passport visa

  • Head coverings of any type are not permissible in German passport and visa photographs.
  • The eyes of the subject should be clearly visible, and not covered by hair or frame of the glasses. Sunglasses, tinted glasses, or reflections of glasses are not acceptable in the photos.  
  • Passport photos must be printed on high-quality paper.

Passport Photo Requirements in China

Whenever the name China appears, we are reminded of a country preserving its tradition, ancient cultures and religion. China is also a country with beautiful landscapes, monasteries, Buddha temples, and martial arts. It is one of the most favored tourist destinations with millions of tourists visiting China every year. However, due to the growing concerns of the security worldwide, the Chinese visa and passport requirements have also changed. Now, the country complies with new biometric standards. No wonder, many Chinese passports or visa applications are rejected due to incorrect passport or visa photographs.

The citizens of China also have to adhere to the latest norms of the passport photo requirements in the country. These requirements include:

* The overall size of the passport photo must be 48mmX33mm taken against a white or light blue background.

* The height of head should be between 28mm – 33mm.

* The head width has to be between 21mm–24mm.

* The validity of passport was 5 years previously, but since the year 2007, it will be valid for 10 years for the people above 16 years of age or more.

The Chinese visa requirements are similar to those of the US passport photos. Those applying for Chinese visa, must agree to:

Submit the 2X2 inches photograph.

* Submit photo with a full frontal view of the face, and taken within last 6 months.

It is not allowed to wear hats while posing for the visa photo. The People’s Republic of China does not recognize the dual nationality. For example, if a Chinese national has settled abroad and has acquired the foreign nationality, the person will automatically lose the Chinese nationality. So, a non-Chinese national is not eligible to apply for Chinese Passport or travel documents.

Passport Photos in Turkey

Turkey is a democratic country with huge resources and diversified cultures and climates. The country is known to be a Eurasian nation, as it is located between Europe and Asia.

So, it carries the influence of both the continentals. Also, Turkey is a member to many international organizations such as OECD and G 20. This is a growing economy with a large base of industrial and financial institutions.  For the people, who want to apply for the Turkish passport have to submit two recent identical photographs measuring 35mm x 45mm of size along with their documents.  

As far as the non-immigrant visa of Turkey is concerned, one un-retouched photograph of size 2 x 2 inches (5 x 5 cm) has to be produced along with the visa application. The photographs should be a full face photo with applicant facing the camera directly. The face should cover at least 50 percent of area of the photo with a white background. The dark glasses are not acceptable unless for medical reasons. The subject should be dressed in normal street attire wearing no hat, uniforms and no head coverings obscuring the applicant’s features, hair, or hairline. If at all the head covering is essential, the forehead and ears should be completely visible. No border at the frames of the photo is allowed.

 The photo must be taken with single reflex camera using film required standard processing and hence, the instant-type or digital-quality photograph is not acceptable. Though the guidelines for the photographs required for Turkish passport and visa are very simple to be matched, still you should be careful while getting the photographs printed for the getting Turkish visa or passport.

Photographs for Passport, Visa, Citizenship and Immigration in Canada

Canada is one of the most prosperous countries in the world with lots of places worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. Millions of tourists visit Canada every year for different reasons. Canadian visa, immigration, citizenship, and passport requirements are the strictest in the world. So are the photographs requirements for these purposes.

Canadian Passport Photos

The Canadian passport photo requirements strictly mention the procedure for reproduction of the photographs. Two identical colored or black and white photographs produced from the same film or electronic file are required. The maximum size of the photographs is 50 mm x 70 mm on a high quality photographic paper. The photos produced on heavy weight papers are unacceptable. The photograph must be taken by a professional photographer with the stamp revealing his name, business address, and date of the photograph must to be provided at the back of one photograph. Stick-on-labels are not allowed and ample space must be allowed for the name of the applicant, the signature of a guarantor and his declaration below the photographer’s address. Glasses and their frame should not disguise the eyes of the applicant. A neutral expression with no teeth showing with normal skin color has to be maintained. The image of the subject has to be in center of the photo with no shadow on the background and face. The length from the chin to the crown of the head should be 31 mm to 36 mm. The background color required has to be white or light color. No head coverings are allowed unless for the religious cause.   

Passport photos for Canadian Visa

The frame size of the Canada passport photo should be 35 mm x 45, with full front view of the head and face placed in the middle of the photograph. The size of the head from chin to crown (top of the head including hair or head covering) must be between 31 mm x 36 mm. Two identical colored or black and white photographs taken within the last six months are to be provided along with the application. The clear, well defined photographs with white or light-colored background have to be printed on quality photographic paper. Subject should neither be frowning nor smiling, has to show neutral face expressions in the photograph. The glasses can be worn unless they do not hide any part of applicant’s eyes and also the sunglasses are not allowed. If a head covering is worn for religious reason, ensure that the full facial features are visible in the photo.

Passport photos for Canadian Citizenship

Two identical photos with matt finish have to be provided while applying for the Canadian Citizenship. The passport photos have to measure the frame size as 35 mm x 53 mm. The image size should be 35 mm x 43 mm leaving a blank space of 10 mm below the image for a signature. The photograph should include the matt finish with the stamp or write up of the photographer mentioning his name, address, and date of the photo taken on. 

Canadian Immigration Photo

The requirements of the Canadian immigration photo include some of the most unusual requests that they have to be done on negative film and the applicant has to provide a set of 8 identical colored or black and white photos. The photo must show full frontal view of the subject’s head and top of the shoulders, which have to be centrally aligned. The background of the photo is required to be plain white and the name, date of birth of the applicant and date of the photo was taken on has to be mentioned at the back of one photo of each set. The frame size of the photo is required to be 35 mm x 45 mm, while the distance from chin to the crown of the head is required to be between 25 mm and 35 mm. Each set of photo has to be enclosed in a separate envelope and the name of family members, date of birth and relationship has to be written on the corresponding envelope, which has to be closed by a paper clip. The photo must not be stapled, bent, scratched, and should not bear any ink mark or stain.

Passport Photo Requirements in Italy


According to the GDP calculations, Italy is ranked as world’s 7th largest economy. Moreover, it is the sixth largest exporter of manufactured goods in 2004 as per the OECD. Famous for its ancient culture, traditions, and the religious practices, Italy is a place that attracts many tourists from around the world as it is also an all-time favorite location for the tourists and researchers. Today, Italy is a democratic republic and a one of the most famous world heritage sites that also boasts of a versatile landscape.

  Italian biometric passport

If you are planning to apply for an Italian passport, you have to enclose two identical color photographs of size 30 x 40mm along with other documents. The passport photo should show the frontal view of the subject with a white background. The photographs should not be more than 6 months old. The passport photo specifications are similar to the standards adopted by the European Union (EU).  

In case you are planning to visit Italy, you need a valid passport except for the citizens of some of the countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, United States, and Venezuela. The citizens of these countries do not require a visa while entering as a tourist. They just require a document of identification instead of a passport. While applying for a visa to Italy, you have to submit the documents, such as application form, valid passport with one full blank page, as well as the evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay in the country. Apart from these documents, you need to provide one passport-size photograph with the visa application.

The photograph for Italy visa must be taken within past six months of applying for the visa, and should be pasted or stapled on the application form. The size of the photo must be 5 cm square (approx. 2 inches) with the head at the center of the frame. The visa photo can be color or black and white, but it needs to be taken against a white background. Head coverings or hats are not acceptable until they are used for religious beliefs. The head covering should not cover any part of applicant's face. One is not allowed to wear sunglasses unless they are recommended for medical reasons, such as an eye patch.     

Since the passport and visa requirements are liable to change at a short notice, hence the travelers are suggested to check the latest requirements with their respective embassies or consulates.                    

Passport Photos in Korea

The Korea is one of the leading economic powers in Asia. It is steadily advancing technologically and scientifically, step by step with other rapidly growing countries. Korea is a place rich of culture and diversity, and is now respected all over the world for its rapidly growing industries. If you are living in Korea and you want to apply for a passport, you need to submit your application along with two identical colored passport photographs other than the desired documents.

There are certain norms that need to be fulfilled for the photographs. The photograph with white background should not be more than six months old and the measurement of the photograph should be of 3.5 cm wide and 4.5 cm high. The face should display the front of the applicant measuring approximately 2.5 cm wide and 3.5 cm high. The hats, head-gear, and sunglasses are strictly not allowed. While applying for the extension of the validity one year before or after the expiry date of the current passport, you are required to submit one color passport photo. The remaining requirements the about size and composition of the photograph are same as for the new application photograph. 


In case of applying for a travel certificate, two colored identical photographs have to be submitted all other requirements being similar to the photographs for new passport. Beside passport photographs, all applicants are required to furnish their exact residential number of Korea along with their permanent residential address in country. Otherwise, they are required to submit their Family Census Register. Male applicants between the ages of 18 and 35 years have to submit the proof of extension from military services. However, those who have completed their military service are not required to submit this document.

 If you are applying by mail, you are required to send the application enclosed with all documents and a stamped envelope with a return address. Do not forget to mention your preferred mailing service for the secure arrival of your passport.  If you are a foreign national and want to apply for Korean visa, you have to furnish one recent colored photograph measuring 2”X2” along with copy of your passport and other documents.

Dutch Passport Photo specifications

The Dutch passports are valid for a period of five years from the date of issue. The rules complied by the Dutch passports are similar to those of the European Union. All passports include an embedded contactless smartcard RFID chip for storing biometric data since August 26, 2006. The requirements for the passport photo are one of the strictest and the most difficult to be followed or produced.

The Dutch government has issued clear guidelines if how the photograph has to be produced for the purpose of passport.  The passport photograph must be recently pictured, which is not more than six months old. The size of the photograph must be at least 2”X2” in measurement with a plain, uniform, light gray background. The length of the face of adults, from the chin to crown of head must be 26mm to 30mm. while in case of children aged 11 or below, the length of the face is required to be between 19mm to 30mm. The distance from one ear to another has to be between 16 mm to 20 mm for the adults. In case of children also, the distance from one ear to the other is same. The head of the subject is needed to be in the middle of the photograph. Though, the glasses can be put on, but generally it is advisable not to wear the glasses. Shadows across the face or on the background are not permissible. Hats and scarves are allowed for religious purpose. Any kind of support even to the children is not permissible. 

The requirements for the visa photograph by the Netherlands consulate are specific. The size of the photograph should be 2”X2” and the recent photograph must not be 6 months old. The face of the subject should cover at least 50 percent of the area with the head at the center of the photograph. The full face front view of the applicant should face the camera directly. The color photograph should have a white background with both ears visible in color. Sunglasses or other wears are not acceptable unless required for the medical reasons, for example, an eye patch. Any person wearing a traditional facemask or veil that prevents the adequate identification is not allowed.

Brazilian Passport and Visa Photo

The Federative Republic of Brazil situated in South America is the fifth largest country in the world. Brazil is blessed with beautiful landscapes and soothing climate throughout the year. ]

The country with rich cultural and traditional values is also famous for its festivals and carnivals. The specifications of the Brazilian passport and visa are unusual and unique in the world. Thus, you have to be very careful while selecting a studio for a shoot up for the passport and visa photos. Although, different Brazilian consulate specify different criteria time to time but the common specifications are as given below.  While, applying for a Brazilian passport 3 identical and recent photos of size measuring 5×7 cm are to be submitted along with the passport application. The full front view with light background color has to be shown. The passport booth instant photos are not accepted for the passport.

The photograph requires a date to be shown on the photo, but the digitally added dates are not acceptable.  Brazilian passport & visa photo are similar to the US visa standards. The photos for the Brazilian visa should be recently taken with a measurement of 2” x 2”. The photo should show the front view of the face. The background of the photos should be white. The snapshots and computer pictures are not allowed. Though, these specifications are the most recent, still you should confirm the specifications for the photographs while applying for the Brazilian passport and visa. There are many countries of the world, whose citizens do not require the visa to visit Brazil, such as Belgium, Bolivia, Ecuador, France, Finland, Malaysia, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

Japanese Passport Photo Specifications

  If you want to get a Japanese Passport, you have to apply with required documents including birth certificate, certificate of identity, proof of citizenship, one self-addressed stamped envelope, and valid passport photos. Normally, Japanese government issues passports for two different durations: five years or ten years. The Japanese citizens up to 19 years of age can get a passport, which is valid for a term of five years. However those above 20 years of age, can opt for a blue colored passport valid for five years’ duration, or a red colored passport valid for ten years’ duration. So if you are planning to apply for a Japanese passport, Japanese visa, or Japanese Alien Registration, remember, each one of them has different sizing requirement as far as the sizes of the passport photographs are concerned. So you must ensure that you follow the specifications set for these documents.  

While Applying For A Japanese Passport

In case you require photographs for the Japanese Passport, get a passport photo in the specified size of 45X35mm. The height of the face from bottom of chin to the top of the head is 32mm to 36mm. In addition, the distance between top of the head to the top of the picture is between 2 to 6mm. The face of the applicant must be positioned almost in the middle of the passport photograph. The background of the photograph has to be a completely white or off-white. These provisions for the Japanese passport photos are also confirmed by the standards of EU specifications.

While applying for a Japanese visa

If you are applying for a Japanese visa, get the passport photographs in 45mmX45mm size with a white background. The applicant is not allowed to show the teeth and the facial expressions in the photographs. So, the mouth of the applicant should be closed with neutral expressions on the face. You must submit three identical photographs along with the visa application. The photographs should not be more than 6 months old. Again, these stipulations are similar to the EU passport specifications.

While applying for the Japanese Alien Registration

If you are applying for the Japanese alien registration, you need to get two identical passport photographs in 45mmX35mm size. All of these passport photo requirements match the standards of EU and UK passport specifications. In case of Japanese visa certificate of eligibility, you must produce two identical photographs in 40mmX30mm size.  

Guidelines for Passport photo in Australia

As Australia is one of the largest countries in the world, majority of airlines fly here. Like any other country, there are certain formalities and regulations that you need to follow to ensure a pleasant trip to Australia. 

Those applying for a new passport in Australia need to provide two identical passport photos, which are not more than six months old. The back side of your passport photo must contain words “This is a true photo of (your full name),” and should be signed by the guarantor. In case you are applying for the renewal of your passport, then get your name printed on the back of one passport photo.Some of the Australian passport photo guidelines that you need to comply with are listed below: 

Passport photo instructions

The height and width of the photograph should be 45 – 50mm and 35 – 40mm respectively. The measurement of the face from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead must be between 32mm and 36mm. 

The passport photo for Australia should have high-quality print and resolution without person’s face looking washed out. The passport photo should show natural skin tones, appropriate brightness and have clear contrast. There should be no reflections and red eye visible in the passport photo. You should show the neutral expressions with closed mouth. The background of the photo has to be plain and light colored, such as white, cream or pale blue. You should be looking directly into the camera and should not show tilted head. Both edges of your face should be clearly visible with no hair across your eyes. Also, there should be no manipulation, stains, or marks in the passport photo. 

Head coverings

Head coverings are not allowed unless for religious reasons. Wearing a hat or sunglasses is not permitted. In case of religious head coverings your facial features from bottom of the chin to top of the forehead and both edges of the face, must be clearly visible.  


If you wear the glasses, you should either remove them or they must show your eyes clearly. Dark and tinted sunglasses, which bar the view of your eyes, are not permitted. In addition, the reflection of your lenses is not acceptable. The frame of your glass should be lighter and any part of your eye should not disguise behind the frame of the glasses. 

Photos of children and babies

Your baby should be awake, looking straight into the camera with closed mouth in the photograph. The child’s face should be clearly visible without any object or pacifier such as a toy, another child, or parent’s hand. There should be no hair across the child’s eyes. Moreover, the background of the photo should not be dark.

Cherish your kids' passport photos forever

So you have decided to apply for a passport for your newborn? Many of you would agree that it’s quite challenging to take good shots of such young babies. This is because newborns often fall asleep during a passport photography session. Though getting a passport photo of your child can be a tiresome job, but you won’t be able to resist smiling when you recollect these small but important moments of his childhood. Therefore, if you want to succeed in getting a beautiful picture of your child, you should consider each step of getting a good passport photo for your child as a step towards attaining his true identification in this world.  

Wondering how can you get your child’s passport photos, which you would love to cherish forever? Here are few tips:

1)       Ensure that the child has got a good amount of sleep before you take him for a passport photo session. The baby must be in good mood with his eyes open. 

2)       The background of the passport photo should be white. Therefore, you should dress up the baby in contrasting color, which doesn’t blend much with the background color.

3)       Keep the copy of your baby’s birth certificate and his social security card handy.

4)       Babies may get cranky during passport photo session, so you should immediately take a break. Feed the baby if he is hungry, but you can use a bright colored toy to ensure he doesn’t fall asleep.

5)       If the baby is too young to hold his head straight, you can make him lie on a white cardboard and shoot a nice passport photo. You can also put the child in his car seat and put a white towel around him and then take the passport photo.

6)       Always check the passport rules set by government authority, it would help you take the desired shot without wasting much of your time and keeping the child calm.

7)       Parents should not try to support the child by putting their hand or holding the child from the back side.

8)       Don’t put any toys or dummies to console the child, which are visible through camera.

9)       The passport photograph of your child should look identical and should be printed on a low-gloss, plain white paper.

10)   The passport photo of your child should be in sharp focus and should be devoid of any unwanted shadow at the background.


Why do you need extra passport photos handy?

While traveling abroad, you must carry extra passport photos with you. This is because you are required to submit passport photos for a Visa or for any other application forms. If you have extra passport photos handy, you can save both- money as well as time. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep the passport photos with you while visiting any other country.

You must check the passport photo guidelines of the country you are traveling to and ensure that you follow them.  If you are really looking for an economical solution, you can get few passport photos printed using your home-printer. In case you are doubtful about the size of passport photos you should carry with you, log on to ePassportPhoto, and select country-specific dimensions to print your photos. 

If you can experiment with your passport photos by using Photoshop, you can try another interesting option. You can get your passport photos converted into business cards. This means that you can put your passport photo on a business card while including business-related information, such as name, home address, e-mail address, and your mobile phone number. You can even print these business cards at home by using inkjet photo printer.  This business card would serve two purposes. Firstly, you can give them to your business associates and they would remember you due to your passport photo. Secondly, you have a passport photo handy if you require it for getting passport, visa, company, bank or tourist passes. You can simply staple the entire card to the application or cut it out to submit along with an application form. 

If you want, you can also put your passport number on business card – without specifying that it belongs to your passport. You are required to mention your passport number to the hotel where you stay in. If you want to conceal the passport number, you can add null numbers or alphabets either at the beginning or towards the end of the passport number printed on your business card.

Passport photos in Far East, specifically Hong Kong

China is one of the major cities in the world that attracts millions of tourists from across the globe every year. The country boasts of friendly people, primeval locations, and magnificent architecture. Any visitor to the country would require a valid passport and visa. 

If you are living in China and want to get your passport made in China, you must submit the passport application to the nearest passport issuing office of your area. If the person is not physically present in the jurisdiction of Hong Kong, he or she is advised against forwarding the passport application to the Passport Office in Hong Kong. The passport photo must only be in color in 2”x2” (5 cm x 5 cm) with a white, off-white, or very-light colored background. The passport photos must not have blue color in its background.    

In case you are visiting to China, you must have a passport with no less than 6 month’s remaining validity and one blank Visa page on the passport. In addition, the person must have one completed Visa Application Form (Q1) with one black & white or color passport photo stapled or pasted on the form. If you are planning to visit the country with regard to your business, investigation, lecture, technological or cultural purpose, and short-term studies, you must also possess the invitation letter from the host company or the unit. Other than this, you must possess a letter from your company. Besides, all visitors must show proof of adequate funds to support themselves while they stay in Hong Kong.  

The United State citizens must submit 2 completed Visa Application Forms along with 2 recent passport size photos. If you need to apply for an entry visa to China, you must submit the following documents with the Consulate:  

1. Country Passport with at least one full blank Visa page
2. The name of the applicant written in BLOCK letters
3. A duly signed Visa Application Form
4. One latest passport size photo, and
5. Application fees

How to get best passport photos of kids and babies

Passport rules have changed all over the globe in past few years, and now children and infants in the United States as well as in many other countries need to have seprate passports. However, it is not easy to take passport photos of the infants. Parents and photographers face great difficulty in keeping their floppy-headed infants looking straight at the camera. Moreover, keeping the children calm during this entire process is another challenge to ensure an acceptable passport photo.  

Lately, there has been a great deal of hue and cry on how to get the best passport photos for kids. In a nutshell, the passport photo of your baby must:  

· Be taken when the baby is awake · Have the baby looking directly into the camera
· Have his or her mouth closed with no pacifier
· Have baby’s face visible without any other object in view,   not even parents’s hands to support him
· Never fall on his face or cover his eyes
· Be devoid of any shadows from behind
· Not have the baby looking away from the camera
· Not have his or her face covered While the passport photo of the kid should be compliant with passport rules set by the government authorities, it is quite challenging to  make your baby and lens work in coordination.  

If you are unsure how your baby would respond during passport photo session, you can try this infant photography technique. This technique would surely help you get best passport photo of your child. Put a white piece of cardboard on the bed or the floor, and make your child lie down on it. The parents of the child must stand beside the photographer and try to keep the baby engaged during passport photo session. This way, your child can be more attentive, and would not also fall asleep. After few trials, you can expect to get a reasonable passport photo of your child.

Can you trust your home-printer to print your own passport photograph?

Often you need to pay hefty amount of money to your local photographer for a passport photo with an expressionless face and a plain white background. While taking a passport photo is one of the easiest things to do, ironically majority of the U.S. photo studios tend to charge a lot of money to print a set of four identical passport photographs.   

If you are looking for an economical solution, you can give a serious thought to printing your own passport photos using home-printer. That’s true. You can save an enormous amount of money by getting passport photos printed at home. If you have a photo printer at home, you can easily convert any of your digital pictures into a valid passport-size photo meant for your passport or visa applications. In fact many of you, who are fond of photography, must have already printed your own passport photos at home. Those, who have never done it earlier and need more time to learn this art, can either send the digital photos to a friend, who knows can print them for you. Alternatively, you can also look for some online photo service providers, who can send you free prints of your passport photos. 

If you are worried about the sizing requirements of passport photos of in your country, you can log on to ePassportPhoto. The website allows you to upload your photo, resize it, select the country-specific dimensions, and save it as a .jpg file. Now you can either print it at home, or send it for free printing to international photo service providers by using the links on the website. If you are a computer-freak, you can even cut and paste an image, edit it, and get a simple but satisfactory product while sitting at home. Now it is possible to get multiple passport photos at the cost of buying one by using your home-printer. 

What Does a Biometric Passport Indicate?

A biometric passport is equipped with enhanced security features to verify the citizenship of travelers. For past few years, various countries have introduced a wide range of procedures and computerized methods to avert passport scams to address the concerns related to international business and personal security.

A biometric passport has intricately designed passport pages, complex watermarks and a data chip. This chip contains all crucial information related to the passport holder such as digital signature data, which helps in authenticating the passport.  The biometrics are considered more personal and reliable than a passport photo or a PIN, as it uses personal traits such as facial or eye maps and fingerprints as primary identification features. These biometric features were accepted by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after analyzing multiple other biometrics including retinal scan.

The ICAO has also described the standardized file formats and communication practices that should be used in passports. For example, the contactless chip used in a biometric passport can store a digital impression of each biometric feature preferably in JPEG or JPEG2000 format. This contactless chip allows you to store minimum of 32 kilobytes biometric data and uses the interface compliant with the ISO/IEC 14443 international standard. The biometric features stored in the passport are compared by electronic border control systems or e-borders. These standards ensure not only the interoperability among various countries, but also among different makers of passports.

The contactless chip would store the same data, which is visible on the photo page of the passport. In addition, the chip would also include a digital photo of the passport holder, which would facilitate the process of biometric comparison by using the facial recognition technology. The new US passport carries a new look, and would enable international security agencies integrate crucial anti-fraud and security features in the passports.

It is expected that by 2015, ICAO would have a database of over a billion people worldwide. With a sudden rise in fraudulent methods, it has become mandatory for international security agencies to reinforce security features in passports. Therefore, a biometric passport helps in preventing the theft of identity and fraud. The ICAO suggests facial recognition as the principal biometric followed by iris and fingerprint recognition. The biometric information stored on passport helps in identifying fraud and automating immigration checks in future.

Passport Photos in Germany

While applying for passports or visas, Germans have been asked to maintain serious expressions on their face. This is done to allow biometric scanners pick right facial features of the passport holders. Besides, the authorities have been directed to accept only those photos for passports, which are taken from the front to allow the “most natural facial expressions possible.”   

These security measures have been taken after September, 2001 attacks to consolidate the security network in Germany as well as around the world. The German Interior Minister Otto Schily says that the facial identification systems can only match the natural features of a person with his or her mouth closed. The United States, Canada, and Britain have already followed these specifications and have already started issuing Biometric passports.

German officials recently exhibited the new passports based on these guidelines. The officials accept that such passport photos would be very tough to manipulate. From March 2007, the German passports have also been carrying two scanned fingerprints stored on a chip.

Remember, U.S. passport photo specifications are different from that of German passport photos. And, not many photographers in Germany are familiar with these specifications. Therefore, you must take a print out of these requirements for U.S. Passports and explain them to your photographer. 

While posing for your passport photo, you should always ask for a complete frontal view of your face. Look directly into the camera and maintain neutral expressions without any smile on your face. Never use the photos that have reflections on the face or with red eyes. The background of the passport photo should be light-colored so as to provide adequate contrast to the face and your hair. The passport photo must be printed on a high-quality paper with around 600 dpi resolution sans any marks or stains on it.

How to look best in your passport photos?

We often see people complaining about a recent passport photo they clicked, and most of the times, it is the photo they need to use on their driver’s license. Now, as this is the photo that is going to stay with you for years to come, do you think you can really afford that “nasty look on your face”? Don’t worry! Here, are a few simple tips to help you look best in your passport photo: 

 1) Dress up nicely

NEVER wear an old battered shirt, or a ripped pair of trousers or a tee-shirt while going for a passport photo. How can you feel nice about your appearance when you dress-up miserably? The camera might miss your dress, but it would certainly figure out how you feel about yourself.  

2. Dump your hat and sunglasses

If you think you can outsmart the camera by hiding a bad hair day under a hat or you can use sunglasses to cover up red eyes, think again! You cannot take a driver’s license photo wearing a hat or sunglasses. Dump these items and opt for a natural look on your face while going in for a passport photo. 

3. Comb your hair

You are required to have your passport photo taken, soon after you pass your driver’s license test. Therefore, do not forget to carry your brush or comb before you leave the house.  

4. Maintain Neutral Expressions

According to new guidelines released by State department, toothy smiles in passport and visa pictures would now be categorized as unusual or unnatural expressions. The person must maintain neutral expressions with both eyes open, and mouth closed. The new guidelines would permit smiling with a closed jaw, but it is not a preferred expression for your passport photo.  

Remember, a passport photo can reflect your confidence and happiness if you closely follow these tips.


Top 10 Passport Photos Mistakes – by celebs mugshots

Posing a la portrait

Pointing your head to the side makes your passport photo immetiadly not valid – we admire the great way Ms. Hilton loves to pose but for your next passport photo keep it simple

Background noise

Mr. Barkley – keep this background piece out of the pic

Too light contrast

Eminem we know you can make the photo light just a bit darker

Closed eyes

Let's ignore for a second the background noise here.  Although this should be an easy one, but in our case Mr. Bushwick keeps his eyes shut (or some part of them)

Unneutral expression

Mr. Lil Wayne – the biometrics will go off the wall with such expression

Open mouth

Lindsay, please keep your mouth closed. Apparently, the biometrics computers get nervous when they encounter the white color of the teeth

Too dark contrast

Nothing to do with Mr. Tyson'S skin color, the biometrics machines and the State Dep. folks would reject this photo due to dark contrast

Uncleared eyes

Nicole's left eye is slightly covered by her beautiful hair – a big no-no for passport photos

Background shadow

Even the respectful Mr. Blumenthal's photographer got this mistake here.  How to avoid this? simply stand a bit farther from the wall to avoid the shadow

Looking off the camera

The eyes should always be pointed forward.  Ms. Foxy Brown we're here! look at us!


Source: the smoking gun's mugshots

Welcome consumerists!

Been a pleasure getting the warm enthusiastic appluase from the Consumerist blog.  From the day we started the ePassportPhoto way back in 2005, we felt there's some serious gap between what the photoshops and the Walgreens' are charging us and the actual value they provide.  Passport photos to all – for free. 

Of special notice, I wanted to say thanks to WILMAWONKER who posted this great photo.  Great to see that even the has serious competition out there!



At epassportphoto you upload your photo, crop it according to your
country's standard guidelines, and save the resulting 4×6" image—that's
six 2×2" ID shots—to your computer to print wherever you like, whether
it's at home, from an online service, or at that same CVS with the
myopic camera operator.

Not only will you be able to control the photo lighting and quality
(and retake the photo until you're happy with it), but you'll have four
more 2×2" shots than you get for $8 at CVS or Walgreens. And if you
need any more incentive to cut the drugstore out of the process,
consider that they also produce sets of six photos at a time—they just refuse to give you more than two unless you pay extra:

we waited for the photos to print out, I saw (with my own eyes) that
the photographs were printed on a 4″ x 6″ photo paper – and there were
6 copies on it. Then the dude coolly cut away 4 copies, disposed them,
and handed us the remaining two copies.


UK passport photos requirements for babies/children

Many countries have different requirements for passport photos of babies and children under a certain age. For example, the official specification of the UK's Identity and Passport Service (IPS) lists the following requirements for children:

Photographs of children five years and under must show a clear image that is a true likeness of the child. Because young children can be difficult to photograph, children aged five and under do not need to have a neutral expression. We will also accept glare on glasses or pictures with their head at an angle. Also, children aged five and under do not need to look directly at the camera.

Babies under one year do not need to have their eyes open. All other standards must be met. If the baby's head needs to be supported, it is important that your supporting hand cannot be seen. To support the baby's head, you should hold your hand behind the baby's head so that it cannot be seen int he photograph.

Photographs for all children aged six and over must meet the full standards set out above, with the following exception. That is, photographs of children under 11 may show a head size between 21mm and 34mm high, instead of the adult requirement of 29mm to 34mm high.
helps you create passport photos for babies and children in the following ways:

  1. When you select a specific photo format on the front page, be sure to specify "Passport – under 11" if your child is under 11 years old. When you select this option, the system will adjust the requirements to make it easier for you to make the selection in the second step of the wizard.
  2. Unlike passport photo booths and photo shops, you can take as many pictures as you want with your digital camera. For example, your partner can support the baby's head while you take the picture, and you can try several times until you get it right. In fact, some people have used this site with photos that were taken with the baby lying down on a white surface. Interesting…