How to Pose for a Passport Photo

Passport: But first, study what requirements your ID document has and learn how to pose to avoid getting embarrassed later.

You don’t have to opt for a photo agency service to get a high-quality photo that is 100% compatible with the passport photo specifications. Thankfully, your smartphone camera is good enough to let you take a decent selfie. But first, study what requirements your ID document has and learn how to pose to avoid getting embarrassed later.

Common Passport and Visa Photo Requirements



Different ID documents have unique requirements. You must have a neutral expression for most official IDs, such as a visa or passport. Although there are other documents that allow a slight smile such as a student card. Look into it before shooting your pics at home. Here are the most important ones for a U.S. passport photo:

  • A high-resolution color picture
  • 2×2 inches/51 x 51 mm
  • The head is 25-35 mm
  • No glasses
  • An off-white background
  • Matte/glossy paper
  • No filters and digital enhancements
  • Relaxed expression, no smiles

Take a look at the list on the official website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Useful Tips to Look Great

Most people worry to look stupid in their official document photos. If you want to avoid getting stuck with an embarrassing photo, use some clever advice. It will improve your outlook and make the image compliant with the specifications.


To achieve a better image, draw your shoulders back and your neck out. This will make you appear more elegant.


  • For women: don’t cover your face with hair. Tuck it behind, so that it doesn’t get in the way
  • For men: get your haircut 7+ days before taking the shot. That will help you look sharp and neat

A Good Night Sleep

Getting a full night sleep is a must if you want to have that dewy glow. This will eliminate the undereye dark circles and improve the natural beauty of your skin. It’s great advice in general for everyday life, if we’re honest.


Go for natural daily makeup. Choose matte powder instead of highlight one. Otherwise, the flash may spoil the picture by making your skin greasy.


Choosing a covered top such as a shirt, neck-high sweater etc. will help you get a more tidy looking result. Considering the cropped image has the focus on your face, wearing a low neckline can give an impression as if you’re not wearing any clothes, which is absolutely something you’d want to avoid.


Wear a pair of studs or a pendant necklace. But they must be classic and small. Larger pieces will draw attention away from your face.


Anything but white. Otherwise, you’ll blend with the background. Monochrome outfits are best for taking official document photos.


Most likely you don’t have professional equipment at home. Use the natural light by setting up across from your window to avoid shadows.

How to Get It Cropped?

Once you finish taking the photos, choose the best one where you look great. However, you can’t attach that picture to your digital application or print it right away. It must be adjusted to make the sizes compatible with the specifications.

Editing it on your own may seem like a great idea, but it’s best to trust the online editing services instead not to compromise the quality of the image. It will take a couple of minutes to get your picture 100% compatible. Just upload it to a passport photo tool, set the ID type and the country. The software will take care of the rest

Download the results: you will get an image for digital applications and an extra photo for printing out. It’s overall cheaper than applying for a photo agency and costs $7. Add $0.20-$0.35 if you’re going to print the photos.

Follow these tips to get a flawless image for your official document. Taking your photos at home lets you go at it for as many times as you need before you achieve the best result. It’s easy, no fuss and much less stressful than opting for the photo centre service.

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