How to Pose for a Passport

Every country's passport contains a photo. It is important to understand that not every photo is considered valid for including on a passport. Many countries have specific rules for passport pictures and there is an international standard in place to ensure consistency across passports.

Steps

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    Learn the rules regarding your country's passport photos. These regulations can often be found online, or call your local passport issuing office.
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    Look straight towards the camera with face straight on.
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    A close-up of the head and top of shoulders (80%+ of the photo)
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    Both ears showing or both edges of the face visible if hair covers the ears
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    No personal portrait style or looking over one shoulder
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    Photos must be taken against a plain white to 18% grey background without shadows. An 18% grey background is recommended for persons having white hair and/or wearing white clothing.
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    Maintain a neutral expression. Smiling or having your mouth open is usually not acceptable, especially under the new international passport rules.
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    Wear normal clothes. Anything costume-like, face-obstructing will normally not be acceptable. Ask in advance about religious attire.
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    Head should not be tilted or rotated
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    Ensure that the photograph has a good brightness, contrast, and colour balance that shows skin tones naturally with a uniform lighting/sharp focus and no red-eye effect.
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    Ensure there are two to four identical copies of your photo. The amount depends on your country's rules and usually the back will need to be signed by a witness attesting to the photo being you.
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    The prints quality must be of professional standard on high quality paper and colour image. Ink or marks on the image should not be present.
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    No shadows or glare on the image or background

Warnings

  • Do not wear a hat or sunglasses.

Article Info

Categories: People and Portrait Photography | Official Travel Documentation