How to get a good passport photo for toddlers and babies

Taking photos of your kids for any formal occasion can be incredibly stressful and difficult. Children and babies now need their own passport photo. The days of them being allowed on your passport are long gone, and with these changes come tighter rules and regulations. However, don’t panic. What’s important to remember is that you follow the current passport guidelines for when taking photos of your little ones.

The set up

The first thing to note when taking a child passport photo is the importance of the background environment and lighting. But, once again, don’t panic and think that you need to hire a professional photographer, as you’ll have everything you need at home. Make sure that the space you are using is well lit, natural light is best, and take the photo against a white or cream blanket. A basic digital camera or smartphone is all you need to take the photo.

Taking passport pictures for baby

Many people worry about taking a baby passport photo, but it’s actually less stressful than you think. Passport photos for babies are best taken when the baby is calm and rested. Ideally, baby’s eyes need to be open, but they don’t need to look directly at the camera. There should be no dummy, toys or comfort blanket in the photo. The best method to use is to place your baby on a white, or cream blanket, and to take the image from above. As long as you can see baby’s face and there is no shadow, then you’ll have a good passport photo.

Taking a toddler passport photo

A toddler passport photo can be more challenging than taking a baby’s photo as they are continuously on the go. It’s a good idea to let them burn off some of this energy before you start taking photos so that you have a better chance of them standing still. Take the photo against a white or cream wall and make sure that they are looking at the camera. This is very important for the photo to be accepted with your passport application.

Once you receive your photos from us here at Paspic, you just have to cut them out and send them off with your passport application.

Who can sign an Irish passport application?

If you need a first time passport, particularly if you’re travelling soon and need to make sure your passport is processed quickly, it can be tricky to know how to get someone to witness your passport photos, to avoid the dreaded application return.

Passport photos

With an Irish passport you need four passport photos. There are very specific rules for these, so make sure you check these before you have the photos taken. There are more tips here

Two of these photos will need to be witnessed as a true likeness of yourself by someone either who knows you or who can verify you are the person in the photo, and who fits the required criteria. Be prepared to take additional ID if you’re asking someone who doesn’t know you to sign your passport photos.

Who can sign an Irish passport application?

There are a number of people in different professions who can sign your photos. These are:

– Members of the police
– Medical doctor
– A member of clergy
– Lawyer/Solicitor
– School principal/vice principal
– Bank manager/assistant bank manager
– Justice of the Peace
– Elected public representative
– Notary public/ commissioner for oaths
– Peace commissioner
– Accountant
– Teacher
– Lecturer
– Vet
– Dentist
– Nurse
– Speech Therapist
– Physiotherapist
– Pharmacist
– Post Master
– Chartered Engineer
– Social Worker
– Credit Union manager

If you don’t know any people in these professions personally then you can pay a solicitor to verify your photos, although this may be costly.

Signing your passport form

You must also sign section eight of the form in the presence of your witness. Be advised that everyone over seven needs to sign their own passport form.

What else the witness must do

The witness also needs to complete section nine of the form. Their telephone number must be a landline number, the passport office will not accept mobile numbers.

They must insert the number of the form in section nine onto the back of the photos they have witnessed.

They then need to sign and stamp the back of those two photos. If they have no stamp they must sign and date the back of the passport photos, add the eight digit form number from section nine and then sign and date section nine of the application form.

If they don’t have a stamp but they do have a business card, this can be included as an alternative, but it’s probably best to get them to complete the signature as well, to ensure you don’t have any delays.

Where to get a digital passport photo

We all know the business of organising a passport: collecting the forms from the post office, sweating and cursing as you fill in all the minutiae of detail that the authorities need in order to issue this important document.

The photo must be right

One of the most important details is the photo, which must be exactly right. Previously this required a family outing to a suitable photography studio and everyone wearing a dark coloured top, the latter to allow the camera to pick out facial details for posterity. Then would come the chore of trying to get small children and babies to sit still without moving, unsmiling, but also not crying, wriggling off their seat or looking at mum or dad (unless mum or dad are standing right behind the camera).

In short, getting passport photos used to be something of a trial; time consuming, anxiety-creating and expensive. These days, it is much easier to get passport photos taken. It is even possible to take perfectly acceptable photographs yourself, saving time and money.

Taking your own photos

Taking your own photos is very easy these days, when most smartphones contain excellent quality cameras. You can take the picture yourself using a timer feature if your phone offers one, or you can get a friend to snap it for you. Just bear in mind the rules for acceptable passport photos: they must show your head, shoulders and upper body. Do not crop the photo to the same size as the one in your current passport as the passport office will do that when they are laying out your new document – over cropping does not leave them enough to work with. As well as having a neutral expression on your face, you should also make sure that your face is not obscured by any headwear or your hair. It is best to remove glasses too, as the glare from the light on the lenses can obscure your face and make the photograph one that will not be acceptable to the passport office.

If you don’t trust yourself with the business end of a camera, there are still studios that will take pictures for you, and the price is very reasonable. Thanks to the wonders of digital cameras, your photos are ready instantly, or very nearly, and you can ask for a physical set of photos, or digital versions. The latter can be emailed to you, or saved onto a disc or flash drive enabling you to submit an entirely electronic passport application form.

Photo: Selfie by camilla_baier licensed under Creative commons 2

How to make an online passport size photo

Applying for a passport online is a convenient alternative to applying for one through the post. However, switching to these online methods can be tricky, especially when it comes to submitting an acceptable sized photo.

Digital photo dimensions

The most important thing to consider for your online passport photo is the size and quality of the photo itself. There are certain rules that you must follow for this:

• Photo size: Your photo must be a minimum of 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall and a maximum of 4000 x 3000 pixels.
• File size: Your photo must be at least 50kb in size and 10mb maximum
• File type: Only .jpg and .jpeg files can be processed
• The photo must also be in focus
• Do not apply any filters to your photo

In order to obtain the correct size and dimensions for your photo, you can choose from an array of online or computer-based editing programs to resize and crop your photo to the required passport regulations.

You can also order your passport photos through the internet if you prefer to have physical copies of them. Paspic.com offer a service where you can order passport photo prints for the whole family where they are validated and delivered to you at an affordable price.

How to get a digital photo

You can use your phone, tablet or camera to take a digital photo for your passport – it is a good idea to have a friend do this to ensure your photo is straight and is taken in the correct way. You can also go to a photo booth – you can now get a code along with your printed portrait photo to retrieve the digital version of it. Finally, you can also similarly get your digital passport photo from a photo shop.

Rules for taking a digital photo

The rules for taking a digital photo, other than the file and photo sizes, follow the same rules for a normal, printed passport photo.

A passport photo will be accepted as long as the photo:

• Is of you looking straight at the camera, face forward
• Shows your face clearly without expression or smile, with your hair back, and without glasses or anything on your head (unless you must for religious or medical reasons)
• Be clear and of good, in-focus quality
• Has a clear, light, plain background
• Has been taken recently, within the last month

Where to get a passport photo taken

The summer is finally here – hoorah! But with the excitement of summer holidays ahead, time of work and school, and swimming pools just waiting to be dived into, you also need to ensure your passport is in date before you plan any holidays.

Part of this is knowing where to get the best passport photo taken, too, whether that’s adult passport photos, or a baby passport photo.

Machines and booths

The easiest and simplest way to get a new passport photo is to visit a passport photo booth. Here, you can get about 4 snaps for £5, so you can keep one if you need to renew your driving licence, or other documentation in the near future.

When taking the picture, many worry it may look unflattering. To help abolish this, you can simply set the seat a little too high, so you’re looking down slightly. Always make sure you have nothing covering your key features, such as hair covering your face.

Top tip: Most of these machines require change, as opposed to cards, so make sure you have some before you get there.

Shops

Many chemists, post offices and other local shops will still have the equipment and experience to take the photo for you, if a booth isn’t available. This is a much easier option when photographing for a baby passport, as you have human interaction and don’t have to try and hold them in place on a hard stool for a long period of time!

Take it yourself

One of the trickier ones, and is likely only necessary to do if you’re unable to get anywhere to have a photo taken, or if you’re a bit of a photography whizz. If so, remember the background should be as clean and white as possible so as to not detract from the image itself. You can then take your USB or memory card to the nearest printing shop, so you can print professionally.

For digital passport photos, remember the same rules as before, no hair covering the face, no big cheesy grins, and look down slightly if you want a more flattering look.

How to get a passport photo online

Did you know that you can get your passport photos online? It’s easy, fuss-free and more reliable and convenient than using a photo booth. Taking your photos at home is also the best way to get your child and baby passport photos. This way the photos are checked using an automated system and you can be sure they’ll meet all the stringent requirements of facial recognition for passport photos today. The process is simple and incredibly straightforward.

What are the rules?

Adults need to be looking directly at the camera and have a neutral expression, also glasses and headwear need to be removed. Unlike adult passport photos, those for children under six do not follow the same requirements, which makes life a lot easier. You’ll need a light coloured background and the shot must include head and shoulders. Also, for children, make sure no toys or dummies appear in the photo as these are not allowed.

Take your photo and upload

Choose a space with a light coloured background such as a wall or door. Make sure there is plenty of natural light in the room and dress in a plain top in a bold colour (pale colours tend to blend into the background). Using flash is fine, but make sure you don’t use a photo with red-eye. Make sure the head and shoulders are clearly visible. Once you’ve got your shot, upload to the Paspic website where your photo will be validated using an automated system.

Approve and order

Once your photos have been through the checking system, you can purchase your hard copies. These will be manually checked by staff before being posted to you free of charge. They should reach you in around two working days, so you can complete your application without delay.

Success guaranteed

Around 99.5% of photos produced by Paspic are accepted the first time of asking, but in the unlikely event of your photo being rejected, Paspic will refund your payment or work with you to produce an acceptable photo.

So don’t struggle with a photo booth, hoping that you’ll meet all the requirements. Take your photos in the comfort of your own home and let Paspic take the stress out of taking passport photos.

How to take baby passport photo

Do you need a baby passport photo, but have no idea of how to take one? Then don’t panic as we can help. Your life is busy enough when caring for a new baby, so we’ve made this quick guide on how to take the perfect digital passport photo of your baby in the comfort of your own home. After all, life is hard enough.

Relax

When it comes down to taking passport photos for babies, then the golden rule is to relax. For younger babies a good time to snap that photo is just after they have been fed and changed, as the odds are they will sleep. For older babies, make sure they are well rested, with a good time to take that photo being after nap and snack time. This way they are more likely to be still and compliant.

Centre of the screen

The photo will need to show a clear image of baby’s face. The head and shoulders need to be in the centre of the screen, not blurred, and the face not in shadow. It is best to take the photo in a well-lit room with natural light to avoid any unsightly shadows.

Plain background

As with all passport photos, the background needs to be plain. If taking a photo on a change mat for example, then it’s a good idea to add a white or cream blanket, or sheet. There should also be no toys, or dummies, in the shot.

The newborn passport photo

When taking a newborn passport photo then you can support their head, but your hand and arm must not be in shot. A better alternative is to place baby in a car seat, or on a change mat on the floor, while you take the photo.

Mouth and eyes

When it comes to taking a newborn passport photo or a photograph of a baby that is younger than 12 months, then different rules apply to that of an adult. Baby can have their eyes closed and mouth open, so don’t be worried if you can’t keep your newborn baby awake long enough while you take the photo.

Be sure to use our quick and easy digital passport photo service for your baby passport photo.

Photo: Photographer by michelhrv licensed under Creative commons 2