How to take your own passport photo

Once upon a time, you would have had to queue up outside a photo booth to get hold of a passport photo. These days you can just snap the photo yourself – ultimately saving a lot of time, money and effort. The question is: how do you take your own passport photo?

It’s not, of course, as simple as just taking a selfie and hoping for the best. With this in mind, let’s look at the best plan of action for taking your own passport picture.

Read the rules

The guidelines are quite specific about what the picture should and shouldn’t show. In particular, you might want to pay special attention to the parts about facial expression. This is because you’ll need to sport a neutral expression even though you’re relaxed and taking it from the comfort of your own home. There are also guidelines about hair and accessories (such as glasses), which you’ll need to familiarise yourself with beforehand.

Choose your spot

While it’s true that you no longer have to leave your home to take your own passport photo, this doesn’t mean you can snap it in just about anywhere. Instead, you must ensure that you pose in front of a plain, light-coloured background with no other objects in the shot. You must also take steps to avoid there being any unnecessary shadows, so you’ll need to take lighting into account as well.

Have it checked

It can be risky to make your own judgement call on the photo, especially since it can delay your passport application if your picture doesn’t meet the guidelines. Due to this, you’ll be best served to use a service like Paspic. Through going down this route you’ll have confirmation that the image will be successfully approved. You can then complete the application by either submitting the hard copies or the digital versions.

Good luck!

It can be a little daunting taking your own passport photo, especially when you’ve become accustomed to the rigmarole of having it done in a photo booth. Thankfully you’ll soon learn that it’s both easier and more convenient to do yourself – and there’ll be no doubts that you’ve done it right thanks to the help you’ll get from Paspic.

How long does a baby passport take?

Babies can fly within just a few days of entering the world. In fact, some airlines allow newborns when they are as young as two days old. Your baby will, of course, require a passport if you’re to take them out of the country. This will need to be applied for by a person with ‘parental responsibility’, so typically the mother or father. However, other forms of guardians can complete the process. The question is: how long does a baby passport take? This is what you need to know.

What’s the timeframe?

The timeframe for baby passports doesn’t differ too much from the one used for adults. If you can complete the process without any hiccups, then the child’s passport should be with you within three weeks. In circumstances where you need it urgently, there is also the option of a fast-track service. This will typically see the passport in your hands within the space of a week.

What could delay it?

The most likely reason for a delay would be to do with the picture. For instance, if you were to submit a passport photo that doesn’t meet the strict government guidelines then you will more than likely find that it’s not accepted. Thankfully, you can avoid this happening by using a service like Paspic. This will ensure that the passport picture firmly meets the criteria. In addition, you’ll be able to take the photo from home – ultimately making the task a lot quicker and easier to carry out.

How long will it last?

A child’s passport lasts five years. This is because it’s presumed their face will have changed significantly during this timeframe, possibly making them unrecognisable and impacting upon the technology used at e-gates. This differs from an adult passport, which can last for 10 years.

Good luck!

The simple matter of a passport photo shouldn’t stand in the way of you taking your baby on their first family holiday – especially if you rely on Paspic. Through this service, you’ll be able to take the picture from the comfort of your own home, before ultimately having it confirmed that it meets the government’s guidelines.

How to get your first passport

Going abroad for the first time is exciting, but the tedious process of applying for your first passport fills many with dread. That’s why we’ve put together a simple step by step guide so that you’ll be jet setting in no time!

Online or paper?

First of all, decide whether you’re going to apply online or in paper form. Online applications are currently only marginally cheaper but will likely save time and the hassle of posting.

Find your documents!

You’re going to need to get digging in the attic and find your original identification documents. Depending on your circumstances this will usually include your birth certificate and one of your parents’ certificates, but you can find advice and a comprehensive list of the approved documents here.

Take a photo!

This photo is going to end up on your passport and it’s important to focus on meeting the very specific government requirements. When you’re getting ready to jet off, no one wants the hassle of sending a photo back and forth until it’s right, so at Paspic.com we cut out the middle man and do it all for you! Our system will analyse your picture and let you know if it fails to pass the high standards set out by the passport office. We can provide a digital image as well as posting high-quality prints to your door.

Know a professional

The application process requires your identity to be confirmed by a friend, neighbour or colleague who works in a recognised profession. This could be anything from an accountant to a pharmacist or a teacher. The exact process varies depending on whether you’re applying online or by paper, but the required steps will be fully outlined within your application.

Attend an interview

Now we know what you’re thinking, you want a holiday not a job, right? Don’t worry, these interviews are very straight forward and are just a way of making sure that you are exactly who you’ve said you are on your application. They last for around 30 minutes and you will simply be asked a few questions about yourself.

Following this your application will be processed and you’ll soon be jetting off on your adventure!

Photo: DSCF5575 by parkview094 licensed under Creative commons 5

Can I have a beard on my passport photo?

The beard has swung back into fashion in recent years. While once upon a time facial hair was mainly seen on men of a certain age, it’s now common to see it sported by a whole range of ages and demographics. This might have you asking the question: is it acceptable to have a beard on your passport photo? It’s understandable that you’ll want to know the answer, especially since the rules surrounding passport photos can be a bit of a minefield if you’re not familiar with the guidelines. Here’s what you need to know about sporting a beard on your passport picture.

Are you allowed a beard?

Yes. There’s nothing to stop you from keeping – or growing –your facial hair just because you need a passport photo. This isn’t just the case for beards, but also goatees, moustaches and stubble. You will still have to familiarise yourself with the rules concerning that area of your face, particularly that you can’t smile while posing for the picture.

Why is it allowed?

Even though your beard might make an official at the border have to look twice at your passport photo before allowing you into the country, what it doesn’t do is change the biometrics of your face. This means that you can still get through e-gates without trouble, which is why beards are allowed.

So hair is fair game?

Facial hair is fine, yes. There are rules surrounding other hair which you may need to know. For instance, the official guidelines explicitly forbid pictures where the hair is covering the eyes. Ultimately you can grow your facial hair as much as you like, but if you do the same with the hair on your head you’ll have to ensure it doesn’t cover your eyes in the process.

It’s time to sort your pictures

The decision to keep your beard or chop it off for your passport photo is completely up to you, but either way, it’s acceptable. If you’re keen to take a picture that will be accepted first time and in a fashion that’s most convenient for you, be sure to make use of the service available at Paspic. Through this channel, you can take your photo at home and be assured it meets all guidelines.

Photo: Beard by JeepersMedia licensed under Creative commons 4

How to take a great passport photo on your smartphone

In times gone by, the quickest way to get a passport photo involved sitting awkwardly in a cramped photobooth and waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the flash to go off. Now, thanks to the new BETA digital passport photo service, it’s possible to take a passport-ready picture from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a smartphone.

But although having the option to submit a digital passport photo is making the application process a lot easier, your image still needs to meet the strict guidelines. You must:

Look straight at the camera;

Have a neutral expression, with your mouth shut;

Ensure that nothing is obstructing your face;

Make sure there is no glare or shadows distorting the image.

So how can you ensure you get a good enough snap on your smartphone? Here are our top tips:

1. Take your photo during the daytime

Natural light will give you the best results, and will also reduce the chance of your passport picture being obstructed by glare and shadows. If possible, position yourself directly facing a window, and remember you need to be standing in front of a blank background. If there are no plain walls in your home, you can try putting a white sheet behind you.

2. Get some help

Although it’s possible to take a passport-quality ‘selfie’, you stand a much better chance of getting a good passport photo if someone else takes it for you. If you’re taking passport photos for babies or toddlers, you may also need an extra pair of hands to ensure they keep still for long enough. Although bear in mind you can’t submit a child passport photo if someone else is visible in the background.

3. Take your time

In this digital age, we’re used to doing everything instantly, but it’s best not to rush to click ‘send’ once you’ve taken your photo. Try taking several different shots and examining them all carefully to ensure you have an image that meets all the criteria.

If you need more help, check out the online tutorial at www.paspic.com

Photo: Smartphone by newkemall licensed under Creative commons 4

Do I need a countersignature for a passport renewal?

It’s now easier than ever to submit a valid passport photo if you go through the right channels. However, you might require a helping hand if you require a countersignature. This scribble comes from an authorised individual who can vouch that you are the person on the photo. You will always need one of these if you’re applying for your first passport. The question is: do you require a countersignature if you’re only renewing your current passport? Here’s all the information you need to know.

Do you need a countersignature?

The majority of people will be fine to submit their passport photos without a countersignature in the case of a renewal. However, there are occasions when you may need to enlist a person to authorise your identity.

What circumstances require a countersignature?

You’ll require a countersignature if you look markedly different since your last passport photo. In particular, the guidelines state that it’s required if ‘you cannot be recognised from your existing passport’. This doesn’t mean the likes of a new hairstyle or colour, but instead different facial features – perhaps as a result of an accident or cosmetic surgery.

Is this rule the same for everyone?

No. This only applies for people aged 12 and above. With regards to children who are aged 11 and under, they will always require a countersignature in the case of a renewal because it’s assumed their facial features will have changed substantially since their first picture was taken.

Who can act as your countersignature?

The official passport guidelines state that passports must be signed by ‘a person of good standing in their community’. This includes people in a wide variety of occupations, such as accountants, solicitors, dentists, social workers, journalists and many more. These types of professionals are deemed to be trustworthy enough to vouch for passport applicants.

Do you need passport photos?

You can now take your passport photos from the comfort of your own home before having them authorised by the team at Paspic. You’ll then be able to have hard copies of the images sent to your address, meaning you are just a signature away from your passport photo being successfully accepted.

Photo: Photo by reynermedia licensed under Creative commons 4

Where to get passport photos near me?

One of the biggest challenges that you will face when renewing or applying for a passport is obtaining a passport photo that will pass all of the recommended checks and stipulations. There are several options available to you when you’re looking for a passport photo service near to where you live. These include the professional photographic studio, a photo booth, or somewhere that’s even closer, your own home. Below we explore all three options.

The photographic studio

There are now many photographic studios on the high street that can take passport pictures that meet all l the recommended checks. However, not every town has such a service. If you are able to find one near where you live, then what you’ll find is that although they can take a passport picture for you, they are a lot more expensive than the online option.

The photo booth

Many people choose to have their passport photo taken in a photo booth that is located in a busy supermarket, shopping centre or railway station. Although this may seem like the quickest and easiest option, there is no guarantee that the image taken will be accepted by the passport office. There are no checks carried out in a photo booth, and it really isn’t suitable for young children.

Online passport photos

The easiest and most efficient way to take your passport photo is by doing so in the comfort of your own home. You do need to follow the recommended guidelines, such as using a white or cream background and having your head and shoulders in the shot, but as long as you follow these rules and the image is clear, then the online passport photo service will do all of the hard work for you. Not only is this the easiest option when taking passport pictures of children or babies, but it’s also incredibly cheap.

If you need passport photos to complete your passport application, then here at Paspic we can help you. To find out more about how to take your own passport photos online, then simply follow our easy online step by step guide.