Must your shoulders be visible on your passport photo?

You’re right to put emphasis on your face when taking your passport photo. After all, this will largely make up the bulk of the picture and be the means of which your identity is assessed when you leave and enter different countries. You might have also noticed that many passport pictures also feature people’s shoulders. The question is: do your shoulders need to be visible on your passport photo? Here’s what you need to know before completing your passport application.

Must you show your shoulders?

Yes. The guidelines are pretty clear, with the rule stating that ‘photos must show a full front view of face and shoulders’. If you ignore this rule – or if your shoulders can only partially be seen – it’s likely that your passport picture will be rejected and you’ll have to take another.

Does this make it harder?

You should actually find that you’re able to take a better passport photo when you’re framing the image so that your shoulders are also included. Your shoulders can actually act as a handy marker to ensure that you’re not taking the picture from too close or too far away.

What must you consider?

Ultimately, you might have to give added attention to the clothes that you choose to wear on your passport photo. After all, any clothing across your shoulders will be visible. You might be best served choosing more neutral and ageless designs, especially since your photo will last for 10 years when approved alongside an adult passport.

What if you’re unsure?

Don’t worry about going wrong with your passport photo. Paspic will be able to let you know if it meets the guidelines before you submit it with your passport application, meaning you can avoid any of the long delays that can come from submitting an invalid picture.

Good luck!

This information should be enough to steer you in the right direction before getting in front of the camera. Don’t forget, once you’ve snapped an image that you’re happy with, you can always send it to Paspic. We’ll give you assurance that it meets the strict guidelines and put your mind at rest before you send off your passport application.

Can you have a fringe on your passport photo?

Men and women alike have fringes. It’s a hairstyle that’s stood the test of the time and doesn’t show any signs of falling out of the fashion in the near future. The question is: can you have a fringe on your passport photo? If you’re looking for answers, this is what you need to know before posing in front of the camera.

Are fringes allowed?

You might be under the impression that a fridge – particularly one that’s long and thick – wouldn’t be allowed under the official passport guidelines. After all, you hairdo could potentially cover a significant part of your face and hide your forehead. Fear not, you’ll still be recognisable even with a fringe and won’t have a problem using e-gates when entering a different country.

How long can your fringe be?

This is where you have to be careful. Whereas you are allowed to sport a fringe, you must not have hair covering your eyes in your passport photo. Why? Well, because it will raise a question over your identity when you leave and enter different countries – potentially causing a delay to your journey.

What are your options?

The easiest option would arguably be to briefly restyle your hair or tie it back for the photograph to ensure that your eyes can be seen. Thankfully no one need see how you look because there’s no need to go out in public to get a passport picture. Instead, you can now stay at home and take your time when snapping a passport photo.

What if you’re unsure?

The whole process of taking a passport picture can admittedly be rather tricky, especially when you factor in that you need to restyle your hair for the photo. Don’t worry though, you can have added assurance that the image meets the requirements if you send it through to the team at Paspic.

Good luck!

The photo-taking process should be rather simple when you’ve got some added assistance from Paspic. In addition to making sure your photo will meet the guidelines, we’ll also send you two hard copies of your picture should you need these to submit with your passport application.

Photo: Bang! by Guilherme Yagui licensed under Creative commons 4

Can you use the flash on your camera when taking your passport photo?

You now have plenty of freedom when it comes to taking passport photos. With it being easier and more convenient to take the picture either at home, at work or wherever you can find a suitable spot, the only thing you really need to focus on is making sure that it meets the guidelines. There is, however, another question that might arise: can you use the flash on your camera? Let’s look at what you need to know as you prepare to take your passport photo.

Can you use the flash?

Yes. The passport guidelines don’t forbid people from using the flash as long as the final outcome represents a true likeness of their appearance. This can be achieved with or without a flash, so you’re fine to have yours on when you pose for your passport photo.

What difference will it make?

The flash is predominantly used to provide additional lighting in places that are dark or lacking in light. It can, therefore, make you more visible and produce a better picture – but there are some downsides to consider.

What are the downsides?

The flash can easily cause your passport photo not to meet the strict criteria required. This can happen in numerous ways, including that it can give you ‘red eye’ and produce shadows both on your face and in the background. If either of these two things occur, you’ll have to take another picture or risk the image being rejected.

What are your options?

It might be more worthwhile to turn the flash off. This would mean that you’d have to find a place with a suitable amount of light where you could take the photo, perhaps by a window or in an area where there is an abundance of lamps.

One final thing…

Once you’ve decided whether to keep the flash on and have taken a passport picture that you’re happy with, you should make sure that you send the image over to the team at Paspic. We’ll assess it to guarantee that it meets all the guidelines and you can submit your passport application without fear that the photo could be rejected.

Best place to take your passport photo? Try at work

You might well feel spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a place to take your passport picture. After all, the days of queuing at a photo booth are long gone and there’s a whole world of places that would make for a suitable spot to stand in front of the camera. The question is: where is the best place to take your passport picture? Well, you might want to consider taking it in work – especially if you work in an office. Here are three reasons why it makes for a great option.


The rules are clear that you must take your photo in front of a ‘plain light-coloured background’ for it to be accepted. There can, of course, be an abundance of such backgrounds in the average workplace since offices generally rely on neutral colours. You need just look around your office to find the most suitable site and start flashing away when you’re stood in a spot that fits the bill.


Everyone wants to have a passport photo that they can be proud of. This usually means looking your best and wearing clothing that is ageless. Thankfully, you’ll be used to achieving a certain level of presentation before you go into your office and work alongside your colleagues. This should mean that you’re ready to stand in front of the lens and have your passport picture taken at a moment’s notice without having to spend additional time making yourself look presentable.


You should hopefully feel switched on during the working day as your brain is stimulated by different tasks. This is handy because it should mean that you’re in a good position to make an assessment about the suitability of your picture once it’s been taken. Don’t forget, a photo that doesn’t meet the strict criteria is likely to be rejected and cause significant delays to your passport application – so you should take in when you are in the right headspace to thoroughly look it over.

Let us help you

If you’ve taken a passport picture in work but still aren’t sure whether it’s in line with the guidelines then you shouldn’t wait to send it over to Paspic. This way you’ll have a guarantee that it’s suitable before submitting it alongside the rest of your passport application.

Will you need a new passport photo after losing weight?

A quarter of holiday-makers embark on a crash diet before going on vacation, according to a survey carried out by Pizza Express. If you’ve been successful in your mission to lose weight before going away – or if you’ve simply shed the pounds for a different reason – you might be questioning whether your current passport picture is still a decent representation of your appearance. The question is: will you need a new passport photo after losing weight? Here’s what you need to know.

Is a new passport necessary?

It really depends on how much weight you’ve lost and, in particular, whether your face has been transformed as a result. Significant changes to your appearance (such as plastic surgery) are deemed sufficient to require a new passport photo. You’ll have to assess whether you’re still recognisable before deciding what route to take.

What if you keep your old picture?

You can, unfortunately, expect delays if your appearance has changed dramatically and your passport picture is no longer representative of your facial features. It’s not just that a border official might question your identity, but also that you might not register against the biometric e-gates now found at most airports. It could mean that your holiday both starts and ends with undue hassle.

Are there benefits to a new picture?

Yes. Aside from the fact that a new passport photo will remove any questions about your identity when you arrive in a new country, there’s also the fact that you’ll likely feel happier with the picture. After all, if you’ve gone to the effort of sticking to a rigorous diet to transform yourself then you might very well welcome the opportunity to pose for a new passport photo.

What’s the process?

You’ll have to apply for a passport renewal, which will allow you the chance to submit a newer, more accurate photo. You can now take the picture at home, so it shouldn’t be inconvenient to do in the slightest.

Let us assist

We’re skilled at ensuring passport photos meet the government’s strict criteria and won’t be the cause of any delays. Therefore, once you’ve taken your photo, be sure to send it through to us at Paspic.

How to prepare your infant for a passport photo

If you love to travel, then the arrival of a baby should not stop you. It’s only right that you get them a passport and travel together as a family. The thing about passports is that they require a photo and getting your infant to pose can be quite tricky. Here are some tips on how to prepare your baby and make the photo session a success.

Ensure your baby is well rested

If you’re using a professional or visiting a photo booth, the infant passport photo session is bound to tire out your little one so ensure they are well rested before you attempt to take their picture. If they don’t have enough sleep beforehand, they may fall asleep or act out, which would be inconvenient. It is highly recommended that you take your baby’s photo when they are most alert. You probably know what time if they are usually wide awake and that is the perfect time for a photo. 

Have the right documents

Before you acquire a passport for your baby, there are certain preparations you need to make. For starters, you need to have the birth certificate of your child. You also need to know the government requirement for child passport photos before you have one taken.

Prepare your baby appropriately

The background of a child passport photo should be white, which makes it necessary for you to dress them in contrasting colours. Ensure you have toys or other means of distracting your baby in order for them to remain calm throughout the session.  

Supporting the baby

Most parents will tell you how they had to crouch on the ground to hold their baby without being visible. Others will tell you how the baby had to be propped up with objects to keep them from toppling over. These are all good tips to bear in mind to avoid being snapped in your infant’s passport photo.

Passport photo sessions for babies can be more challenging than you think which is why it makes sense to take your photo in the comfort of your own home and use a service such as Paspic. With Paspic you can verify if your photo is approved online without having to suffer delays to your passport application. Why not try it today?

Photo: Bath. by kourtlynlott licensed under Creative commons 6

My passport is damaged – will I need a new picture?

Every effort should be taken to ensure that your passport is kept in pristine condition. Yes, general wear and tear is acceptable – but it should be avoided where possible. In July this year, a passenger was denied boarding a flight from Heathrow to Qatar after a pre-boarding inspection determined that there was a security risk due to the fact that the paper had begun to come away. The question is: will you need a new passport photo if your passport is damaged? Here’s what you need to know.

What constitutes damage?

There’s a wide spectrum of faults that could mean your passport would be determined to be damaged and as a result, rendering it invalid. This includes that the ‘details are indecipherable’ and that the ‘laminate has lifted enough to allow the possibility of photo substitution’. The passport office can determine this before you are due to go abroad and – if necessary – renew or replace your existing passport.

Will a new picture be needed?

Your existing picture might suffice, though it will depend on if it is damaged or cause for concern. You might once again have to re-establish your identity, which would involve submitting another picture along with a countersignature. The process can run more smoothly if you ask for renewal rather than a replacement, in which case you’ll have the freedom to take a new passport photo.

Will it take long?

Thankfully it’s never been easier to submit a passport photo. In fact, you can now take your picture at home. This will allow you greater scope to snap an image that you’re pleased with and should soften the blow of having to renew your passport early. You’ll be pleased to know that your new passport – along with the passport picture – will last for 10 years from the day it’s issued.

Let us help

You’ll, of course, want the process to run both quickly and smoothly when trying to get hold of a functioning passport. Luckily, we can help at Paspic. Just send us your picture and our team will confirm it meets all guidelines and won’t be the cause of delay when getting your hands on a new passport.

Photo: Passport by Metaphox licensed under Creative commons 4