Can you wear jewellery on your UK digital passport photo?

There are some items of jewellery which people wear everyday of their lives. This includes the likes of necklaces and earrings. However, you’re right to question whether these pieces should be removed for the purpose of a passport photo. After all, the passport picture guidelines are shrouded in rules and guidelines – all of which are liable to delay your application if you don’t fully adhere to them. The question is: will your passport photo be rejected simply because you’re wearing jewellery? Let’s look at what you need to know.

Is jewellery allowed?

You will be happy to learn that you are generally allowed to wear jewellery on your passport photo. The likes of necklaces and earrings are acceptable, as well as piercings on your face. You usually will not be required to remove these items to obtain a satisfactory passport picture, so it’s up to you whether you choose to wear them or not when taking your passport picture.

Are there exceptions?

The only time that there could be an issue is if a piece of jewellery were to obstruct your face. This is most likely to happen with the likes of piercings rather than necklaces and earrings. Earrings, if excessive in nature, may also cause the photo to be rejected. Therefore, it would be safer to wear studs rather than ones that dangle and are overly elaborate.

What else is there?

You should also be aware that some pieces of jewellery might be prone to reflecting light. This is strictly prohibited, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for any instance of this happening. Taking your photo without a flash can help, as well as moving a safe distance away from other light sources when you’re posing for the picture.

There’s always help

If you’re unsure whether you’ve taken a suitable passport photo then you should know that there is help available. Paspic offers a service in which your passport picture is analysed to ensure it meets all the guidelines and will be accepted with your application. Be sure to get in touch if you’re looking to take advantage.

What constitutes a ‘neutral expression’ on your digital passport photo for a passport renewal?

Your passport photo is unlike other pictures. This is because it’s packed full of rules and criteria that you must adhere to in order to attain one that will be deemed suitable by the HM Passport Office. Take, for instance, your expression. The official guidelines state that it must be ‘neutral’ – but what exactly does this mean? You’re right to be seeking advice because even the smallest hiccup could mean that the picture is unsuitable and your passport application is delayed. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at what constitutes a neutral expression.

What does it mean?

The guidelines essentially call for you not to show any sort of emotion on your face. You can’t appear happy or excited, nor can you be sad or angry. This means that you’ll have to pose in a style where it’s impossible to read your emotions because you are simply looking straight at the camera without any sort of expression.

Where could you go wrong?

The typical mistake that people make is to smile on the proposed passport picture for a passport renewal. Not only is this not allowed, but the guidelines actually state that a smile – even the faintest glimmer of a smile – is enough to cause the photo to be rejected. The other example used is frowning, which once again isn’t acceptable.

Why is this the case?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just that there has to be an air of seriousness around people’s passport photos. Instead, it’s because a picture that doesn’t meet the criteria could cause you serious problems when you’re entering or leaving different countries – especially if you’re using an e-gate. If you show emotion then you could be distorting your face, ultimately making it difficult for the biometric software to get a decent reading of your identity.

Keep it neutral

The only way you’ll ever have a valid adult passport in your hands is to master the art of posing with a neutral expression. If you’re unsure whether you’ve got it right, be sure to send the picture over to the team at Paspic. This way you’ll have confirmation that it’s satisfactory before submitting it along with your application.

Can my child have a dummy on their passport photo?

The matter of taking a passport photo can be tricky enough for adults – never mind for children! It’s especially difficult when the child is too young to understand the process and therefore liable to become agitated by it. This, of course, can mean tears. As most mums and dad know, it’s easier to manage a child’s emotions when they have a dummy in their mouth to soothe them. The question is: is your son or daughter allowed a dummy on their passport photo? Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Are dummies allowed?

No, unfortunately. The passport guidelines make it clear that children must not be sucking on a dummy on their passport photo. This means that the picture will be rejected if you choose to go down this path. You also can’t use other tools that have been known to relax children, such as toys like rattles.

What’s the reasoning?

The passport office is aware that it can be difficult for parents to obtain adequate passport-style pictures of their child and, due to this, they have made some exceptions from the adult guidelines. However, dummies can’t be permitted because they will obstruct the child’s face and make it difficult for a border official to adequately ascertain their identity.

What are the exceptions?

First of all, your child won’t have to have a neutral expression or be looking at the camera on their passport photo. In fact, babies under one don’t even need to have their eyes open. Lastly, you can lay your baby on a clear sheet for the picture, which differs from the adult rules which stress that people must be stood in front of a clear background on their passport picture.

Don’t suffer alone

It’s understandable that mums and dads might struggle when it comes to taking their child’s passport photo. This doesn’t mean that you should suffer alone. Paspic is here to help, with a team qualified to look over your son or daughter’s passport picture to give you peace of mind that it’s appropriate and won’t be rejected when you submit the passport application.

Are elderly people exempt from any passport picture rules?

There’s no age limit to having a passport. This means that even the most elderly members of society can apply for, and be granted, a passport. You can, of course, always give an elderly relative or neighbour a helping hand in making sure that they fill out the application correctly. You might even assist them with taking a suitable passport photo and take advantage of services like Paspic. The first question you’ll probably want to answer is: are elderly people exempt from any of the rules surrounding passport pictures? Let’s look at what you need to know so that you can provide proper assistance.

Which rules must they follow?

Anyone over the age of 16 requires an adult passport photo and must generally follow the same rules as all other adults. This includes key aspects such as that the person must have a neutral expression and that the picture must be taken in front of a clear background.

Are the elderly exempt from any?

Passport officials have been advised that for certain elderly people it is not essential that they are looking straight at the camera. This is because of an awareness that many people in their later years can be ‘stooped’, which would fall into the category of disability. The guideline states: “If the customer has a disability which prevents them from looking straight at the camera their photograph should be considered under the exceptions criteria.”

How can you help with this?

Any elderly people who want to take advantage of this exemption will need to have a written request sent along with the passport application. The passport officials are advised that “such cases must be dealt with sensitively and should be accepted if we are advised, in writing, that a full-face image is not possible,” according to the Photographic Standards Policy. You can advise the person you’re helping that this note could be necessary for the passport picture to be accepted.

Let us help

Paspic can always assist by ensuring the picture meets all the correct guidelines and will be accepted. This should mean that you can focus your energy on helping the elderly person to take the picture without fear that it could be rejected and the process would have to start all over again. We’ll also send out two hard copies, either to support a paper application or for future use.

Can you have bare shoulders on your passport photo?

Passports photos are a big deal. After all, an adult passport can stay with you for up to a decade – meaning you’ll have to live with the picture for many years to come. This, of course, is why people put so much emphasis on their hair before posing for the picture. You should, however, also focus on your clothing – particularly the parts visible on your shoulders. The question is: can you have bare shoulders on your passport photo? Let’s look at what you need to know about as you decide upon an outfit for the picture.

Can your shoulders be exposed?

Yes. The passport officials have been advised that this is down to the personal preference of each individual applicant. As a result, it can’t be the basis for your passport photo being rejected. The officials go off the guidelines that ‘under no circumstances should a photograph be rejected purely because the shoulders and upper body are uncovered’. Ultimately, this means you can wear attire that doesn’t cover your shoulders.

Are there any benefits?

It always helps if you feel comfortable and relaxed when taking your passport photo, which is why so many people now prefer to take the picture at home. If exposing your shoulders means you’re able to relax and better adhere to the picture guidelines, then it would be to your advantage to go down this route.

What are the downsides?

A picture with bare shoulders likely won’t give you the most professional and respectful air. This is something to consider, especially given that you might one day find yourself entering more conservative or faith-based countries. There’s also the fact the spare hard copies can also be used for other forms of identification, including student cards and employment purposes. Due to this, you might not be able to get as much use out of your photo if your shoulders are exposed.

It’s up to you!

It’s your decision whether you choose to have exposed shoulders on your passport picture. Just know that once you’ve taken a photo that you’re happy with then you can always send it across to Paspic. This is your way of ensuring the picture meets all the guidelines before you send it off with either your paper or digital passport application.

Can my baby sit on my lap for their passport picture?

Every single person needs a passport if they’re to enter or leave the country – even those who are just a few days old! This means that you’ll need to get a baby passport photo to support your child’s passport application. While it’s quite possible that over the years you will have mastered the skill of taking your own passport photo, you might be at a loss with where to start when it comes to your son’s or daughter’s. Your first question will probably be: can my baby sit on my lap for their passport photo? Here’s everything you need to know.

Is it allowed?

It would, admittedly, be much easier for mums and dads to sit their baby on their laps when taking a child’s passport photo. Unfortunately this isn’t allowed. The guidelines are clear that ‘children must be on their own in the picture’. Of course, if your child is sat on your lap then your body will be visible on the photo. Instead, you should have your baby lie on a plain light-coloured sheet for the picture.

What can you do?

Don’t worry, you can actually offer your baby a degree of support to ensure that it’s possible to take a satisfactory picture. The guidelines outline that ‘you can support their head with your hand, but your hand must not be visible in the photo’. This should hopefully make the process run a little smoother.

What else should you know?

The rules aren’t as stringent for babies as they are for adults. Take, for instance, the eyes. Whereas for adults you must hold a neutral expression and be looking directly at the camera, this isn’t expected for children under one. Not only are they allowed to not be looking directly at the camera, but they can also have their eyes closed on the image.

Good luck!

It can be a bit of a struggle attaining satisfactory passport photo of your baby. Luckily, you don’t have to meander through the experience alone. Paspic are here to help and can give you guidance on whether the photo meets all the guidelines if you send the image through to the team and take advantage of our service.

Three ways your typical selfie won’t suffice as a passport photo

It’s true that you can now submit a selfie as your passport picture rather than queue up to use a photo booth. This just makes the process much easier and more convenient. However, it can’t be your typical selfie. While you’ve got free rein when you’re sharing pictures on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, you’ll have to play by the rules when taking one for your passport application. Let’s look at three ways your typical selfie just won’t suffice as a passport picture.


It’s quite common for people to attempt to capture their best side on a selfie by taking the picture at an angle. This might involve snapping the image from above or from the side. Unfortunately, there’s just no room to start experimenting with different angles when it comes to the picture that you submit with your passport application. The rules clearly state that you must ‘be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera’.


Don’t even think about flashing a smile or rocking your sexiest pout. While these tricks might be a great way to show some personality on your normal selfies, they just can’t be used on your passport photo. Instead, you must ‘have a plain expression and your mouth closed’. Your eyes must also be wide open, so you’ll have to resist the urge to do your most smouldering gaze.


The most popular social networking platforms boast a wide variety of filters for people to use before sharing selfies. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to edit your passport photo. Earlier this year the passport office commented directly on the use of photo-editing software, reminding people that ‘these photographs are entirely unsuitable from an international security perspective’. As a result, you’ll have to go au naturel on the selfie that you submit as your passport photo.

Do you need assistance?

You’re right to question whether you’ve got your head around all the rules surrounding passport photos before you take your selfie. Thankfully you can get assurance that you’ve taken a suitable passport picture by first sending the digital passport photo through to the team at Paspic. If it’s a digital passport picture we’ll let you know it’s good to go, whereas if it’s for a paper application we’ll send you out the hard copies.

3 Reasons To Have Hard Copies of Your Passport Photos Sent To Your Home

Passport Photos uk

It’s fair to say that the passport application process is now more convenient than ever before. After all, more often than not you’ll now have the choice over whether you submit a digital or paper application. However – no matter which route you choose to go down – it’s always worth having the hard copies posted straight to your door.

Let’s look at 3 benefits you stand to gain by doing this (even when you’re submitting a digital passport picture!).

✓ Safety

The slightest bit of damage to your passport photo can render it invalid. In fact, the guidelines clearly state that any images should be ‘free of creases and serrated edges’. Of course, the likelihood of these things actually happening only increases when you’re tasked with tracking down a photo booth and taking your photos home with you from there. Meanwhile, you can rest assured that the images will be in perfect condition when they land in your lap if you have the hard copies sent straight to your door in a protective envelope.

✓ Uses

You just never know when you’ll need a passport-style photo. Even if you choose to submit a digital passport photo, you’ll surely get use out of having spare hard copies at your home. These can be used in numerous instances – including for other forms of identification in work or education. Remember, once you’ve got the hard copies in your possession it will mean you won’t have to go through the picture-taking process all over again.

✓ Assurance

If you go down the right channels to attain hard copies then you’ll also have the benefit of some added assurance that your passport photos meet the guidelines. Paspic, for instance, always check every picture to ensure it meets the criteria before then sending the hard copies to your home. This should ultimately be another weight off your shoulders as you meander through the passport application process.

We’re here to help

Paspic has helped out countless people during the passport application by sending them hard copies of their photos in the post. Now – even if you’re submitting a digital passport photo – you can still take advantage of our service by uploading your picture and letting us confirm it’s satisfactory.

Can You Submit A Mirrored Passport Photo?

mirrored passport photos

We’re so used to having freedom over our pictures. Unfortunately, we don’t have free rein when it comes to our passport photo. This is something to consider if you plan to play around with the picture and, in particular, use software to mirror it.

The Passport Office is aware that people are going down this route – and it’s important that you know where they stand on the matter before submitting a mirrored passport photo. Let’s look at what you need to know.

Can you mirror your images?

No. The officials who have the power to accept or reject your passport photo have been advised to keep an eye out for people submitting mirrored pictures. The actual guideline states that ‘photographs where the image is reflected left to right or right to left so that the picture is flipped from one side to another, are not acceptable’. Therefore, you can expect a request to submit another picture if you do flout the rules.

How can you be found out?

You might well question how an official you’ve never met before would be able to distinguish whether you have submitted a mirrored passport photo. Well, the answer is that – if they have even the slightest suspicion – they’ll check your new photograph against previous images that you’ve used in the past. In particular, they’ll look to see if applicants have any ‘distinguishing mark or disability that is visible on one side of their face’.

What if you get away with it?

It’s true that you might be able to pull the wool over someone’s eyes – but you’re only playing with fire if you do submit a mirrored passport photo. The guidelines state that ‘mirror images may cause issues at border control’, meaning you can expect that sooner or later you’ll come to regret your decision and wished you’d have just submitted a legitimate passport photo the first time around.

Do you need help?

There’s a lot of information like this to understand before you submit a passport photo. If you’re unsure whether you’re going wrong or accidentally flouting any rules, then don’t hesitate to first send the image through to the team at Paspic. We’ll check it meets all the criteria and also send you two hard copies passport photo in the post. we will also provide you with a link to your digital passport photo. You will be able to click on that link to retrieve the digital files of your passport photos and save it to your photos on your phone or computer and use it to upload to your passport application.

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Shadows on passport photos – what exactly are the rules?

You’ll come across a point on shadows when reading up on the rules surrounding passport photos. This might have you questioning whether your picture meets all the criteria – and as a result, you might be worried about whether your photo will cause your passport application to be rejected. There are, however, more to the rules than explained on the official government website. With this in mind, here’s what you need to know about shadows on your passport photo.

What is the rule?

The passport guidelines state that you must ‘not have any shadows on your face or behind you’ on your passport photo. This rule is in place to ensure that you do not accidentally obscure any of your facial features. After all, if this happened the biometric software used at airports might not be able to get a decent reading of your face. This could cause delays when you’re entering different countries.

So shadows are a no go?

There is actually one exception when it comes to shadows on your passport photos. This is that your ears are allowed to cause small shadows, though – more often than not – these won’t be cast on your face. Passport officials are allowed to accept pictures when there are shadows caused by the ears ‘as long as there is a clear definition between the face and the background’.

What can you do?

You’ll really need to focus on the lighting around you when posing for your passport photo. This can take a certain level of precision because you will need to find a balance between standing in a well-lit area and not allowing the lights to create any shadows other than the ones cast by your ears.

Are you still unsure?

Admittedly, the passport photo guidelines can cause a degree of confusion. You don’t, however, need to suffer alone. Instead, you can enlist the services of Paspic. Just send us your photo once you’ve taken it and we’ll give you the thumbs up that it meets all the criteria and will be accepted. In addition, we’ll also send you the hard copies in the post in case you’re submitting a paper application and won’t be using digital passport photos.