How to pose for a passport photo

When Kate Moss hit her local photo shop for a passport photo shoot, her photos were instantly rejected. Why? Because her head was tilted to one side and her hair was falling over her face. When it comes to getting a passport photo taken, the rules are clear:

• Photos must be a close up of your head and shoulders
• The background must be cream or light grey
• You must face forward and look straight at the camera
• Your expression should be neutral with eyes open and mouth closed
• Nothing covering your face, including glasses and hair
• Nothing covering your head, including hats and sunglasses (religious and medical reasons excepted)
• No shadows either behind you or on your face

Once you’ve mastered all the rules, you should be in a position to pose for your passport photo. Here are some professional hints and tips to make your photo look great and pass muster with the passport people!

Get a good night’s sleep

There’s no substitute for sleep to make you look your best. Schedule your photo for a time when you’re well rested and not stressed out.

Make-up is your friend

Concealer, a little bronzer, plenty of mascara, good brows and a dab of lip gloss should be all it takes to look like the best version of you. Save the full Kim Kardashian contour look for your holidays.

Hair do’s and don’ts

Do sweep your hair back if it’s long, and wear it off your face and shoulders. A small barette is fine to keep your hair off your face, a headband or scarf will count as headgear and could see your passport photo rejected.

Strike a pose

The instructions say neutral expression but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a Tyra Banks ‘smize’ – let your eyes smile and you’ll light up your photo. Worried about a double chin? Then poke your chin forward like a turtle. Want your cheekbones to pop? Clench your back teeth. Practise your pose before you start snapping and you’ll look like a supermodel.

Think classic

The best attire for a passport photo is a classic shirt or high necked top in any colour but white – think black polo or navy shirt. The more timeless and classic your pose, the more likely your passport pic is to stand the test of time.

Need passport photos that have a 99.5% chance of being accepted? Then simply upload to Paspic and we’ll send them postage free to more than 65 countries worldwide.

Recommended Reading