Passport photo fails and how to avoid them

If you’re looking for a new passport photo for an abroad trip or as a form of general identity, there are a few things you need to know before you make those dreaded passport photo fails. Here are a few things you need to know to ensure that your photos are taken correctly.

1. Too light

The problem with many passport photos is that the lighting is too bright, therefore facial features can appear unnoticeable or very faint. Camera flashes are one of the causes of this and often too much direct sunlight. Problems such as these can cause light to bounce off the facial features, especially the eyes. To ensure that your photos are taken correctly, always turn the flash off or visit a professional passport photography company to take suitable photos for you with the correct lighting.

2. Shadows

Another issue with passport photos is that shadows can appear intrusive. If your face appears too dark due to overwhelming shadows, you may find that your photos are rejected when it comes to proving identity. It is essential that others can identify you by your photo, therefore any object or lighting issue which stands in the way will not legally be accepted.

3. Sizing issues

In order for your passport photo to pass all of the legal requirements, you must ensure that the sizing of your photo is appropriate. Most passport photos should have a 2×2 inch area – meaning the actual photo and not the white border surrounding it. In the majority of cases, the white border should actually be cut off, so bear this in mind when taking or ordering your passport photos.

4. Focus issues

Your passport photos should be extremely clear, again so that you can be identified without any doubt. Lack of focus may include smudges on the camera lens which obscures the viewing or blurring. You should take the photo at a suitable distance, capturing the head and shoulders only. A recommended distance would be three feet. If in any doubt, it would be best to go to a professional photographer.

If you’d like to know more about passport photos or the best methods for taking baby passport photos, please contact us today at

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