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Streamlining the Passport Photo Process: How Online Services Are Changing the Game

Streamlining the Passport Photo Process: How Online Services Are Changing the Game
Image by The Indian Nomad from Pixabay

Many of us remember the old days of getting passport photos. You spend three hours preparing in the morning, making sure you look just right because you’ll only get one shot at something you’ll have to live with for ten years.

Fortunately, that’s all changed recently. Not only do you get to see your results before you submit them, but you can manipulate your pictures in a wide variety of ways to make them both attractive and in accordance with passport photo requirements. Let’s take a closer look at what this entails.

Check requirements online

Before you take your passport photo, it is a good idea to check the official website first. This will lay out the requirements for you clearly and let you know what you need to do to be in compliance.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways that online tools are proving to be a game changer in the world of passport photos.

Size and shape

Passport offices have very specific requirements for the size and shape of your photos. Now that photos are digitized, they have to be a certain number of megapixels in order to meet official requirements. If photos are not clear enough, they are not considered an accurate depiction of how you really look.

Fortunately, thanks to online tools, you can now manipulate the quality of your photo to make it in compliance with official requirements. In addition to the number of megapixels, your photo needs to be a perfect square and two inches in height and width. With cropping tools, you can easily adjust your picture so that it is the right shape and size.

Background and lighting

You should always have a white background when you take a passport photo. Even if the background that you choose is not perfectly white, it is better to choose a light, plain-colored background that you can later adjust the brightness of. While you can also crop your head out of a different kind of background, this is not recommended as cutouts can sometimes appear obvious and unprofessional looking.

If you take your picture against a light, plain-colored background and yet still find that the color is not light enough, you can easily manipulate this using online photo apps. Modern apps are able to adjust brightness, contrast, and shadows to give you the perfect look.


You also want to be sure that your picture is saved in either JPG or PNG format. If you have to change the format of your picture too many times, the quality will subsequently be reduced and you will no longer meet the megapixel requirements of the passport agency.

Fortunately, most photo programs allow saving in JPG. Just be sure you don’t take a picture from a PDF and think that it will suffice because your picture will be rejected.

Your face

As mentioned above, many people have traditionally stressed out over their appearance in their passport photos. Before digital photography, even the photographer didn’t know what the final result would look like until the film was developed. 

Now, however, you can change many different aspects of your appearance. You can alter the complexion of your face, remove blemishes, and generally improve your appearance as long as the final result is not too far from the way you really look. If you don’t like the way your hair looks in a particular picture, you can simply take a new one in a matter of seconds.

Your clothing

Another thing to think about is what you are wearing. Even though only your shoulders are visible in a passport photo, it still pays to consider what you will wear. Again, this is a picture that will be with you for a decade, so every aspect is important.

While dress codes are relatively free, you should wear something standard looking that doesn’t detract from the appearance of your face. Glasses are acceptable if you normally wear them, but hats and other kinds of accessories are discouraged unless you wear them for religious purposes. With online tools, you can alter your picture’s tones to make it more acceptable looking.

Edit for the perfect picture

Indeed, we are living in a lucky age. It used to be the case that people had one shot at getting a passport photo and if it didn’t go well, they would either have to shell out for a completely new session or simply wait another ten years for what would hopefully be a better shot. 

With online tools, you can perfect your photo in just the ways you need to make the ideal picture. Just be sure that you don’t edit to the point where you make yourself into a completely different person as this won’t go over well with the customs authorities either!

Ombir is an Editor at Active Noon Media. He is an SEO and Writer who has experience of 3 years in these respective fields. He likes to spend his time doing research on various topics.