How To Take And Make Your Own Passport Pictures | Ann Arbor Portrait Photographer

It’s vacation time so I thought I would make a post on how to take and make your own passport photos. I had a horrible experience trying to get passport photos taken of my kids and the results were awful, so I decided to do it myself.  Here are some helpful tips that I am going to share with you. To really prove that you can do this at home, all the photos in this post were taken with my compact point & shoot camera , done at home and not in my studio. The photos above are obviously not suitable as a passport photo but they were so cute,  I had to include them in my post.

Here is the set up:

Using only natural light, I set up the backdrop, which in this case is a white foam core board bought at an art store or you could use a white sheet draped over chairs. I placed our very cute 2 year old model about 5 feet from the front door which is open (directly facing it).  I zoomed the camera so that her head and shoulders were included with enough white space above her head. Make sure that your subject is directly facing the camera.  Click on this link to get the complete guideline from the Department of State Travel.

Here is the checklist for composition:

  • Frame subject with full face, front view, eyes open
  • Center head within frame
  • Subject is against a white or off-white background
  • Position subject and lighting so that there are no distracting shadows on the face or background
  • Subject should have a natural expression

The trickiest part for me was the measuring and the printing of the passport photos. I discovered a quick and very inexpensive way of getting the photos printed. All you need to do is go to a Kodak Kiosk! The machine does all the measuring for you.

Cost may vary but it should only be the cost of a 4×6 print. Sometimes the machine might charge you as if you had the attendant take your photo so you just have to ask them to adjust the price.  I hope this article has been helpful! Happy travels!