Passport 101 - All You Need To Know
Are you new to the world of passport photo services? Or perhaps you are needing to upgrade from an old silver based instant Polaroid camera that you can no longer get film for? Not sure where to begin or what do you need? Well fear not, we put together this handy resource list to help you on your way to producing perfect passport photos.
Digital Passport Camera & Printer System
First off you'll need a digital passport system. This consists of a camera, a dye sublimation printer plus the photo paper and ink ribbon print material. Compose your subject on a white background (more on this in a bit) and then take the photo with the digital camera that has been preconfigured with a clear decal showing you where to frame the head and shoulders. A digital image is captured and then transferred to the printer where it prints out with two identical photo cropped two 2 x 2". All that is left is to cut them out (more on this later as well). You can see just how easy it is to print passport photos in the tutorial video below:
We mentioned the background above. The state department requires that we have a white or very light gray background. Well it may be possible to do sometimes use a white wall, but these can sometimes show texture or a sheen gloss. In most cases we recommend using a white screen like the Wall/Ceiling Mount Photo ID Backdrop. It has a retractable mechanism much like a roller window shade or projector screen in the chassis can be mounted to your wall or ceiling.
Once you’re finished sheets come out of the printer, the final step is to cut across 2 x 2” photos down to size. Now, you could do this with scissors if you have a very steady hand, if time/productivity is not a concern and your customer doesn’t mind waiting for a while. You can also use a photo/Rotary trimmer, but you would still be making multiple cuts and taking a while to produce the two photos. For speed and accuracy we recommend using a Tabletop Passport Cutter. These are super simple and quick to operate. Just center the printed photo in the cutter’s two inch square window and pull down on the lever - out pops your perfect, square 2x2 inch passport photo. It really takes just seconds! You can see the cutter in action by watching the video clip below:
You could just hand your customer their loose finished photos, but wouldn’t it be ideal to protect them in a holder? Our Passport Folders provide a clean, professional way to present your photos to your customer with protection. The protective passport folders also have convenient instructions printed on the back to help your customer file their passport application.
Replacement Media Refills
As you run low, you will need replenish your supply and order more Paper/Ink Ribbon Media Packs. Each pack contains 108 sheets and 3 ink ribbon cartridges with enough for 36 prints each. These are always in stock at our Michigan warehouse and ship out same or next business day (depending on the time of day ordered).
That about covers all that you would need to offer passport photo services. If you have any questions please reach out and contact us. Below are the essential items you'll need to get started.
- Passport Photo Printer System - Preconfigured for US Passports$369.95
Standalone kit includes: 20 megapixel digital camera, clear photo composing guide decal, 8GB SD memory card, CP1300 digital photo printer (both preconfigured for quick & easy US passports), quick reference instruction sheet & a 108 pack of paper/print media (4x6"). Super easy operation: point & shoot, then plug memory card into printer, select a few options & print - each print takes only 47 seconds!
- CFS Products Wall-Ceiling Mounted Photo ID Backdrop - WC-33$99.95
This backdrop can be mounted to your ceiling or wall with the built-in mounting brackets (screws/bolts not included).
- Tabletop Passport Photo Cutter (2" x 2" / 50mm x 50mm)$68.24
Designed for use with nearly any passport photo printer, cutting a perfect 2x2 inch USA passport photo is as easy as pulling the handle.
- Passport Folders - 100 ea.$9.99Generic passport folders to protect/transport your passport/ID-cut photos with helpful tips printed on the inside. 100 folders per pack.