Tips For Shooting Proper Passport Photos

Examples of acceptable passport photo composition

Recent changes in U.S. border policies require any U.S. citizen crossing into or returning from Canada or Mexico to have a valid passport. This makes it a perfect time to offer passport photos to your customers! Passport photo service is a quick and simple way to provide a simple value added service for any copy shop, printer or mailbox / shipping store. This equipment also works very well for creating company or school ID badges. CFS offers a complete line of passport cameras, films / papers, background screens, cutters and other accessories that allow you to offer complete passport photo services.

Offering passport photography services is straightforward and very easy. First, you'll need a camera that can take the appropriate sized picture (see requirements below). You can choose from a film cartridge type (like a Polaroid process) or a digital camera and printer system. Next you'll need a white only background, no other colors are accepted. There are two ways to get the photo onto an acceptable material - the peel-apart (Polaroid type) film or a digital photo printer. Lastly, you need to cut 2 identical photos, each at a size of 2" by 2" squared.

CFS also carries a full line of accessories to help you including: tripods, background screens and passport photo holders. For a snapshot of the passport photo items that CFS carries, visit our Passport Photo Cameras & Supplies section.

To aid you in the creation of passport photos, CFS has compiled this extremely helpful information. All passport photos must comply with the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of State. Passport photo requirements are as follows:

  • Two identical, full color photos.
  • 2" x 2" inches in size.
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance.
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background.
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Taken in normal street attire. Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline.
  • Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are NOT acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A medical certificate may be required.
Examples of acceptable passport photo composition

For detailed explanations see this Composition Checklist.

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