When it comes to taking the perfect picture for your passport, you don’t want to smile wide and say “Cheese.” You also don’t want to wear your glasses, have hair covering your face, pick a photo that’s more than six months old or end up with any of the other faux pas that can get your entire passport application rejected based on an unacceptable photo alone.
What you do want to do is to head to one of the places to get passport photos done right the very first time. Hint: your bedroom or foyer typically won’t cut it.
Don’t Try This at Home
Sorry, but even your best selfie won’t pass muster as an acceptable passport photo. The US Department of State website specifically says “hand-held self-portraits are not acceptable.”
Additional requirements that can be tough to meet from home include:
- Square layout of 2 x 2 inches
- Sized so your head is between 1 inch and 1 and three-eighths inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
- Plain white or off-white background
- Directly facing the camera with a full-face view
Places to Get Passport Photos Done Right
Swift Passport Services: We can print your photos right here! Check out the Swift Passport Photo Guidelines for further information!
Pharmacies: Walgreens, CVS and other big name, chain pharmacies often offer soup-to-nuts services for your passport photos. Find a shop that does and they’ll take your photo right in the store, following regulations and printing you copies to go.
Big box stores: Target and Wal-Mart may advertise passport photos, but their services may be limited to printing photos in the required format using an existing photo. You can upload your photo online, place your order and then pick it up in a nearby location or have it delivered to your home. Certain Target locations offer on-site photos; double check those near you to be sure.
Professional photography studios: Professional studios count as places to get passport photos. You can try a local privately owned studio or a studio in a department store, such as J.C. Penny.
Post office: Select post office locations offer on-site passport photo services. Contact those in your area to see if it’s an option.
Passport agencies: Local passport agencies are yet one more alternative for getting a passport photo done right, although they can be far less convenient than some of your other choices.
Getting your perfect passport photo is the first step, and you can contact Swift Passport Services with additional questions on photos or other passport issues down the line.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.