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  • The Best Places to Get Passport Photos Done Right the First Time

    Obtaining a passport can be time-consuming and sometimes, just down-right stressful (unless you’re working with Swift, of course). So when it comes time to have your passport photo taken, the last thing you want to happen is for your photo to not fit within passport photo guidelines.

    Let’s start with some basics. You can’t be wearing glasses, no hair can be covering your face, no headbands or bows are allowed in your hair, and no spaghetti straps.  Your photo can’t be too dark or blurry, and cannot be more than six months old. If you try to submit a passport photo that’s against any of the passport photo guidelines, you risk having your entire passport application rejected. Yes, rejected based solely on an unacceptable photo alone.

    You might be wondering, where can I go to make sure my passport photo is done right the first time? While you may want to avoid taking a passport photo in your bedroom or foyer, we do have some suggested places that will make sure your passport photo is going to be accepted without any hassle. 

    Please, Don’t Try This at Home

    Unfortunately, even the best-looking selfie from your phone isn’t going to make the cut 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:

    • A square layout of 2 x 2 inches.
    • The photo must be sized so that your head is between 1 inch and 1 and three-eighths inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
    • A plain white or off-white background.
    • You must be directly facing the camera with a full-face view.

    Places to Get Your Passport Photos Done Right

    Swift Passport Services: We can print your photos here in our office. Convenient, right? Check out the Swift Passport Photo Guidelines for further information.

    Independent Mailstores:  FedEx Office and UPS often have passport photo services, as do AIM Mail Centers, Postal Annex Stores, and other small businesses offering pack and ship services.

    Big-Name Pharmacies: Big-name pharmacies such as WalgreensCVS, and other chain pharmacies will often offer a passport photo taking service. All you have to do is find a location near you that offers the service, they’ll take your photo right then and there while following regulations, and will print 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 of yours. You can upload your photo online, place your order, and pick it up in a nearby location or have it delivered to your home. Certain Target locations offer on-site photos, but make sure to double-check your local Target to make sure.

    Professional Photography Studios: When you get your passport photo done at a professional photography studio, you can be sure they’ll be done right the first time. You can try a local privately owned studio or a studio in a department store such as J.C. Penny.

    The Post Office: Select post office locations offer on-site passport photo services. Contact your local post office to see if this is an option at their location.

    Have Any Questions or Want to Get Your Passport Photo Taken at Swift? Getting your perfect passport photo is the first step in obtaining your shiny, new passport. If you have any questions about passport photo guidelines or are looking to have your passport photo taken at Swift, please feel free to contact us. No matter where you’re going, we’ll get you there!

    12 thoughts on “The Best Places to Get Passport Photos Done Right the First Time”

    1. Nice post and very informative for those people who are looking for different options to get the passport photos clicked. I also would like to add people can prefer online passport photo services as it helps people in saving time and money. Thanks a Lot!!!

    2. I had my passport photo taken at a local Rite Aid pharmacy that advertised doing it the right way, and my photo was still rejected. The store may conveniently provide the service, but there is always the possibility that the person snapping the photo won’t be as meticulous as you’d hoped he would be ….

    3. I got a passport photo taken today and it was diabolical. I am not so young but with florescent lights overhead it was like a bad mug shot…Luckily the lady agreed with me and I didn’t have to buy them. Is there a place that has decent lighting to achieve at least somewhat of a nice picture?

    4. omg Dolli the same thing happened to me. The worst photo I’ve ever seen of myself in my entire life – at a Walgreens. Now I have to do it again and spend another $15.

    5. I’m hoping you can help! I’m renewing my Canadian Passport and need very specific size photos. They are a little different than US Passport photos. I need 2 x 2-3/4 inches. Can CVS/Walgreens create different sizes? If not, where do I go for these photos? Elizabeth

      1. In our experience, they would most likely not be able to accommodate that size. If you are in the downtown Chicago area, we can provide this service. If not, there are typically photo centers that specialize in these sizes.

    6. My photo was rejected although it was taken at the post office. Would they retake it for free or would I have to pay again ?

      1. If you have your receipt for the photo and your letter from the Passport Agency, they may take it for free. However, I would personally go somewhere new to avoid the hassle of a refund, etc.

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