The most common cause of a passport application being delayed or rejected is not adhering to the requirements for submitting a picture that is legitimate for the passport. The good news is that these mistakes in passport photo editor can be avoided by paying close attention to the small things.
Even though the majority of these mistakes occur when applicants attempt to take and print their own passport photos, professional passport photos occasionally are rejected. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the photograph submitted with their passport application will be accepted by the US Department of State.
Confirm the photo’s dimensions
The US Department of State is very clear about where the face should be in a passport photo and how big it should be:
- The face ought to be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches high.
- In the image, the nose ought to be centered horizontally.
- The distance between the bottom edge of the picture and the eyes should be between 1 1/8 and 1 3/8 inches.
Maintain a neutral expression
Subjects in passport pictures must look straight into the camera with a neutral expression. Want to look happy in your passport picture? Acceptance should be given to it so long as it is genuine and not exaggerated.
Keep your eyes naturally open, your head level with the camera, and your lips pressed together gently (not in a frown or smile).
You won’t be able to use your passport photo if you tilt your head forward or backward, look down, show your teeth, or make an emotional expression (like an overly excited face). Take another shot if you smile, blink, frown, or wink.
In the photo of your passport, look for shadows
To get rid of unwanted shadows, professional photographers use lighting rigs and flash. You probably don’t have the same kind of equipment if you take your own passport photos. Even so, you shouldn’t let that stop you from choosing a photo for your passport. A shadow on or behind the subject will result in an immediate rejection of your application.
If you want to do your passport photography yourself, you should think about using lights of the same wattage both in front of and behind the subject to prevent shadows in the background. In order to prevent shadows from appearing on either side of the face, it is also helpful to have lighting coming from both the right and left sides.
Taking a test picture is the best way to test your lighting setup. Adjust the position or intensity of the light sources if necessary to achieve a uniformly lit image without shadows if the final result is too dark or bright.
Take off your glasses
If you applied for a passport in the past, the photo on your current passport may show you wearing glasses. However, the US Department of State altered its policy regarding passport photos taken with bespectacled. Nowadays, your passport photo will be rejected if you wear glasses.
The primary objective of the change was to lessen the annual number of passport applications rejected solely because of unacceptable photos. Imperfections like shadows, glare, or tinting effects caused by glasses make it difficult to clearly see the applicant’s face, particularly their eyes. As previously mentioned, a photograph will not be accepted if a face is obscured or the quality is compromised in any way.
In exceptional circumstances, you can submit a letter from your doctor stating that you have a medical reason to wear glasses in your passport photo. Do it if you can take off your glasses without hurting yourself; the risk of being rejected is not worth it!
Avoid wearing accessories and clothing that is prohibited
Your passport photo can be damaged by more than just glasses. Hats, bulky jewelry, headphones, and anything else that can hide your face or hairline should be avoided. Your application will almost certainly be rejected if you do these things.
However, this is not always the case. Some things that could be included are as follows:
As long as they do not obscure your face or cast shadows, jewelry like piercings is acceptable. This means that if you want to wear jewelry, choose something smaller like studs or thin necklaces.
If accompanied by a signed statement stating that the head covering is both religious attire and something you consistently wear in public, religious head coverings are acceptable.
When accompanied by a doctor’s signed statement stating that the head covering is continuously worn for a health-related reason, headgear worn for medical purposes is acceptable.
Quality of color matters
Your identification photograph should be a full-variety photo. Images in black-and-white, washed out, dull or overexposed are unacceptable. As a result, it’s critical to make sure your passport photo depicts you as you do in natural light. The passport agency will also take another picture if you notice color issues.
If you decide to take your own passport photo, this is especially important. In the same way that lighting can cause problems with shadows, it can also cause pictures to be too dark or too bright. The best way to evaluate your DIY photo lighting setup is to take some test shots and make any necessary adjustments.
Even if you have an image that looks good on your screen, there may still be issues with how you print it. Even though many modern household printers can print photos of a high quality, quality issues caused by factors like ink levels, ink type, printing resolution, and paper quality can make a photo unusable.
If you take your own passport picture, having it printed at a retail photo processing counter or kiosk rather than at home is usually well worth the small cost. The most common places to get a passport photo taken and/or printed are listed below.
A good starting picture for a biometric passport photo is easy to take. It’s best to have someone help you take the final picture because it will show the shoulders and a lot of the upper body. Unfortunately, taking a selfie without a stick won’t work because your arms typically aren’t long enough for this task.