Create Picture-Perfect Passport Photos with Snapfish

How to nail your new passport photo with our pro tips

It’s summer holiday season, which means you’ll probably need to update your and your family’s passports. Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with these top tips (government guidelines correct as of June 2019) on how to create passport-perfect photo prints that you’ll want to show off for a change: No retakes required!

Get technical

First off, you cannot take a selfie or use a webcam. You can take a photo with a digital camera or smart phone, but the zooming function on the smartphone should not be used. Get someone to capture your image from head to mid-torso. Your photo must be in focus, lighting and colour should be balanced, not too dark or too light. Make sure your expression is neutral, you are not smiling and your mouth is closed. Please ensure there is visible space between your head and shoulders and the edge of your photo. Your photo must be in colour. You need to stand in front of a completely plain, light grey, white or cream background. No objects such as door panels or plants should be visible in your passport photo.

Photo Guidance

Details, details

Be sure to face forwards and look directly at the camera. Take off your glasses and make sure nothing is covering or obscuring your eyes and face. Watch out for shadows behind you or on your face. You’ve got this!

Give good face

Here are some extra, tried-and-true, model-approved tips to guarantee happiness with your next passport photo.

  1. Choose a venue with good lighting
    The screen they photograph you against should face the light, such as a nice bright window or the door. It will produce a very flattering shot and will help to cancel out the ghastly overhead lighting. Your photo can also be rejected if the lighting isn’t right and there are unusual shadows, so go to a quality place to get them taken.
  2. Be well rested
    Have a good night’s sleep and have it as the first thing you choose to do that day.
  3. Do you hair
    This doesn’t mean go to the salon and get the blow-dry of all blow-drys. Your passport photo will be rejected if you have hair across your face.
  4. Wear a little makeup, but not too much.
    Fill your brows in, apply some bronzer and go to town with mascara. Enhance your natural beauty so you feel like the best version of you but don’t go overboard. You don’t want the customs officers laughing three years down the track because you overdid it.
  5. Think happy thoughts.
    Although you can’t smile, it doesn’t mean you have to look like you’re attending a funeral. You’ll need to keep your mouth closed, but think about something that makes you happy. It will show in your eyes.
  6. Clench your teeth.
    This can take a little practice to appear natural but it’ll make your cheekbones pop!

If you get this right, you’ll have two extra copies to gift a partner (or special family member) to carry in their purse or wallet.

Planning on taking lots of photos on your holiday abroad? Don’t forget to download our free photo app, you can upload photos from anywhere (even by the pool), and you get 50 free prints every month for a year.