Perfecting Your Passport Picture: Tips

As seasoned professional photographers, we understand the importance of a good passport photo. It’s not just a picture; it’s your global identity for the next 10 years. Hence, it’s crucial to get it right. In this article, we will guide you through the process, requirements, and provide some advice to ensure you get the perfect passport photo.

1. Understanding Passport Photo Requirements

1.1 Size and Format

The standard passport photo size in the U.S. is 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm). Your head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 – 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. The photo must be in color and printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper.

1.2 Background and Lighting

The photo’s background must be plain white or off-white, with no shadows or patterns. The lighting should be uniform, with no shadows or glare on your face or in the background.

2. Dress Code and Appearance

2.1 Clothing

Wear clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis. Uniforms, costumes, or unusual attire are not acceptable. However, if you wear religious clothing daily, you may wear it in your photo.

2.2 Facial Expression and Glasses

You must have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open. Glasses are not allowed in passport photos unless you need them for medical reasons.

3. Taking Your Passport Photo

While you can take your passport photo at home, we recommend getting it done by professional photographers, like us at Chicago Il Photographers. We understand the nuances and requirements of passport photos and ensure that your photo meets all the criteria.

4. Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding common mistakes such as incorrect size, poor lighting, and inappropriate attire can save you time and hassle. Remember, a rejected passport photo can delay your application.


1. Can I wear makeup in my passport photo?

Yes, you can wear makeup, but it should look natural and not alter your appearance drastically.

2. Can I take a passport photo with my smartphone?

Yes, you can, but ensure it meets all the requirements. However, we recommend getting it done by professionals for the best results.

3. How often do I need to update my passport photo?

You need to update your passport photo every time you renew your passport, typically every 10 years.


Getting your passport photo right is crucial for a smooth passport application process. Understanding the requirements and seeking professional help can ensure you get a perfect passport photo. Remember, your passport photo is your global identity; make it count!

Whether you’re looking for Chicago Passport Photos or need a professional Passport Photo Chicago service, we at Chicago Il Photographers are here to help. Our team of experienced photographers ensures you get a passport photo that meets all requirements and represents you at your best.