Photo Got Rejected By the Passport Agency after Taking it With My Phone. What Should I Do?

Question & AnswerQuestion:  My passport photo got rejected. A friend of mine had such a hard time getting her passport because she kept trying to send them pictures she took with her phone and they rejected them.

Answer:  First, it is best to go to one of the standard passport photo locations to get your passport photo. These photo shops know exactly how the photos should be. You can find a good article about these locations here. There are many do’s and don’ts.

Here are the major guidelines if you take the photo yourself.

Basically the passport agency is looking for a very straight forward simple head shot occupying 75% of the required 2″ x 2″ size of the photo. Hence your head size should be between 1″ and 1.4″ high .

It must be clear and that requires somewhat high resolution of 200 dpi or more. Digital cameras that would be at least 1 megabyte in size.

Your face should be looking forward with a neutral expression. No clowning or cute faces or they will not accept your photo. Be aware of shadows that obscure your features. Hence, to prevent a shadow, use a flash with the camera..

Your face must be at the center of the picture.

Since the objective is for your face and shoulders to take up 75% of the photo you must not be too far away or too close.

Wear normal street cloths. No special costumes or unusual outfits. Play it safe for this one photo. You have more than enough opportunities to add flavor to your online photos. Don’t take a chance with passport photos.

Don’t tilt your head either forward toward the camera or backward away from the camera. This will distort your features which is reason for rejection.

The photo should be regular color not black and white.

The background must be plain such as a white wall. Do not use colored or patterned backgrounds.

Your photo should not have pixels, be blurry, not focus, have printer pattern or dots, or be in motion.