How To: Passport Picture

I've had to work this out from scratch four times now so I figure I'll post the instructions. At least I'll be able to find them next time and maybe it'll help someone else searing for a how-to (and bring traffic here! Yay!)
  1. Take LOTS of pictures, following the guidelines (no shadows etc)
  2. Create a document in publisher or Photoshop or your preferred photo-editing software in the dimensions necessary for the final product
  3. If you can (like in publisher) make the margins to indicate the difference between actual picture and largest allowed head size. For instance, my picture size needed to be # and the head size is allowed to be between # and # so my margins are #. I was able to do this when using publisher, but in Photoshop I skipped this step and estimated with my eye.
  4. Pop the picture into the document. In Photoshop the default is a sizing tool when you drag a picture in so that is super helpful and the job is basically done right there
  5. Make another document in the photo printing size 4x6
  6. "Select all" in the first document and then "copy" and "paste" the picture into the 4X6 document
  7. Repeat (or just copy the layer) because the government obviously doesn't have copy machines and they require two pictures
  8. Now you'd hate to have to repeat all that photo certification running around and printing again. So choose another two shots at least and repeat the process. That way when you submit your application you have several choices all ready to go.

Truth is it really is worth paying for a professional to do this. So far I'm at my third round of trying to get it right. Either way, maybe these instructions will be of benefit to someone else and my toil will not have been in vain!

Update: After all that... if your applying for a US passport just click here. Pop your photo in and it automatically adjusts. Couldn't get better than that! Actually it could... imagine the day where we all need only one passport.

Happy shooting,


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