How to take your own passport photo

It’s finally come time for me to renew my passport. Because I’m in the UK, I have to renew it through the U.S. Embassy in London. The paperwork alone took most of the morning to do.

Anyway, the easiest aspect of this process has been the passport photo. I went in to get my photo taken at a local shop, but I was so disappointed with the result that I rued the £10 I paid for the service. I wasn’t going to send those photos unless I absolutely had to! And I didn’t have to, because you don’t have to have professional photos for your passport photo. Anyone with a camera and a printer can do it.

Here’s how:

1. Refer to the U.S. passport photo guidelines. Put on your favourite clothes and get a friend to take your picture. If you have a digital camera you can take as many as you want and choose the best one.


2. If you have Adobe Photoshop, you can use this tutorial and FREE template made by Nic Myers.

Photoshop Template

3. If you don’t have Adobe Photoshop, you can use the U.S. Department of State’s very own online tool. Click here. (Also includes guidelines.)


4. Save your file as a .jpg onto a thumb drive (jump disk, usb, etc.). Then go to your local Boots, CVS, Walgreens, etc. to print your photos.

I printed two files, for a total of four passport photos, for £0.78. 78p! That’s a steal compared to the £10 I paid to have someone else do it for me. So, take a tip from me: do your own passport photos. You’ll be pleased with the results and they’re cheaper!

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