As few weeks ago we had a wonderful vacation with our family in Aruba. This was our first time out of the country (not including Canada, where we use birth certificates and our enhanced drivers licenses to cross), so we needed to get Passports. For five people. That alone was a pretty penny, people.
When it came time to get our photos taken, I was NOT about to shell out another $50 to $75 for passport photos taken at a drug store. So I looked into taking our own.
It turns out, this is totally allowed and the photos we took at home (for pennies!) were approved and our passports were issued with no problems!
According to the U.S Passports and International Travel website, passport photos need to be:
- In color
- Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
- 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
- Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
- Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
- With a neutral facial expression (you can even have a slight smile) and both eyes open
Have someone take a few pictures of you (it takes a few to get right size, distance, angle, etc). Make sure you are in a well lighted area and against a white backdrop (we used our front door). Then go to the Photo Composition Template and upload your picture. Adjust to the size needed (it's really easy and they provide directions). Save the photo, print it yourself and take it to your passport appointment!