How to Look Good in Passport Photos?


Why do ID photos turn out to be unsuccessful? Because of an inability to pose and relax in front of the camera. That’s why passport photos often look tense, frowning faces that don’t look like their owners.

how to look good in passport photos

Nevertheless, your passport photo will accompany you for years. And if you follow some simple guidelines, it may well make you happy too!

Before we start, take a brief look at passport photo examples to avoid common mistakes.

Dress appropriately

There is usually no specific dress code for ID photos. The only general rule is that you should not be photographed in your work uniform.

In addition to the official rules, there are unwritten ones.

  1. Avoid white and light grey clothing: it will blend in with the background and make the photo look weird.
  2. Sleeveless tops or tops with deep necklines are inappropriate. The best choice is dark, plain clothing with a round or V-neckline. Shirts with a stand-up collar and business suits will look stylish.
  3. Jewellery or fancy clothing should be kept to a minimum. It will look out of place in passport photos. Also, your style of dress may change. That’s why classic style is the best choice.
  4. Avoid hoods: in full-face photos it sometimes looks like a hump.

Take passport photos yourself

Yes, you read that right! Modern technology has long made it possible to have your passport photo taken from the comfort of your home. And it’s not just about saving time. You can take as many shots as you need to get a good one.

Instead of a camera, use a smartphone and replace Photoshop with a special program or web application. For example, instantly processes amateur photos to a professional level: it changes the background to white, aligns the contrast, sets the right head size and indents.  Find out in detail how to take an instant passport photo online using this example US passport photo.

Go for natural make-up

Don’t overdo it with make-up! There is a story on the net about a girl who had to put on make-up at the border crossing to look like her passport photo again. Otherwise, officers refused to let her in – without it she seemed too different from the photo.

But a small amount of make-up won’t hurt. Cover skin imperfections and under-eye circles with concealer. Powder your forehead and nose so that it doesn’t shine with a traitorous sheen. Accentuate eyebrows and lashes for a much more expressive face. Be careful with dark eye shadows: in black and white they will give your eyes a tired look. Give preference to soft shades and matte texture. And never apply glossy lipstick: the reflections produced by the flash photography will visually age your face.

Adjust your hair

If your hair is frizzy, smooth it out. Passport photo requirements mention a certain distance from your forehead to the edge of the frame; if your hair does not fit within this distance, the photo will not be accepted.

For a quick result, apply some styling gel to the palms of your hands and run your hands through the hair.

Straighten up

A common mistake when posing is to squeeze your shoulders and lower or lift your chin too far.

Don’t pull your back in a straight line and don’t lift your head up. Instead, gently lower the shoulders and pull back: this will create a relaxed and natural posture. Pull your chin forward slightly: this avoids a ‘double chin’ and makes your neck look slimmer.

Think positive thoughts!

You shouldn’t have a big smile, but a slightly raised corner of your lips will do you good. So as you pose, think of the good times in your life. Your eyebrows also play a huge role in your facial expression. If you raise them slightly, as if you were mildly surprised, you’ll get a kind and open look.


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