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Taking & Making a Passport Photo for your Child

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

We applied for Stella’s passport just before she turned one month old. In that process, we discovered an easy way to take the picture in addition to a cheap option to print off the photo that works for the US Department of State.

Taking the Picture:

First, we laid Baby on top of a large white sheet on our bed and took photos from above while she looked at the camera. We took …a lot… of photos to find the best one to use.

The following rules apply when taking the passport photo:

  • Submit a color photo, taken in the last 6 months

  • Use a high-resolution clear image of your child’s face

  • Use a plain white or off-white background.

  • The child should have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open

  • If taking a photo of a small infant, it is acceptable for the newborn's eyes to be partially closed

  • Make certain there are no shadows on your baby's face, especially if you take a picture from above

  • No selfies

  • No other people should be in the photo (arms and hands to hold the child included)

  • If your child wears glasses, have them take off the eyeglasses for the photo.

Printing the photo:

After choosing the best picture, we cropped the photo into a square. I then used the Canva app and laid it out on a blank ‘Poster (36 × 24 in)’ template. I copied the photo so it covered the page; 3 photos across and two rows (giving you 6 copies of the photo, seen below).

Infant child passport photo shown copied into three columns and two rows

After downloading and saving, I printed this out at Walgreens using their app on a normal 4x6 photo ($.37). Using this method, each individual photo will be 2x2in and I just cut out one to use with the passport application. That also gave me 5 extras in case I needed any other documentation photos of the baby.

The correct size of a passport photo is:

  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)

  • Child's head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 - 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head although they are more lenient with this rule for infants.

  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper

  • Do not digitally change the photo, that includes fixing any red eye.

  • You cannot submit a damaged photo with holes, creases, or smudges

Our photo was submitted and accepted as of June 2021.


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