First, you need to find a plain white, cream or light grey background. Textures or patterns may result in your photo being rejected during the application process, so don’t under-estimate how important this step is!
Make sure any pictures or other items that may be hanging on the wall are removed with no cupboards, mirrors or other furniture in view.
At a push, you can hang a plain white sheet on an open door frame. Better still if you can attach a sheet to an outside wall and use all that natural light!
A common problem with holiday snaps are that the subject is often a long way from the camera, and appears really small in the centre of the frame when the image is viewed later.
Don’t be afraid to get in close to the subject, either by using the zoom on the camera (if it has one) or by just taking a step or two forward. The finished photo generally only needs to contain the head, and a little of the neck and shoulders, so frame the person from somewhere just above the waist and leave some room above the head to the top of the picture. That will allow the cropping necessary to fit the biometric passport template that is used.
Some Practical Tips
If you see shadows on your background, try moving the subject away from the wall a little. Over 50cm away will usually remove most shadows and further is even better providing they are still framed by the plain background.
Try and avoid using flash, if possible.
If your subject has the habit of blinking, ask them to close their eyes and count down from 3 with them opening their eyes on 1 and you taking the shot immediately after.
One Size Fits All
Because the UK does not have a compulsory ID Card scheme, the only other photo you are explicitly required by law to provide is so you can be issued with a driving licence. There are also approved voluntary ID card schemes which are in operation that are used as a method of providing proof of age.
The good news is that all of these accept the same size of photo when submitting an application, making it quick and simple to get enough photos to meet all your ID requirements.
Ready To Go!
When you are satisfied with your photo, you can upload it and make the adjustments necessary to fit the template in our passport photo generator.
Finally, you can download your free passport photo if you want to print it yourself or you can use our services to print it for you and post it direct to your home.
If you do plan to print it yourself, you should take a few minutes to read our quick guide to Using Digital Photos to see what needs to be done to create a photo that meets the Biometric Passport requirements.