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How to Take Passport Photo with iPhone

While capturing a passport photo using an iPhone may pose some challenges, it can be simplified. You can effortlessly meet all the necessary criteria with the aid of valuable tips.

This article will outline the prerequisites for creating a passport photo with iPhone, offering essential guidance for achieving the finest outcomes. We’ll address aspects ranging from lighting, background, and positioning to post-processing. Armed with these insights, you’ll be well-prepared to efficiently produce high-quality passport photos.

How to Take Passport Photo with iPhone

Passport Photo Requirements

When creating a passport photo with your iPhone, it’s essential to ensure that the final image aligns with the most current official specifications. These requirements may exhibit slight variations depending on the region. For illustrative purposes, we will use the US passport standards as a reference.


  • The image should measure 2×2 inches (51×51 mm).
  • The head’s size should fall within the range of 1 to 1.4 inches (25 to 35 mm).
  • The photograph must have been taken recently, specifically within the past six months.
  • Maintain direct eye contact with the camera and exhibit a neutral facial expression.
  • Capture the photo against a plain, unadorned background.
  • Adhere to your typical everyday clothing.
  • Avoid wearing glasses, including tinted eyewear, or wireless headsets.

How to Take Passport Photo With iPhone

Numerous factors can hinder your ability to visit a professional studio for a passport photo. Nonetheless, you can effortlessly capture an appealing passport photo at home by following these simple steps if you wish:

1. Keep Your Face Clear

In accordance with your country’s guidelines, please remove any facial jewelry, temporary modifications, hats, and glasses. You are allowed to retain religious headgear or necessary medical devices, but ensure that your face remains fully visible.

Moderate or natural makeup is acceptable to enhance your skin’s appearance, but avoid excessive makeup or extravagant hairstyles. Make sure that your hairstyle does not conceal your face with bangs and that your hair naturally falls within the photo frame. Verify the specific U.S. passport photo requirements, bearing in mind that different countries may have distinct regulations.

2. Start Taking Pictures

Once your composition is set, you’re ready to capture the photo. Maintain a neutral expression without smiling, and direct your gaze straight into the camera lens.

Take multiple shots. If you’re utilizing your phone’s self-timer and a tripod, activate continuous shooting mode. This ensures you’ll have a selection of photos to choose from, reducing the risk of capturing a shot with closed eyes. Here’s how you can capture, view, and share burst mode photos on your iPhone.

If you have friends assisting with the photography, they should capture multiple shots before reviewing them, or they can use burst mode. The precise alignment or framing of the photos at this stage isn’t critical; adjustments can be made through cropping and straightening in post-processing.

3. Set Your Parameters of Your iPhone

Use your phone’s rear camera for capturing your photo since it yields sharper images compared to the front camera. When taking self-portraits with a tripod, affix a mirror to the back of your phone to monitor your screen and adjust your positioning. Opt for portrait orientation on your phone for the photographs.

While using a tripod may require additional time for the initial composition setup, it guarantees that the composition remains consistent once configured. If you have a companion assisting you with the photography, they can readily and swiftly reposition the shot when necessary.

Refrain from applying filters or effects to your camera. Stick to the standard camera settings, avoiding zooming in or activating portrait mode. To ensure no additional effects are introduced, use your phone’s default camera app instead of third-party applications.

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4. Choose a Light Colored Background and Neutral Lighting

Position yourself under even, neutral lighting against a white or beige backdrop (with no visible chair). Stand at a slight distance from the background, ensuring there are no stark shadows behind you. An alternative option is to take the photo behind translucent white curtains, creating more suitable lighting and background conditions.

Ensure that your skin appears in its natural color without any tint or dark shadows. Plan your photo session to coincide with daylight, avoiding strong or warm lighting. While the golden hour is ideal for portrait photography, it’s not suitable for passport photos as per the passport office’s standards.

5. Frame Your Pose

Activate the grid lines on your camera and position yourself either sitting or standing, ensuring your head is middle within the frame and your shoulders appear at the bottom. While passport regulations stipulate a specific amount of space around your head, it’s advisable to leave ample room during the shooting process rather than attempting to achieve exact spacing during composition.

Verify that the camera’s angle is straight and aligned squarely with your face, avoiding any upward, downward, or sideways tilting. Capture a test shot and assess the lighting, angle, and background. Review and make necessary corrections. Keep in mind that when utilizing natural light, you might need to adjust your position to rectify any lighting issues.

6. Edit Your Passport Photos

With your best photos chosen, it’s time to move on to the editing phase. Adjusting and cropping the images to meet your country’s requirements can be done effortlessly and without any negative impact, often utilizing your phone’s native editing features.

The challenge with passport photo backgrounds lies in achieving a professional, monochrome backdrop when capturing the image with a mobile phone. To address this, you might find it essential to use background removal software.

Tips on How to Take Good Passport Photo With iPhone

To achieve a successful outcome on your initial attempt, here are some photography tips that will assist you in obtaining a quality passport photo quickly. Please adhere to these recommendations!

Posture and Camera Distance

Position yourself at a distance of 1.5 meters from the photographer and maintain a half-meter separation from the wall behind you. Avoid posing and maintain an upright posture with your shoulders pulled back. Directly face the camera with your head level, and to prevent a double chin appearance, slightly extend your chin forward. It’s worth noting that even when using an iPhone for passport photos, it’s advisable to use a tripod or seek assistance; selfies are not recommended for this purpose.

Wear Casual Clothes

Please put on your everyday cloth, excluding uniforms. Please refrain from wearing entirely white garments, as they may merge with the bright surroundings. Head coverings are generally discouraged to ensure your hairline remains visible, though exceptions are made for religious reasons. While glasses and hearing aids are typically not permitted, you may wear them if you have a prescription.

Pick a Light-Colored Background

While producing passport-size photos, there’s a common misconception that a plain white background is ideal. However, this can be erroneous, as white settings may sometimes result in excessive light and potential glare. Instead, opt for a simple backdrop in light gray, light blue, or cream tones. Avoid positioning yourself against patterned or intricate backgrounds, and ensure there are no objects within the frame.

Adjust the Lighting Correctly

You require a medium-intensity light source that provides uniform illumination on your face. The light should not be overly bright to avoid creating harsh shadows. You have the option of positioning a light source behind the photographer or elevated above them. Alternatively, you can insert the light source into your camera’s hot shoe.

Proper Facial Expressions

Strive to keep a neutral facial expression. Avoid frowning, opening your mouth, displaying your teeth, or giggling. Laughter is also not allowed, but you can convey friendliness by maintaining a slight upward curve at the corners of your mouth. Refrain from tilting or turning your head and ensure that your eyes remain open and clearly visible.


What are the general requirements for a passport photo taken with an iPhone?

To ensure a successful passport photo, you should meet the following criteria: clear facial features, a neutral expression, the right background, and adherence to clothing guidelines. Avoid headwear, with exceptions for religious reasons, and avoid glasses or hearing devices unless prescribed.

Can I use my iPhone’s front camera for a passport photo?

It’s recommended to use your iPhone’s rear camera for sharper images. However, if you use the front camera, make sure you meet all the required criteria for the photo.

How do I ensure the right lighting for a passport photo taken with an iPhone?

Position yourself under even, natural lighting against a light-colored backdrop. Avoid strong or warm lighting conditions and use your camera’s grid lines to maintain correct alignment.

Can I edit my passport photos using my iPhone?

Yes, you can use your iPhone’s native editing features to adjust and crop the images according to your country’s requirements. You can also use background removal software if necessary.

Are selfies suitable for passport photos taken with an iPhone?

While it’s possible to take a passport photo with a selfie, it’s recommended to use a tripod or seek assistance to ensure proper alignment and framing.

Can I wear glasses or hearing aids in my passport photo if they are prescribed?

Yes, you can wear glasses and hearing aids in your passport photo if they are prescribed. Ensure that the prescription is current and clearly visible in the photo.

What is the ideal background color for a passport photo?

While a plain white background is a common choice, it’s not always the best option. Light gray, light blue, or cream-colored backgrounds are also suitable. The key is to avoid patterns or intricate backgrounds.

What clothing should I wear for my passport photo taken with an iPhone?

Wear your everyday clothing, excluding uniforms. Avoid pure white clothing to prevent blending with the background. Head coverings should be avoided, except for religious reasons, and avoid wearing glasses or hearing devices unless prescribed.

How can I maintain a neutral facial expression in my passport photo?

Avoid frowning, opening your mouth, showing your teeth, or giggling. To appear amiable, keep the corners of your mouth slightly elevated. Also, refrain from tilting or turning your head, and ensure your eyes remain open and clearly visible.

Is it necessary to adhere to specific posture and distance guidelines when taking a passport photo with an iPhone?

Yes, maintain a specific distance from the photographer and the wall behind you, stand upright with your shoulders pulled back, and ensure your head is level and your chin slightly extended forward for a pleasing result.


Creating a passport photo using your iPhone is a manageable task when following the provided guidelines. By adhering to specific lighting, background, and expression requirements, you can ensure a high-quality image that meets official specifications. With this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to produce a professional passport photo at home, simplifying the process for various official purposes.


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