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How to Print Passport-Size Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide

an office machine that can be used for reproducing a photo for a passport

If you’re preparing for a trip abroad, you’re up to heavy spending. So, why not save money and cut some corners by printing passport photos by yourself?

What complicates the matter are the official requirements. In addition to the obvious rules like having a plain cream or light grey background and a neutral facial expression, the official guidelines provide more technical rules to mind before having your own passport-sized photos printed.

For example, your shot must be of the correct size (height and width) and the same goes for the paper you use: you can’t just print your UK passport photos on any sheet of paper. To top it off, you’ll also need to set up your own home printer properly, and these are notoriously cumbersome.

Still, if you’re reading this, you should be alright—we’ll fill you in on what exactly you should do when you print photographs for your travel credentials.

Contents

How You Print Depends on How You Get Your Photo

The thing is, the process of printing will vary significantly depending on where and how you get your picture. In general, there are three ways to go.

1. Have your shot done in a photo shop, dedicated kiosk or photo machine

don't forget to preview your photos

This is the easiest method in terms of convenience (although it’s not that good time- and money-wise). Should you choose to take your passport photo in one of those, it’ll be a breeze. They will crop your image to the correct size and print it out on photo paper without any significant effort. However, if you wanted to use this all-in-one solution, you wouldn’t even be reading this. So, let’s jump to the more likely scenarios.

2. Take your own passport photo and crop it to the print-ready size in photo software

window with editing program

Now, this method is better money-wise: it’s basically free if you don’t count the price of the Photoshop license (or similar software). In contrast with an automatic passport photo maker (which we’ll cover below), it will take some time for you to figure out how to set your photograph to the exact size.

In case you’re using Photoshop, open your photo and select the crop tool in the toolbar on your left. In the fields that just popped up above, choose Ratio, enter 35 and 45 as the proportions and apply the frame over your photo.

set up proportions

To confirm that you’ve got the correct print-ready picture size, go to Image > Size and set the width and height of your photo to 35 and 45 millimetres respectively. Also, set the resolution to 300 pixels per inch. That’s it, you’re 100% ready to print!

set the correct size

3. Take your shot in a passport photo maker.

set the correct size

If you were discouraged by the instructions above, this is your best bet to prepare and print passport photos in the shortest time possible. Still, be careful when choosing a website to make your photo: some won’t do in terms of UK requirements, others have hidden costs and still others combine the worst of the first two options.

To avoid the agonies of choosing, use our free website to create and print passport photos in no time. We’ll process your shot into a fully compliant template—take a selfie with your mobile phone and simply upload it to our service. Next thing you know, you’ve got yourself a proper shot. No need to bother with editing and formatting: the photo templates we make can be printed anywhere from a store in your neighbourhood to your home inkjet printer.

Getting Ready to Printing Passport Photos

Now that we’ve figured out the format it’s time to make sure you have the equipment and supplies that will do the job properly.

Check If Your Printer’s Good for a Passport Photo

canon, hp and brother will do best

We doubt you wanted to buy a new printing machine to make a couple of pictures for your papers. So, let’s just check what you already have and if we can work with it.

The most common today are dye sublimation and inkjet printers (some of the most trusted manufacturers being Canon, HP and Brother). Whatever type of printer you have, you need to make sure that it can take photo paper.

Also, make sure you’re OK when it comes to quality: the output resolution should be at least 300 dots per inch.

Pick the Right Photo Paper

stacks of white sheets

This is also a crucial matter: no plain paper will do to print a passport photo, so you’ll have to look for a special photographic one. Don’t worry though: just find some 180 gsm photo paper, and you’ll be fine.

What does gsm mean in terms of photo paper?

It stands for ‘grams per square meter’ and refers to the weight of the paper. The correlation is direct: the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper.

How to Print Passport Photos at Home

Finally, the moment of truth: let’s put all our knowledge into practice and make a print the passport office will definitely take! As an example, we’ll use a printable photo template made here, in PhotoBooth Online.

How to Print Passport-Size Photo in Windows 10?

  1. Find the file you need to print (preferably made in a passport photo maker)

  2. Open it in the Windows Photo Viewer

  3. Push the three dots above and click Print

  4. In the printing menu, choose your printer, portrait orientation, paper size and, finally, photo size.

    You might be confused when choosing the size suitable for a passport photo. In case the photo paper in the tray is larger than the dimensions of the image itself, you select the exact sizes of the paper you have and the printout you want in the respective fields. Once the printing is done, you can just cut each photo out.
  5. Once you’ve set all parameters as per the screenshot above, click Print

How to Print Passport-Size Photo on Mac?

The principle here is the same as with a Windows-operated computer:

  1. Find the image you need to have printed

  2. Right-click on it, then choose the print option

  3. Select your printer, orientation, photo and paper size

  4. Once you’re all set, click Print

Just to be safe, you can check the dimensions of your printout with a ruler to confirm that it’s 35 by 45 mm.

That’s it, you’ve got a professional-quality printout of your photos, all by yourself and for free! It wasn’t too difficult, was it? Now, all that’s left is to cut your own passport photos and you’re ready to enclose them to the paper form used to apply.

Printing Passport-Size Photos: Closing Thoughts

We hope that this how-to article has helped you print your shots quickly and easily. However, if our guide doesn’t work for you, there are alternatives!

For example, you can have your own passport photos printed at a shop that provides printing services. If you take the picture by yourself and just order the print from them, it’ll cost you less than a pound!

Or try our service—it will create an image that any store will print. In fact, we’re your go-to if you were googling something like ‘passport photos near me‘. Unlike your nearest places, our tool is 100% free—no matter how many copies you need, you can even make photos for your whole family and download as many copies as you want. All you need is a phone camera, so why not give it a go?

using phone camera

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Print a Passport Photo?

The answer to this depends on the way you want to get it done:

  1. If you want to save money and time, print passport photos on 4×6 paper yourself at home—the detailed instruction in this article will tell you how.
  2. If you need to make it as effortless and easy as possible, find a place that will reproduce your shot in a matter of minutes.
  3. If you don’t want to do it at all, use the online submission page at the official UK government website to send in your digital image.

Where Can I Print a Passport Photo?

In case you have suitable printing equipment and supplies at home, simply refer to this guide to reproduce the photo for your travel document quickly. In several simple steps, you’ll make a high-quality printout you can submit to HMPO.

If you, however, don’t have anything to reproduce your picture with (or just don’t feel like figuring it out yourself), there should be a nearby place that can do it for you. For instance, many chain stores offer such a service and charge less than a pound for it.