Good Passport Photos: Best Tips on How to Look Most Beautiful in Pic

May 16, 2023

4 min. read


good passport photo


Looking for ways to survive and succeed in the passport photo-taking and application process? We know exactly what it takes. Remember, it’s just a phase, and we’re here to help. We want you to have inspiring and good passport photos so you feel empowered for the next 10 years. And why not?

As passport photo experts, we suggest avoiding complications and sticking to the tips based on the U.S passport photo regulations. Meanwhile, we’ll tell you where the beautifiers perform well and are allowed.

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In Focus

Tips for good passport photos

We’ve accumulated a short but substantial guide with tips for your best passport photo. This way, you do not need to search the web for big names’ advice and a celeb’s work-of-my-whole-crew “easy” pic. We have it all in one piece with the answers you need now.

To make it easy to digest, let’s form two worthy portions of tips for a passport photo. Those that are obligatory and prescribe how to take a great passport photo. The other portion is how to look good in passport photos for your best flattering passport portrait ever.

How to take a good passport photo

The truth, is you don’t want one without the other to make it work. For instance, winged-out eyes will add pizzazz to your good looking passport photos, but unfortunately, it won’t be compliant. The same is with pretty glossy textures and our fabulous smoky-eyed look. That will lead to a few additional maneuvers on your part for the passport office. We can’t let that happen.

Let’s think outside the box and make the right move.

How to look good in passport photos

good passport photo

We’ve done myriads of good passport photographs. Tips for a good result in all respects are our thing. These takeaways will help you to look good in a passport photo but not to color outside the lines.

Tips for passport photo with good components

What were you up to last night?

Hey, it’s just a fair question to ask. If you have a friend’s birthday coming up, the most beautiful passport phototake the next day is not a great idea. Late night, much fluid and food before going to bed can echo in your beautiful passport photo with puffy eyes, eye bags, dark circles, the lost contour of your face. The list goes on. Do what you would normally do the night before the shoot – no more, no less.

What to do with a thick wall of hair?

It’s pretty simple here. Any hair or color on your passport is compliant. Choose the one that is your element. Remember to style your hair so that it doesn’t cover or cast shadows on your face, go over the top edge or fill up the background of your great passport photo. Even in good passport photos taken by any professional photographer, hair tends to look flatter than in real life. Knowing that, add some volume if thought necessary. Keep at bay your bushy long hair and flyaways with spray or gel, which is a yes too.

Bare skin and all sweats at customs vs full glam

Complexion condition and makeup might be the key components to your most beautiful passport photo. Use your full glam cosmetics kit at hand, but be considerate and moderate. Stay on the safe side of the road. That means – a no to heavy or dark makeup, fake lashes, a night-out look, a drastic change of your natural skin tone, or shimmers and glossy products in order not to cause blurry spots in a pic. Unrecognizable feature-altering contouring of your face is a no-go too, just like digital alterations are not allowed in passport photos.

Good looking passport photos

tips on how to take a good passport photo

Hey, cheer up! It’s not all so gloomy. You can still wear makeup! For your face not to look dimensionless in your best passport picture, that’s what you can do.

Use a reliable concealer to work with the under-eye, T-zone, and any redness for a perfect and lifted look. To pre-use a primer might be a good idea to keep the concealer in place. Another two-shades-darker-than-your-skin concealer will help you to give firmness and dimension to your jawline, sides of your nose, and forehead. But be very moderate. We do not want to alter your features unrecognizable.

Proceed with a natural matte foundation, brownish or beige tones. Definitely accentuate your eyes with mascara and eye shadows. Somehow, it’s a fact, eyes look smaller in a not-good enough passport picture. And you know, these lights in a professional photography studio leave much to be desired. Natural sunlight is always the best.

Use your face powder and a bit of bronzer to finish that flawless, perfect-skinned look. Take some tissues with you at the venue to dab your face off extra oil using a mirror. Your lips truly deserve attention too. If you prefer lip liner, brush it gently and thoroughly and add some balm or neutral-toned lipstick. Matte or semi-mate – to avoid extra camera flash reflection. Fabulous!

Trendy or vintage: how to look good in passport photos

There is so much hoopla on the part of how to wear clothes and dress appropriately for good looking passport photos. It’s totally up to you whether to look this-minute trendy or to go for a classy collared shirt outfit for a new passport photo. You’re aware that fashion fluctuates faster than you change your smartphone model. Your stylish look will be retro in a few years, so decide on sentimental retro or classic for your decade-lasting inspiring passport picture. Good fun!

No-nos: how to take a good passport picture

What does matter, is that your good passport photos shouldn’t look like you have no clothes on. It happens if you wear light-color garments or a low-cut top. It might be tricky when in a few years’ time, you’ll have to prepare your paperwork for employment or business travel.  Also, keep off from high-neck variants that can hide your neck and jawline, and do not slip on a hoodie by mistake.

Adhere to the rule of seven in your wear:

  • no shine,
  • do not cover your head unless for religious or medical purposes, then you’ve got a signed doctor’s statement or supporting letter,
  • no dressing up or heavy jewelry in a passport photo,
  • no high turtleneck or low cut,
  • no large accessories (though stylish, do not wear glasses unless you’ve got a doctor’s note explaining you cannot take a photo without them),
  • no white attire not to “melt” in the plain white background,
  • do not wear uniforms.

More passport photo tips

how to take a good passport photo

We know, it is a lot to take in. Have a break and come back for more tips for a passport photo. Since flawless skin is not all you need to worry about. Your magic wand is the right posture and pose.

From good passport photos to the best

Give it half a minute to practice in front of the mirror and find the pose. When posing, keep the spine straight and your shoulders evenly down. Make sure your chin is forward and parallel to your feet to avoid any imaginary double-chins. No stooping.

Looking straight into the camera can still give you a few degrees of leeway for the most flattering angle of your nose and nasolabial area. Breathe in fully for your eyes open without raising your eyebrows. Think of inspiring and happy moments and smize. Smizing is when you smile with your eyes but are not actually smiling. Try it. It’s great for relaxation too.

To make sure we are on the same page, we have to note – do not go for big smiles with teeth. It’s officially allowed to have a natural smile according to U.S passport photo requirements, but it is tricky to find the right medium between a gentle smile and an exaggerated smile. Relax your face muscles with a neutral facial expression and keep a positive vibe. Nice one!

Good passport photo tips: technicalities easily

Now that you know U.S passport photo recommendations for the most beautiful passport photo hand-in-hand with compliance, you will always win the old airport game “show me your passport photo” if you feel like doing it.

One more life hack before you’re off to get your best passport photo. You might not need to go anywhere at all to get it. Try out this intuitive AI-backed service for good looking passports photo of yours at home. You’ve got series of attempts to select the one beautiful passport photo out of an unlimited number you take. And then print it for cents as a Rite Aid passport photo or at any other store next door.

Wrap up

Let’s connect all the dots and tips for the good passport photos you’ll be proud of for the next ten years. Best passport photo tips are something you want to follow carefully in order to succeed with your passport photo and passport application at once under the new international passport rules. On the other hand, looking good in a passport photo is a great bonus too. Focus on the former and keep our passport photo tips on the brain for the latter, and you’ll get an inspiring passport photo for a huge part of your life.


How can I have a most beautiful passport photo?

As passport photo experts, we have to say good passport photograph is not about beauty, but recognition. However, we came up with a few actionable tips mentioned above.

What are the key tips for taking photo for passport?

First, do not take a photo in transit, when you are in a hurry, or with a handful of other things to accomplish in your day in order not to get what some people call an ugly passport photo. Give yourself some time, relax, and your posture will make your passport photo better with the tips or without them.

Secondly, choose a passport photo service you trust that will provide you with recommendations for a good verified passport photo on the spot. Just like PhotoBooth does. Or thoughtfully rely on our guide with passport photo tips. Either way, we believe in your best result.

Beautiful passport photography!