Need passport photos? There’s an app for that…


ID PhotoPrint is a handy free app.
ID PhotoPrint is a handy free app.

ID PhotoPrint is a free app allows you to take perfect 2×2 passport photos using your smartphone.

This morning, my husband and I were scurrying to put together visa applications for our upcoming African Safari. We will need visas to enter Kenya and Tanzania. To obtain the visas, in addition to having to mail our passports and a bunch of other forms with information to a company that helps expedite their handling, we had to include two additional passport-size pictures for each of us.

Passport pictures aren’t run of the mill photos you have on your computer or smartphone. In fact, the U.S. Department of State has established stringent requirements. They need to be:

  • In color
  • Printed on photo quality paper
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis
  • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
  • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
  • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.
  • Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)
  • Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.

The last time I needed passport photos, there was a small photography shop near a local post office that took the pictures. The nice man printed them on the spot and cut them to size. They probably cost me $10-15.

This time, we needed to get our visa applications together to take them to Fedex before it closed at 6PM. Had we tried to get pictures processed commercially, we would have been doomed. In the past, we had also attempted to to size pictures on our own using various computer programs. We failed miserably. The most challenging requirement: sizing a head between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top.

“There must be an app for that,” I said.

And there was—and it was instant, easy and free. ID Photoprint is an app (available for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch that provides an on-screen template that allows you to take perfect 2×2 passport-size photos.

The app instructions suggest that someone else, other than you, take your picture. There is even a nice countdown feature that warns you that the photographer is about to snap.

Screen Shot of The Smart Phone Screen
Screen shot of the smartphone screen (N.B. This anonymous man is not my husband.)

Once you take the photo (unless you want to retake it for vanity purposes, which you can do over and over), you can save it, or email it to yourself for printing on ordinary 4×6 photo paper (six copies to the sheet). If you have time but no photo paper, you can email it to the company that makes the app and have two prints mailed to you for $4.95 (still a bargain).

Although passport photos are never pretty, I was really pleased to find this handy app.

My Do-It-Yourself Passport Photos
My Do-It-Yourself Passport Photos


Read more about ID Photoprint by Tinkertanker. 

*Passport photo requirements vary depending on the country of issuance.


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