DIY: How to Make Passport Photos

Getting your passport photos can be much more expensive than the price of printing them. CVS charges $9.99 and Fedex Kinko’s $14.99. Why shell out that much when you can DIY with a digital camera and Photoshop and pay just 39 cents for six photos!

The illustration is from Photoshop CS6 but you can pretty much do the same thing with older versions.

1. Open a new file and set the size to 2×2 inches.

Passport 1

2. Click on File => Place and choose the portrait you’ve taken. Pictures should be taken in front of a light background (as close to white as possible but not necessarily). This picture isn’t the best example because it has shadows. I recommend using flash and no side lighting to avoid shadow. The subject should also keep his or her shoulder level.

Hold Shift while scaling your picture into the frame. The nose should be as centered as possible, the top of head not touching the top edge.

Passport 2

3. Estimation is good but there should still be a way to check the proportion of the picture. So we’re going to use the ruler. First Right click over the ruler and set the unit to Inches.

Passport 3

4. Then drag the vertical ruler to 1 inch, which is where the nose should align with.Passport 4

5. Eye level of the subject should be 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 inch from the bottom of the picture. That means it is 0.625 to 0.875 in from the top. Drag the horizontal rulers to according coordinates.Passport 5

6. Now it’s time to edit the picture. Right click on the picture layer and choose Raterize layer. Passport 6

7. Choose Image => Adjustments => Level. Then click on the white eyedropper (which will sample the part of the image to set white point). Then click on the background. Your background will become white (again, a good picture should not have shadow like this).

Passport 7

8. To make the pictures easy to cut later, select the whole frame with a Rectangular Marquee tool. Select Edit => Stroke and choose a 1 px black stroke in the Center.

Passport 8

Your picture is done; save it in JPG.

Passport photo how to

9. Now you have to prepare it for print. Click File => choose to create a New document and set it to 4×6 inches this time (standard photo print size). Click File and Place the picture you saved before.Passport 9

10. Hold Alt and drag to copy the pictures. A 4×6” frame can hold six 2×2” photos. Save it as a JPG when you finish.Passport 10

11. Now take it to a photo printer (Fedex, CVS, Wallgreen) and print it for cheap!Passport photo sheet

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