Before you can start racking up those exotic stamps and checking off destinations on your travel wish list, you need a passport. All passport applications require recent photos, and you want to make sure you meet all of the requirements.
Passport photos must be primarily of your face. You should look straight at the camera. In some countries, photos will be returned and applications rejected for not displaying a "natural" facial expression. Photos of babies should only include the baby's face; hands cannot be visible.
You should wear casual clothing for your passport photo. Don't dress up or wear sporting gear.
Your facial features must be visible. Hats, sunglasses and goggles are not allowed. If you wear a head covering for religious reasons, some countries allow you keep it on in your passport photos but some do not. If you normally wear prescription eye glasses, you should wear them for your passport photo.
The U.S. government asks for 2 inch by 2 inch pictures. Australia, the United Kingdom and the European Union require rectangular photos that are 1.37 inches by 1.77 inches.
Passport photos should not be too bright or too dark, and no shadows should appear on your face. Photos printed on regular paper will not be accepted. Most countries require a white or light background.
Article Written By Heather Carreiro
Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.