Are you planning on traveling out of the country in the next year or so?
Are you applying for a job and need a professional headshot to attach to your resume?
Do you travel often and have needed extra passport photos for visa applications?
If you said “yes” to any of the above questions, keep reading!
Passport pictures could be needed for a number of reasons:
- Applying for a passport (obviously)
- Applying for a visa in another country
- Applying for a job
- Sending out resumes/CVs and a professional picture is needed
What Most People Do
Go to a drug store (Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc) and pay about $12 for 2-4 hard copy pictures
And if you’re anything like me, you’re never happy with these pictures that were taken in front of a bunch of people watching you. And I hate to hold up the line and ask the person to take it again… Awkward! Ugh! I hate it!
A Better Way
If you had a digital copy of your passport picture, you could print FOUR (at the drug store) for only 20 cents (do the math – that’s only a nickel per picture)! And you could do this as many times as you need it!
So which is better? Five cents per picture as many times as you need it (forever), or $6 per picture and only having 2 or 3?
Why Would Someone Need Multiple Pictures?
Well, as previously mentioned, there are lots of reasons why you might eventually need a passport picture.
I travel quite often and I ALWAYS travel with extra passport pictures (at LEAST 5 at all times). I have needed these pictures for visa applications, applying for small jobs where ever I end up for awhile, sending out resumes, etc. It’s always better to have extras then to be stuck one day without one….
If you travel often, you know this to be true: applying for a tourist visa on the border of some countries requires a passport picture attached to your visa application… And if you’re on the border of some foreign country in the middle of nowhere and you need a passport picture, what the heck do you do? You’re then forced to pay whatever the heck they tell you to pay – maybe $25 for a picture! I’m not kidding – I have seen this happen to travelers who weren’t prepared! The options were to pay $25 for one picture (just for the picture, not including the visa itself) or to turn around go back into the country they just came from (by foot, because the bus was going to leave with or without them).
What I Do to Always be Prepared
Of course I have a digital passport photo. I have four square pictures together as one big square photo. I have this file on my computer and flash drive and can print more photos (for just a few cents) whenever I need more.
How I Made My Own Passport Picture!
I had someone take a picture of me in front of the whitest wall I could find – with good lighting… The best flat white background I could find with good lighting was my front door! (I have white walls in the house, but there were odd shadows in the day time and the lighting at night was awful – natural lighting is SO much better).
I then edited this picture on my computer so that the door behind me turned into a perfectly white wall. After I had the picture with a perfect white wall behind me, I then cropped it to a square, copied it, and pasted it three more times in order to have four square pictures together as one big square (make sense?).
See pictures below.
I then put this file onto a flash drive and brought it to a drug store (Walgreen, CVS, Walmart, etc). In the photo department, I used the individual kiosk to print out my own pictures on a good quality printer and good quality photo paper – I chose the square picture option.
In only a matter of 8 minutes, my pictures were done and I paid less than $1 for more pictures that I could use in a year of traveling and applying for jobs.
Do This Yourself!
Try to follow the steps above to do this yourself. If you’re pretty decent at editing pictures (or have a friend who is) on your computer through some sort of editing program (this goes beyond your Instagram skills), then I would suggest you try this to save money and to have the perfect picture YOU want (every time I have official pictures taken of me, they always look awful).
Here are some of my recommendations for the perfect picture:
- Flatest, whitest wall you can find
- Natural lighting (outside or in a very well lit room)!
- Have a friend take the picture or use a timer and tripod (selfy arm extensions and/or weird neck straining isn’t going to fly)
- Center your face and have no more than just the tops of your shoulders in the picture
- Remember not to wear any extra things (that you don’t wear EVERY day) such as headphones, sunglasses, etc.
This process might be a bit difficult for some people – I understand… But I have a lot of experience on the computer and would love to help you! I mean, you have better things to do, right? :)
If you’d like me to make a perfect digital copy of your passport picture, I can do this for you – no problem!
What I need from you: (1) Your picture taken in front of a flat white surface, and (2) your PayPal payment (prices depend on number of people)
1 Person = $17.50
2 People = $33
3 People = $45.75
4 People = $55
5 People = $60
What you’ll get from me: Two digital copies – one of your touched-up picture (perfectly cropped) and the other of all the pictures assembled into a picture-perfect square (or rectangle, depending on which you’d like).
Which picture dimensions are right for you?
Well, that all depends on what your local store is able to print. Check this information first.
Passport pictures must be 2×2 (inches) – so anything with in multiples of 2×2 squares will do!
Sometimes, rectangular prints are cheaper. Walmart’s prices are 9 cents for a 4×6 and 13 cents for a 4×4. So why not get two extra pictures for less money?!
Exact Steps for Help
01> Pay via PayPal (below)
Once your PayPal payment has been completed, you will be redirected to a confirmation page with a reminder of what my email address so that you can…
02 > Email me your best picture (email@example.com) and any special directions you may have (see next section, below)
You will then get two confirmations: (1) from PayPal stating that the payment was received and (2) an email from me saying that, yes, I received the PayPal payment and that I received your email with your picture.
Then, in 2-3 business days, I will email you again with the two digital copies: (1) Of your single picture, and (2) of the arranged grid of pictures (remember to please tell me which you’d like, a square or a rectangle)
Last, you’ll take digital grid of pictures (via a flash/pen drive) and print it at your local pharmacy or print shop (should be anywhere from 9-30 cents for the one print of 4-6 photos).
Ready?! Let’s do this!!!
Special Directions / Number of Pictures
By default, I’ll automatically make a rectangle of 6 pictures because every store that prints photos that I’ve ever been to in the U.S. has had the option of a 4×6 print (and is usually the same price or cheaper to print).
However, some stores might now have 4×6 – maybe they only print 5×7 (and that will not work if you need these photos to apply for a passport). So only a 4×4 square would work in this case.
Also, when I checked this in Europe, a square option was not available in most stores… only a rectangle of 10×15 cm would work (which is a rectangle of 2×3 pictures, pretty much the same as 4×6 inches).
So please, check with your store first! Then, just let me know and I’ll make you whatever you’d like :)
NOTE: If I happen to make you a square and you travel outside of the U.S., a square will always be able to print on any rectangle (with just a little access) – I don’t think it works the other way around…
Don’t hesitate to ask! Either leave a comment below or, for more private questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you found this information helpful, or perhaps I edited your picture for you and you were happy with my work and this process, please leave a comment and/or pass this page along to a friend! Thanks so much!