baby's headshots Photo by Srdjan Fot on shutterstock

Baby's Passport Photo: A Tutorial Guide for Every Parent to Use

December 5, 2022

When your little one is born, you're probably excited to show them off to the world. But before you can take them on any adventures, they need a passport. Applying for a passport can be daunting, but we're here to help. This guide will show you how to take a newborn passport photo step-by-step so that you can get them their first passport as quickly as possible.

Specific Requirements for Baby's Passport Photo (do's and don'ts)

When taking your newborn passport photo, you need to meet a few specific requirements.



  • Your baby should wear clothes that contrast with the background. A simple, well-fitting outfit is best.
  • The clothing should be of the same kind and design as what you typically put on your child.


  • Don't put your child in a hat or headband with large bows or flowers. The hat may cast a shadow on your baby's face or obscure the face in the photo.
  • Don't have your baby wear sunglasses or anything else that covers the eyes.

Pose and Expression

baby's photo with different expressions

Photo by LuckyStep on shutterstock


  • Your baby should face the camera directly with a neutral expression.
  • The eyes should be open.


  • Avoid having your baby's head tilted in any direction.
  • Don't have your baby suck on a pacifier, bottle, or anything else.
  • Nobody should be blocking the baby's face in the photo.



  • The background ought to be clean. A white or off-white background is ideal.
  • Your baby should be the only person in the photo.


  • There should be no obstructions like other people or objects in the background.
  • Avoid having patterns or busy backgrounds behind your baby.

Photo size

baby's offcial photos

Photo by asife on shutterstock


  • The photo should be 2x2 inches square.
  • The photo should be recent, within the last six months.
  • The head should be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.


  • Don't submit a blurry or low-resolution photo.

Photo Quality


  • The photo should be sharp and clean.
  • Use photo-quality paper that is glossy or matte to print on.
  • The photo should be in color.
  • Send in a clear, high-resolution photo that isn't pixelated or grainy.


  • Shadows on the face or background are not allowed.
  • A photo with creases, holes, or smudges cannot be submitted.



  • There should be even lighting throughout the photo.

baby's offcial headshots

Photo by Marina_Po on shutterstock


  • Don't have the light shining directly into your baby's eyes.
  • Don't have bright lights behind your baby.
  • Don't overexpose or underexpose

Digital Alterations and Retouching


  • Ensure you don't digitally alter or retouch the photo in any way. This includes no cropping, filtering, or editing of any kind.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Infant Passport Photo

Now that you know the specific requirements for an infant passport photo, here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to take baby passport photo;

Step 1: Outfit

photoshoot tutorial for baby's passport photo

If you take your infant passport photo, ensure your kid wears something cute. Dress the infant in colors that stand out against the white backdrop.

Step 2: Your Background

photoshoot tutorial for baby's passport photo

You will need a plain white background. You can use a blank white wall, white sheet or get yourself a solid white cloth backdrop from Kate backdrops.

To make the Background completely white, you need to light it. You can use constant lights or a speed light like the godox TT600 flashes and put one on the backdrop and one in a softbox. Since babies aren't exactly known for their ability to remain still, set your camera to burst mode.

Step 3: Shoot

photoshoot tutorial for baby's passport photo

You can use a bum bow to hold your kid up; if they are old enough, they can sit on their own. You could also just lay them on the floor and shoot that way. Remember that your little one needs to face the camera directly. You may have to take extra time to get your kid's attention where their head is straight onto the lens, not looking to the side, smiling, or laughing.

Step 4: Editing 

When it comes to editing, you can use Adobe Lightroom or any other editing program. Keep in mind the photo requirements when editing. For example,

photoshoot tutorial for baby's passport photo

This photo looks great; however, the baby's head is a little bit to the size. You need to be careful with editing; color correction is all you need to do.

The fuji built-in film simulations; for this photo, you can use pro via because it's the most neutral style and looks good.

photoshoot tutorial for baby's passport photo

The background in the photo might look white but not pure white in the lightroom. There is a button by the histogram where it will show you all of the overexposed highlights in red.

If you go down and undo the highlight adjustments you have made, you will see it's not all blown out. You will have to bump those highlights a little so that the Background is pure white. Make sure the rest of your image looks fine.

photoshoot tutorial for baby's passport photo

Next is cropping the US passport in two by 2 inches, a one-to-one ratio. On the right side, ensure your crop dialog is set to 1 by 2 squares. You might have to play around with the crop a little to ensure the head is not too big or too small in the photo.

photoshoot tutorial for baby's passport photo

Step 5. Printing

If you go over to the print dialog in lightroom, first, go down to hit page setup and make sure that the paper size is set to 4x6 boundaries, then click ok.

photoshoot tutorial for printing baby's passport photo

Next, you want to go to the top right and click on the picture package.

photoshoot tutorial for printing baby's passport photo

Once the picture package is selected, go down to cells and add two by 2-inch cells.

photoshoot tutorial for printing baby's passport photo

You can add six times, so it fills up a complete four by six pages. Once you're done with the settings, click on the printer. Ensure that your printer is selected and the settings are set up. The quality should be best, and then print.

photoshoot tutorial for printing baby's passport photo

Step 6: Cutting Them Up

photoshoot tutorial for printing baby's passport photo

You will need a table to cut the photos. You can use a chainsaw, or a craft cutter. Slide the photo in and cut along the line where you can see the edge of the photo. Be careful that you're precise with this because the pictures have to be exactly two by two inches.

In this case, there are six copies of the Picture on one 4x6 print. However, not all photos will be usable because after cutting the photos out, the bottom two are about an eighth of an inch shorter than the rest.

Bonus Tips

  • Use another white sheet as a reflector on the shadowed side of the baby's face if it has one side slightly in shadow.
  • Use a template meant for adults if you can't find one made specifically for babies. Just be aware that their chin is at the typical height of the grown-up template.
  • Use a tape measure or a ruler to ensure the pictures are the exact dimensions and the head in the photos is also the exact dimensions required.


We hope this guide helped teach you how to take baby passport photo. Remember to follow the specific requirements and guidelines to ensure that your photo will be accepted. Taking your newborn passport photo can be challenging, but it's doable with patience and practice.

Tutorial Image Credit:

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