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Where to Get a Passport Photo Taken

A camera on a tripod ready to take a passport photo

You need a passport photo when applying for most passport services. What's more, more passport applications are denied for issues with passport photos than any other. Getting your passport pictures right-including the right pose, background, position, and a neutral facial expression-is critical.

There are many places you can get a picture taken, but where you choose to get your passport photos matters. Many passport applications get delayed or denied because of an unacceptable picture.

This article includes the best options for where to get new, passport-sized pictures. Not only that, with these tips, you can be sure they are taken and printed the right way.

Worried about costs? We have included a price comparison table as well. This way you can find the very cheapest places and best places to get your passport photos.

The Best Places to Get a Passport Photo

In our over 20 years of helping readers with their passport questions, one that we get asked the most is:

Where can I get passport photos near me?

The photograph step of the passport application process doesn't have to be stressful. There are probably several places near where you live where you can get a passport picture today. Here is a list of the top places where you can get an acceptable photo that meets all the official requirements.

Registered Passport Expediters

If you need a passport in 2 weeks or less, a registered passport expediter can help. Instead of traveling to one of the 26 regional agencies in person, a passport expediting service can submit the application for you.

Some expediters offer customers passport photos as part of their services. Be sure to ask when you apply for expediting.

For those that don't (or if you use an expediting service that is not located near you), any of the options listed below would work. You just need to include your new passport photos when sending your application materials to the expediter.

Shipping Centers

Both FedEx Office and UPS stores offer customers passport photo services. There are thousands of FedEx and UPS locations across the country, making them one of the most convenient places to get your photo taken at an affordable cost.

However, know that only some FedEx and UPS locations have passport photo availability. Be sure to call and ask about this service before visiting your nearest location in person.

Pharmacies & Retail Stores

Pharmacy and retail stores are a great option for getting passport photos. Popular pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens offer affordable options. Many Walmart locations also offer this service in store or online.

You should have no problem finding one of these stores near you. Like with shipping centers, it is a good idea to call ahead to be sure they are able to help with your pictures and avoid any inconvenience when you arrive.

Professional Photography Studios

Very few applicants have passport photos taken at a professional photography studio. Studio sessions can be expensive. Also, many studios are reluctant to book time with clients who only want one photo. For this reason, few studios offer this service. Those that do usually charge more than you would pay at the locations listed above.

Sure, it is important to send a good-quality photo with your passport application. But this level of professional camerawork is unnecessary; especially with other, more cost-effective options available. If you are concerned about costs, our advice is to go with another, cheap alternative. There is no need to pay a premium for passport photos!

U.S. Passport Offices

Many passport application acceptance facilities also offer passport photo service. Your local post office are usually a good bet. This is very convenient since it allows you to do everything in one location. You can pay to get your picture taken and immediately have the application adjudicated and sent off for processing. If you need a passport in a hurry, this is a great option.

Be sure to call and ask about this service at the passport office where you want to apply. Not every passport acceptance facility will take photos for you. Having passport photos taken usually needs to be part of the appointment process.

You can learn how to schedule an online appointment here.

How Much Does a Passport Photo Cost?

The price of a passport photo ranges in price from about $7 to $17, depending on the store or facility where you have it taken and how many photos you have printed.

You will typically pay the most at passport offices that offer this service. However, it may be worth the additional cost for the convenience of getting your passport picture taken at the same location where you are applying for a new passport.

Location Price*
FedEx Office $14.95
UPS Store $14.99
CVS Photo $16.99
Walgreens $16.99
Walmart $7.64

*Prices are subject to change without notice

Passport Photo Services Near You

Take & Print Your Photos at Home

You can take and print a passport photo at home, but you must follow the 5 basic rules set by the U.S. Department of State for having your passport photo taken:

  1. Photos must be in full color, and taken in the last 6 months.
  2. The image of your face must be clear (no filters, no editing).
  3. No selfies! You must either have someone else take your picture or be able to set up your camera to take the photo for you.
  4. No other people may be visible in your photos. This applies to applicants of any age, including children.

  5. No eyeglasses
  6. The image must have a plain white or off-white background.
  7. You cannot wear a hat or head covering. if you wear a hat or head covering for religious purposes, submit a signed statement that verifies that the head covering in your photo is part of traditional, religious attire you always wear when in public.

Once you have followed these guidelines and have a photo ready, you need to be sure it is the correct size. You can use our online Photo Tool, which allows you to upload your photo, crop it to the correct size. It also provides approved examples from real passports for you to compare to your own photo. Using this tool may give you a better chance of having your DIY passport photo accepted.

Know that passport photos must be printed on photo-quality paper. They must also be in their original state. This means you can't touch up your photo or put it through any drastic scaling before printing it.

This is important if you are going the DIY route for your picture. While convenient, both the camera you use to take the photo and the device you use to print it must be capable of producing high-quality images on glossy photo quality paper. For more, review our guide on taking passport photos with a digital camera.

If you can't take and print high-resolution photos, do not take the chance. Visit one of the locations we have mentioned and be sure your photo is perfect.

Remember, submitting passport photos that don't meet the necessary requirements means you won't get a passport.

Note: improper passport photo is one of the top causes of delays and denials in the passport application process.

Where NOT to Get a Passport Photo

There are some places that you should avoid if you want your passport photos and application to be accepted without delay. There are specific requirements for the size and composition of an acceptable picture. It takes an attention to detail that not all photography options can guarantee. Here our some of our best tips for where not to get photos for passports.

  • Don't try to take passport photos in a photo booth. Even though photo booths are hard to come by these days, you need to know that this type of photo is never acceptable. Not only do these booths seldom give you the option to print two photos that are identical, they are unlikely to meet the specific size and color requirements for usable passport photos.
  • Stay away from old photos stored on your computer or cell phone. As a rule, passport photos must be recent (taken within the last 6 months). There is also a good chance that pictures you have on your computer would need to be edited. Again, this is not allowed.
  • Selfies are not allowed, either. Even though you may think that you have taken a photo at a good enough angle, you didn't. No selfie stick or phone stand will do. These simple mistakes can result in your photo - and, in turn, your entire application - getting denied.
  • Do not use a disposable camera to take your passport photo. These inexpensive cameras produce cheap passport photos, but the resulting quality will not be high enough. These cameras usually produce grainy results that will always be rejected.

For answers to more of your passport photo questions, check out our Passport Photo FAQ for everything you need to know including:

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

1. How can you get a passport when you're in a hurry?
2. What exactly does a passport expediter do?
3. Are passport expediting services legitimate?
4. How can I identify a reliable passport expeditor?
5. Is expedited passport service worth it?

Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

You can also visit our library of articles about passport expediting.

In a Hurry? Get Reliable Expedited Passport Courier Service:Expedite My U.S.Passport Now!
About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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