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Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:52 pm
by dm200
I need to get a new passport - no rush. My last passport is long expired.

I notice that my local post office has the capability to do the photos. Is there a better and/or less expensive way? Or, just do the most convenient thing and get the photos right there?

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:54 pm
by student
I always do it at the post office because I will know for sure that it satisfies the requirement.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
by StevieG72
I did DIY last time around for myself and the kiddo, fairly easy.

http://www.epassportphoto.com/ is a great site that helps verify picture meets the requirments.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
by livesoft
I make my own and print them out on my color printer. I realize that many people are way too worried to do this themselves, but it really is not hard if you are already used to printing photos yourself.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:03 pm
by dm200
student wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:54 pm
I always do it at the post office because I will know for sure that it satisfies the requirement.
My thinking as well. What is the charge?

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:09 pm
by sport
Costco does passport photos for $4.99.
https://www.costco.com/Passport,-Perman ... 42614.html

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
by Nicolas
It’s free with certain AAA memberships.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:23 pm
by student
dm200 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:03 pm
student wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:54 pm
I always do it at the post office because I will know for sure that it satisfies the requirement.
My thinking as well. What is the charge?
According to this site, $15.

https://www.travelvisapro.com/blog/how- ... ost-office

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:27 pm
by drk
Last time, I had them taken at my local pharmacy. I forget the price, but it was cheap.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:27 pm
by radiowave
I renewed my passport last fall and used the local Walgreens store. About 5 bucks and she shot several by digital camera and did a nice job getting them into the passport size.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:27 pm
by HueyLD
sport wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:09 pm
Costco does passport photos for $4.99.
https://www.costco.com/Passport,-Perman ... 42614.html
Yes, the good ole Costco.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:36 pm
by MrJones
StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
I did DIY last time around for myself and the kiddo, fairly easy.

http://www.epassportphoto.com/ is a great site that helps verify picture meets the requirments.
I second both points. I place 6 passport photos on a 4x6 and print them out at the local Walgreens or CVS. I think it costs 25cents. It does take up about 30mins of my time. If I had easy access to a $5 deal like Costco, I'd probably pick that.

I've always been amazed how most folks (myself included) want their passport photo to look good, given how little it gets looked at by complete strangers who don't care one bit about anything but the likeness.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:51 pm
by 6Pack
Nicolas wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
It’s free with certain AAA memberships.
This is where my wife and I got ours done late last year. Also got some free updated car maps while we were in there.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:05 pm
by runner3081
Nicolas wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
It’s free with certain AAA memberships.
This may depend on your region. It used to be this way and we tried last year in the Southwest and were told it was no longer free for any members (after getting it done 3 years prior for free).

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:17 pm
by You Know What I Mean
Your local post office may or may not be a good option.

A few years ago I tried to get mine at the PO. There was only one person there who was authorized to take the photos, and she also had to work the counter for stamps, certified mail, etc. That might sound reasonable, but customers at the counter had priority over passport photos. Every time a new counter customer came in, the photo progress stopped. Ridiculous "customer service."

So, it took a long time, but I got the photo taken there. Not a great picture, but I submitted it with the application. A couple of weeks later it came back rejected. I had had my glasses on, and while that may be permitted, apparently there was glare on the lens or the frame was shielding part of my eyes, or something else was a problem. So much for the PO photographer -- who does this routinely -- knowing how to do it and what's acceptable.

Cheapskate that I am, I went back to the PO to get it re-done for free. Waited again. When it was my turn, I explained the earlier photo and rejection, got an uncooperative reaction from the “photographer” but I had the proof of the rejection with me, of course. So, she took several more photos of me (without glasses this time) before she got one that she thought was good. When she showed it to me, I couldn’t believe it. It was literally the ugliest picture of me I had ever seen. (I know, I know. Like the sign in the Pentagon photo shop said: “If you want a better picture, bring a better face.”) I just accepted the photo, said thank you, walked out, and threw it in the trash.

I went to the Walgreens a quarter-mile from my house, paid a nominal fee, and got a great photo in less than 10 minutes. I submitted it and got my passport with no problem.

YMMV. Good luck!

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:20 pm
by spectec
Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. Walk in, get the photos taken, walk out. Guaranteed to meet all requirements. Cost is $6 - $12, depending upon which one you choose.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:33 pm
by IMO
student wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:54 pm
I always do it at the post office because I will know for sure that it satisfies the requirement.
Agreed. Last time I went to CVS, got some pictures done, but they weren't done correctly at CVS for some minor technicality.
Probably could have asked for a refund, but lost the receipt and just ate the cost. Live and learn....

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:39 pm
by canderson
We have used a dedicated iPhone app and then emailed to/printed for 30 cents at CVS. Never an issue and done this at least 6 times for ourselves and friends.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:45 pm
by Ged
You Know What I Mean wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:17 pm

I went to the Walgreens a quarter-mile from my house, paid a nominal fee, and got a great photo in less than 10 minutes. I submitted it and got my passport with no problem.

YMMV. Good luck!
My mileage at Walgreens was great with no waiting and was accepted on first try

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:01 pm
by Pranav
livesoft wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
I make my own and print them out on my color printer. I realize that many people are way too worried to do this themselves, but it really is not hard if you are already used to printing photos yourself.
On a Regular Paper or Glossy Paper?

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 pm
by spectec
Incidentally, when getting passport photos made, its a good idea to get a couple of extras and carry them in a safe place with you when you travel. You'll probably never need them UNLESS you lose your passport (or it gets stolen) in a foreign country.

Having those passport photos in hand will vastly speed up the process of getting a temporary replacement passport at a US Embassy or Consulate. Not every foreign country has a place on every corner where you can get a quick photo that will satisfy the US government. In some countries, it's a major hassle to get that simple task done properly (voice of experience here).

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:11 pm
by drg02b
I downloaded a free app on my phone (forget which one) that lined your face up appropriately and then printed a 4x6 at Walgreens for less than $1. It worked, no issues.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:11 pm
by Sandtrap
spectec wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:20 pm
Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. Walk in, get the photos taken, walk out. Guaranteed to meet all requirements. Cost is $6 - $12, depending upon which one you choose.
+1
DW and I are photographers but didn't want to bother with getting the size and spacing requirements just right.
Kept it Simple.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:27 pm
by livesoft
Pranav wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:01 pm
livesoft wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
I make my own and print them out on my color printer. I realize that many people are way too worried to do this themselves, but it really is not hard if you are already used to printing photos yourself.
On a Regular Paper or Glossy Paper?
Glossy photo paper is what I've always used. I gotta use the free glossy photo paper that came with the printer for something.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:34 pm
by ASpenderInRecovery
Coincidentally, earlier today I got passport photos taken at my local CVS for $15 and they printed out a sheet verifying it meets all passport requirements. Total process took 5 minutes.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:38 pm
by khh
Got mine at a Fedex store. I would guess UPS does this as well.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:44 pm
by livesoft
Don't forget that many visa applications require a photo, too.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:56 pm
by HueyLD
spectec wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 pm
Incidentally, when getting passport photos made, its a good idea to get a couple of extras and carry them in a safe place with you when you travel. You'll probably never need them UNLESS you lose your passport (or it gets stolen) in a foreign country.

Having those passport photos in hand will vastly speed up the process of getting a temporary replacement passport at a US Embassy or Consulate. Not every foreign country has a place on every corner where you can get a quick photo that will satisfy the US government. In some countries, it's a major hassle to get that simple task done properly (voice of experience here).
What a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:41 pm
by bluebolt
MrJones wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:36 pm
StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
I did DIY last time around for myself and the kiddo, fairly easy.

http://www.epassportphoto.com/ is a great site that helps verify picture meets the requirments.
I second both points. I place 6 passport photos on a 4x6 and print them out at the local Walgreens or CVS. I think it costs 25cents. It does take up about 30mins of my time. If I had easy access to a $5 deal like Costco, I'd probably pick that.

I've always been amazed how most folks (myself included) want their passport photo to look good, given how little it gets looked at by complete strangers who don't care one bit about anything but the likeness.
I did this also. Spent 15 minutes one time several years ago to create a Photoshop template. Now it's a 30 second exercise to copy & paste it into a 4x6 and have it printed at a pharmacy for $0.25-$0.30.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:45 pm
by Ben Mathew
MrJones wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:36 pm
StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
I did DIY last time around for myself and the kiddo, fairly easy.

http://www.epassportphoto.com/ is a great site that helps verify picture meets the requirments.
I second both points. I place 6 passport photos on a 4x6 and print them out at the local Walgreens or CVS. I think it costs 25cents. It does take up about 30mins of my time. If I had easy access to a $5 deal like Costco, I'd probably pick that.

I've always been amazed how most folks (myself included) want their passport photo to look good, given how little it gets looked at by complete strangers who don't care one bit about anything but the likeness.
This is how I do it too. Hardest part is getting the lighting so there's no shadow in the background.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:47 pm
by quantAndHold
Ten years ago, I did it myself. Set up the lighting, took the pictures, used photoshop to format according to the guidelines, printed them for $0.17 at Costco, then cut them to size with scissors. They worked fine and looked great.

This time around, we just went to Costco. For $4.99, it’s totally worth it to let them do it.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:47 pm
by Afty
StevieG72 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:00 pm
I did DIY last time around for myself and the kiddo, fairly easy.

http://www.epassportphoto.com/ is a great site that helps verify picture meets the requirments.
I did it myself one time and had it rejected. I believe it was because I was smiling. I just go to Costco now.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:55 pm
by masteraleph
Our local CVS was really, really good about taking pictures of our daughter. She was 2 at the time, and has some special needs that make it very hard for her to sit still and focus directly on something, but she was still subject to the various rules (no smiling, etc). They probably spent 15 minutes trying to get a picture that would work.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:05 pm
by TheDoorMan19
Walmart and fedex stores are other options...

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:21 pm
by Jimmie
TheDoorMan19 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:05 pm
Walmart and fedex stores are other options...
Walmart was the cheapest we found, but I can't remember the price. My GF and my passports were near expiration a couple of years ago, so we went there. The associate who took the photos did not seem like he knew what he was doing. He gave us each two or three shots to choose from. All the versions seemed like they met the requirements posted on the State Department website. (It was easy for me NOT to smile, I just looked at the Walmart sign)

State Department accepted mine - no problem. GF's was rejected for some reason that was not obvious to me, an incorrect margin or something weird like that. Rather than go back and fight for more questionable photos, we went to a camera store who does passport photos and their photos of GF were accepted.

Sometimes the cheapest method is just not the best value.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:29 pm
by 3504PIR
Remember not to smile for the photo. Have had an application for a family member rejected for that. Keep it neutral.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:34 pm
by Jimmie
3504PIR wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:29 pm
Remember not to smile for the photo. Have had an application for a family member rejected for that. Keep it neutral.
This is a weird one from State Department website, travel.state.gov:

Effective November 1, 2016, eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant's eyes. A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons:
  • The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eye(s).
  • There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
  • There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
EDIT: I copied and pasted from the visa section but the passport section has the same "no glasses" stipulation.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:40 pm
by margered
Ditto my local CVS pharmacy. There was a coupon online. I think the total was about $8.00.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:08 pm
by RudyS
runner3081 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:05 pm
Nicolas wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:15 pm
It’s free with certain AAA memberships.
This may depend on your region. It used to be this way and we tried last year in the Southwest and were told it was no longer free for any members (after getting it done 3 years prior for free).
Free in Michigan, for member and associate member. $5 at Walgreens, and easy.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:26 pm
by spectec
Jimmie wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:34 pm
3504PIR wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:29 pm
Remember not to smile for the photo. Have had an application for a family member rejected for that. Keep it neutral.
This is a weird one from State Department website, travel.state.gov:

Effective November 1, 2016, eyeglasses are no longer allowed in new visa photos, except in rare circumstances when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant's eyes. A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. If the eyeglasses are accepted for medical reasons:
  • The frames of the eyeglasses must not cover the eye(s).
  • There must not be glare on eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
  • There must not be shadows or refraction from the eyeglasses that obscures the eye(s).
EDIT: I copied and pasted from the visa section but the passport section has the same "no glasses" stipulation.
I think the "no eyeglasses" rule is tied to increasing reliance upon biometric facial recognition at, or even prior to entering, Customs & Immigration. Personally I'm OK with that.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:01 am
by criticalmass
I take my own photos and use a drug store/Target/wherever to print them out on photo paper for 10-20 cents a 4x6 sheet. This holds 6 2x2 photos, and you only need 2 for a passport, so you have 4 spares for visas, replacements, passport cards, etc.

Just follow the state department specifications and there is nothing to worry about. They have a template to follow:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... plate.html

The most important things are ensure the head/photo size is correct, ensure you aren't smiling, and ensure the background is white or near white.

It's really simple to ensure your photos are compliant before you print them. Perhaps in the future you can just submit your photos electronically instead of digital -> hard copy -> digital.

See also, photo examples:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... mples.html

Best part of taking your own photos is you keep an electronic copy, you do it on your own time, and you don't have to wait or hope for the right person with the right equipment is at some office or store when you are. You can submit your images to a store electronically and pick up on your schedule. That's the big savings for me, although 15¢ vs $8 is nice too. I keep the digital version available to me electronically in case I ever need a new copy during a travel emergency.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:51 am
by dcabler
sport wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:09 pm
Costco does passport photos for $4.99.
https://www.costco.com/Passport,-Perman ... 42614.html
They're definitely cheap. But when I renewed my passport photo the last time, the photos from Costco were rejected due to background color. YMMV, of course. Always good to save money, but given the cost of the passport itself and airline tickets overseas, I'll always do it at the post office from now on when I renew.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:50 am
by Ruger
I just had mine done a month ago at Costco. $4.95 for four photos.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:45 am
by Viking65
student wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:54 pm
I always do it at the post office because I will know for sure that it satisfies the requirement.
Not necessarily.
We had one made for my son at the PO last summer that was rejected. It was a big hassle because he was in summer camp and needed his new passport at the end of summer. I had to drive 3 hours one way, take him out of camp, find a CVS (not easy in the mountains of New Hampshire) to have a new one taken, and then return him to camp, and drive home. An 8 hour diversion in total.
The CVS picture was fine.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:10 am
by ResearchMed
HueyLD wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:56 pm
spectec wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:03 pm
Incidentally, when getting passport photos made, its a good idea to get a couple of extras and carry them in a safe place with you when you travel. You'll probably never need them UNLESS you lose your passport (or it gets stolen) in a foreign country.

Having those passport photos in hand will vastly speed up the process of getting a temporary replacement passport at a US Embassy or Consulate. Not every foreign country has a place on every corner where you can get a quick photo that will satisfy the US government. In some countries, it's a major hassle to get that simple task done properly (voice of experience here).
What a great idea! Thank you for sharing.
Yup... I never thought about that!

Do the photos need to match the photos on the current (er, lost) passport?

Thanks.

RM

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:24 am
by spectec
No, the most important thing is that the photo matches your current appearance. After all, you're going to have to show up at an embassy or consulate in person, so the person issuing the temporary passport is looking at you. :)

If one's appearance has changed significantly since the passport was issued, they will need to have a fairly recent photo. I generally pop into a CVS or Walgreens and have new passport photos made every couple of years, which I carry while traveling overseas.

EDIT: It's also a good idea to carry multiple copies of your passport in your bags. I also email a password-protected copy of my passport, birth certificate, and drivers license to myself. That enables me to retrieve the info anywhere I can get internet access.

Finally, when getting one's visa validated upon entering a foreign country which requires a visa or entry permit, it's smart to snap a picture of the entry visa and email or text it it to yourself. In countries requiring visas, a lost/stolen passport also means a lost/stolen visa. Depending upon the country, their immigration officials are going to be very interested in knowing that you didn't overstay your visa and are just claiming to have lost the passport as a way of covering up that fact. In those countries, a lost/stolen passport entails dealing with two different bureaucracies with very different policies & procedures. In our case, we were in India. Once we got the replacement passport the official at the US consulate told us they have no influence with the Indian government and we would be on our own in dealing with the Indian Customs & Immigration officials. Some of the truest words ever spoken to me.

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:30 am
by ResearchMed
spectec wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:24 am
No, the most important thing is that the photo matches your current appearance. After all, you're going to have to show up at an embassy or consulate in person, so the person issuing the temporary passport is looking at you. :)

If one's appearance has changed significantly since the passport was issued, they will need to have a fairly recent photo. I generally pop into a CVS or Walgreens and have new passport photos made every couple of years, which I carry while traveling overseas.
Thanks again.

We had our most recent passport photos taken at CVS, and it was fast and both were accepted.
My only complaint is that it was even worse than the DMV photo in terms of making me appear, well, I'd sort of hope someone *would* question whether it's really me :wink:

RM

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:50 am
by spectec
As I get older, I'm becoming ever more appreciative of the sign at the Pentagon mentioned in a previous reply' "If you want a better picture, bring a better face."

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:26 am
by HueyLD
spectec wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:50 am
As I get older, I'm becoming ever more appreciative of the sign at the Pentagon mentioned in a previous reply' "If you want a better picture, bring a better face."
Or you can ask the photo taker to do a little bit of photo shopping. In fact, I was in another country and needed to have passport pictures taken. The photo booth owner asked me if I would like some minor photo touch-up to enhance my appearance. It was a very small fee and of course I took the better choice. :wink:

Re: Passport Photos ?

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:32 am
by spectec
I like that idea. Some people complain that a particular photo doesn't do them justice. Not me. I don't want the photographer to give me justice - I want mercy.