Passport photo expert


Specialist @Snap2Pass

· 3 min read

How to Prevent Shadows in Your Passport Photo to Ensure Application Approval

passport photo with shadow example

It is common to wonder if you can have shadows in your passport photo. None of us would like to have our applications rejected due to our photographs not complying with the regulations. Even if you submit your application offline; the officials that accept your application may not notice an issue that may cause your application to get rejected by the authorities later. Hence; it’s crucial to generate your photos paying attention to certain details; such as shadows and lightning.

1. Shadow in my passport photo - will my application get rejected?

Even though different countries have different passport/visa photo requirements; they’re mostly aligned on the matter of shadows, as they want their applicant’s face as clear as possible in the provided photograph, both for people and for digital systems that scan your passport. Regardless of whether you are about to get your first passport, renew your passport or apply for a visa - we can help you figure out the requirements on how your photo should look like.

And as almost always; there is a bit more to the regulations than what is listed on the official government websites.

2. What do the passport application requirements say about shadows?

According to the passport guidelines, it is stated that there must be "no shadows on the face or behind the individual" in the passport photo. This rule is implemented to ensure that no facial features are obscured, as this could potentially interfere with the biometric software utilized at airports, leading to delays when traveling to different countries. Even though; there may be exceptions to the rule; such as small shadows by the ears, as long as there is a clear distinction between the face and the background.

examples of passport photos with shadow and without shadow

3. How to avoid shadows?

In order to adhere to the regulations, it is necessary to pay close attention to the lighting when posing for the passport photo. It’s best to have your photograph taken at a place you can verify it yourself and have control over the surrounding lightning. A postal office, a photobooth with sub-optimal lightning may not be the best place. You may go to a photo studio to have your photograph taken with no shadows; though that of course costs time and often more money than the tools you can find online. Here are some tips to get a passport photo at home.

To avoid shadows in your passport photo, it's best to use natural light. Find a window with good lighting, stand or sit in front of it, and take the photo. If you have to use artificial lighting, try to use reflectors to distribute the light evenly and avoid shadows.

And don’t worry about the background next to your window at home; Snap2Pass will remove the background perfectly and update your photograph to comply with the up-to-date regulations of the document type you need.

if you need any help with a passport photo maker and other online options, Try Snap2Pass today!

[person holding their passport]