The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Target Passport Photo Service

These days most people don’t opt to go to a professional photographer in order to have their passport pics taken. Target offers a good alternative to the studio, in light of the fact that their services are way cheaper than professional photographers.

However Target is still quite pricey, especially if you are ordering passport photos for a whole family. For this reason we recommend using Smartphone iD as an alternative. Smartphone iD is an app that assists you in taking government-compliant passport photos for countries around the world.

In this article you will learn all there is to know about the Target passport photo service as well as about Smartphone iD, so you can make the best choice for you and your lifestyle.


  • Great shipping pricing options
  • High quality of printing
  • Photograph printed cards and gifts


  • Pretty high pricing
  • An interface that is less intuitive
  • Less ordering options compared to competitors
  • Average packaging
  • Can’t use photos from social media accounts

Options for Ordering

With the target passport photo service it is possible to upload photographs from your device, but unfortunately you can no longer get them directly from online accounts like Instagram or Facebook. Once you have selected a batch of photos, you can then change the quantities and print sizes for each one, either individually or all together.

By clicking on a thumbnail image you get to the edit view of the photo, but you can only crop and rotate. However it’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to create an online account to complete the entire process. That said, it isn’t recommended because then you can’t track your orders via the website.

It is possible to upload JPG, GIF and PNG files, which is a lot more than what selected alternate services allow. Mpix for instance only works with JPG while AdoramaPix and Nations Photo Lab add TIFF support.

Target passport photo service does not offer colour correction tools as part of their service, while Nations Photo Lab actually does. At Target you can’t get custom text or the filenames printed onto the backs of your pictures, as you can do with Mpix and AdoramaPix.

Shipping options are a lot more abundant than with some other services. For an order of 34 photos there are options that range from $2.41 Economy (9 – 12 business days) to $26.70 for Rush (3 business days) which is a lot more affordable than a number of other services shipping prices.

Card and Photo Gift Options

Target passport photo offers many nonstandard photograph printing options. In fact you can order mouse pads, magnets and coasters decorated with your pictures. Other photo-printed gift ideas are photo books, greeting card designs, calendars, metal prints, puzzles, phone cases and the classic coffee mugs.

Target offers a great selection even though it doesn’t extend to neckties and shower curtains, as York Photo Labs does. For even more eccentric printing options, check out Shutterfly’s photo printing gift section for the likes of socks and dog food bowls.

Target also has a great collection of large format printed options, such as metal and wood backed prints and also canvases that are up to 30 by 40 inches and cost $134.99. It’s worth mentioning that this is a decent price in comparison to Canvas Pop’s $191 for the same sized canvas.

It is possible to order customized postcards and other types of greeting cards directly from Target. Starting prices are a reasonable $1.50 per card. The price stands firm regardless of bulk orders, and most other services offer discounts for larger orders.

$1.50 earns you one flat, 5 by 7, double-sided-print on matte card. The drag and drop designing interface is highly user friendly and there are a lot of beautiful templates to choose from. Sadly fold over cards are not available and the stock as well as printing options seem to be limited in comparison to competitors.

For instance, Walmart Photo in comparison offers linen stock, foil printing and folding cards. What’s more is that they charge only 34 cents per card with a one hour pick up time as well.

Print Quality and Delivery

Target passport photo orders arrive in unmarked, cardboard envelopes. The slim packaging is better than the paper envelopes of Amazon Prints or York Photo Labs. However it isn’t as good as Mpix or AdoramaPix’s very firm flat cardboard boxes.

The envelope displays no branding from Target and only shows the return address marked with EZPrints. Inside the envelope you will find your contact sheets of the photos from your order.

The print image quality is superior to competitors with incredible sharpness, well balanced colours as well as saturation. The prints come on Kodak paper which is also superior to other types of photo paper. The order number and date are printed onto the back which is helpful for keeping records.

Best Alternative to Target Passport Photo

If you’re looking for an alternative to Target’s, why not take your photo yourself while at home? Smartphone iD is an app designed to help you take compliant photographs in just a few simple steps. The application can be programmed with any country’s dimensions for verified official photographs.

With Smartphone iD, you can take your own passport photo from the luxury of your own home, guaranteeing you to get the perfect shot! It also saves you time and energy from not having to travel instore.

What’s more is that unlike Target’s services, persons using Smartphone iD will get a photo in digital format that can be used an unlimited number of times! Also the correct template can be ordered to be delivered by post or printed at any time. Finally, Smartphone iD is 4 times more affordable than Target’s and the results are of the highest quality!

The Bottom Line

Target passport photo pricing isn’t the lowest, and the packaging is average in comparison to some competitors. That being said the quality of the printed image is great. On the flipside the ordering interface is not good and editing options are limited. Additionally, it is no longer possible to collect photos locally, which some pharmacies and Walmart still offers.

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