How to take a good UK passport photo?

The biometric passport is a document that certifies your identity and allows you to travel abroad. When creating your application, it is important that your UK passport photo is valid and correctly taken. It must be in line with rules at both a national and international (ICAO) level.

UK Passport Photo Size

Each country can decide on its own format, so make sure to take note of the requirements before taking a photo on your own. Additionally, some countries have different rules for printed and digital formats (including the United Kingdom). In general these are the rules, but you can read more in detail about the format here.

  • Printed photos must be 45mm high by 35mm wide,
  • The face size should be between 29mm and 34mm high (from the crown of your head to your chin).
  • Digital photos should be at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall,
  • at least 50KB and no more than 10MB.

What are the mandatory regulations for UK passport photos?

Below you will find the main mandatory standards for passport photo in all countries to be able to travel. Take not that your passport photo must be less than 6 months old when submitting and resemble you the best way possible.


The photo should have a good balance between overexposure and underexposure but should not be altered by computer software in any way. It should be high contrast, with no shadow on the face or in the background. A color photo is required.


The photo must be of high quality (clear, without traces or folding lines). If you submit it in digital format, make sure that the file size is not too big or too small and that it has the appropriate resolution and image depth. For the UK, this means that photographs should be 600 pixels in width while being 750 pixels in height.

3. What color should be the background of UK passport photo?

The background should be in plain color. The HM Passport Office only allows light grey backgrounds.

4. Are you allowed to cover your hair in Passport photo?

In most countries your head must be bare, without a hat, scarf, headband or any other decorative object. However, in the UK head coverings are permitted for medical and religious reasons, provided your hair is visible. No accessories should be noticeable on your official photo. That includes barrettes, elastic bands and other extras. If your hair is bothering you, tie it in a ponytail behind your head. It will not be visible in the photo.

Only little make-up is allowed because it can affect computerized as well as human facial recognition capabilities.


The subject must face the lens, hold head straight and look directly into the lens. A neutral expression must be maintained with closed mouth. There should be no hair in front of the eyes.


Face must be clear. Eyes must be open. The aim is to recognize you as much as possible.


Thick frames are prohibited on an id photo. Glasses must not obscure the eyes, therefore tinted glasses are prohibited. Note that there should be also no reflection on the glasses. Due to high number of refused photos, we kindly ask you to remove glasses when taking your photo with the Smartphone iD app.


Wearing clothes is mandatory and it cannot be uniform.

The photo must show only your head, neck and shoulders.

How to take a passport photo with your phone?

Stand one meter from the wall to avoid the shadow.

Hold your arm straight at the level of your shoulders.

Use Smartpone iD app to fit your body within the lines for valid face size.

Your back camera can produce a higher quality picture.

Remember if your iD photos are not accepted, the process of getting a passport or any other official document will be prolonged. So let our team make sure that your photo conforms with the national and ICAO standards, and spare yourself the unease about a possible refusal!

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