Many convenience stores, including your local Rite Aid, Walgreens, or Target, offer one-hour passport photo printing services. However, the prices for their services can often be quite steep, ranging anywhere from $8-$30 for a set of passport-size photos. There is an alternative for budget-minded customers who don't mind making the extra effort to print your own. You'll need a camera, computer, photo editing software and a printer to do the complete start-to-finish job on your own.
Things You'll Need
- Paper (preferably photographic)
- Photo editing software
Take a photo of the person from about 6 feet away. Instruct him to stand, facing the camera, in front of a solid white or light-colored background while giving a neutral expression that doesn't show teeth. Leave adequate space above the head in the shot. If you are creating an official passport photo, consult the official government guidelines, which can be found online by following the link in the "Resources" section.
Transfer the photos from your camera to your computer. After you have selected a photo with satisfactory lighting and composition, open the file using photo editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop.
Crop your photo until you have achieved the proper dimensions to ensure compliance. According to the official US guidelines, the cropped photo must measure 2 inches by 2 inches and the distance from the chin to the top of the head must measure between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inch. Measure the distance between the chin and the head by using Photoshop's ruler tool. Draw a vertical line from the top of the head and the chin and record the value of the height in pixels (H1).
Divide the height value (H1) by 1.1, a value in inches between the two accepted parameters, to get the DPI (dots per inch). Multiply the DPI value by 2 to get the dimensions of the cropped photo. For example, if your measured height (H1) is 600 pixels, then your DPI would be 600 divided by 1.1, or 545. To calculate the dimensions of the photo, you would multiply 545 by 2. In this example, the dimensions of your cropped photo would be 1090 x 1090 pixels.
Select the marquee tool, then select “Fixed Size” from the menu at the top. Enter the values you calculated in the last step. In the example, the values entered would be 1090 by 1090. Position the marquee so that the nose falls in the center of the box. Copy the selected portion of the image by pressing CTRL+C.
Select “New” under the “File” menu. Enter 8 inches by 8 inches for the dimensions and your DPI value for the resolution. To copy your photo into this file, press CTRL+V. Continue to press CTRL+V until you have reached the number of passport photos you would like to print.
Print the photos, preferably on photographic paper, or send the file to have them commercially printed.
Tips & Warnings
- Ensure there is no red eye in the photo you select, or your passport photo could be rejected.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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