| |

How to Take Baby Passport Photo: Yourself vs Photographer

Taking a passport photo of a toddler is easy, you can even do it at the acceptance facility in 10 seconds. On the other hand, baby passport photo is a completely different story…

Babies can’t hold their heads up, might not necessarily keep their eyes open, or move around. There’s a lot to think about.

Our first child got his passport photos taken at just 4 days and then again at 3 months, while the second child got his first passport photos at 7 days, and then again at 7 weeks old. We tried every possible option oftaking baby passport photo, so we got you covered!

Official Passport Photo Guidelines

Keep in mind that baby passport photo rules vary depending on the country. Some countries are also stricter than others when it comes to having a perfect photo.

Our kids have three citizenships, and we discovered that baby passport photo rules are different, and ironically, even after resizing it perfectly the same photo that got accepted for one passport got rejected for another (and why we had to reshoot some).

baby passport photo
There’s a high chance that your cute baby might look like he just robbed a bank 😀

Baby Passport Photos for US Passport

If your baby is an American citizen and you’re applying for a US passport for your baby you’re in luck. US photo guidelines are literally the most relaxed ones.

US rules regarding infants state that their eyes don’t have to be completely open, and the mouth can be slightly open.

Other accepted photos show that you can easily have a photo taken holding an infant, as the fact that the blanket behind is uneven doesn’t matter. It also doesn’t matter if the mouth is slightly open or the child is frowning looking not directly into the camera.

Believe me, these rules are pretty awesome for US citizens! They give you plenty of options for taking a baby passport photo yourself as they accept a lot.

Photos for EU Passport

When it comes to European passport photos the rules are a completely different story. If you’re taking a photo of a baby being held by a mom under a white blanket, there’s a big chance that it will be rejected. The background must be white and clear with no wrinkles allowed.

A photo of an infant lying on a bedsheet will also have a high chance of getting rejected. Plus, both ears need to be clearly visible, and ears are often invisible that way.

With both babies we got our photos rejected three times actually. First, because the background was apparently slightly off-white (it was a sheet). The second time, we got rejected because our not even a week old newborn wasn’t opening his eyes enough.

When we had to apply for another passport when our son was 8 months old we got rejected, because his mouth was slightly open and lips weren’t completely sealed.

Taking infant photos for a European passport requires way more patience and skills than for a US passport.

Photos for Mexican Passport

The most difficult passport photos for a baby were ironically, for the Mexican passport. To begin with, we needed to take photos to apply for a sealed pediatrician’s document, enabling us to even apply begin the application process.

Two visits at the photo center later (because the baby was too asleep when we tried getting them for the first time), we got pediatrician certificate photos that are essentially the same as for the passport…

Imagine our surprise when we showed up to apply for a passport with these photos, and we were told that it’s impossible to actually submit the photos. They needed to take them upon arrival (this rule applies to applying within Mexico and consulates abroad)!

There was only one room and every person was standing in front of a white background hanging behind them to take a photo. The camera would only work if someone behind the counter pressed the button and waited 10 seconds for the photo to appear on another screen.

It’s safe to say that our 8 week old baby was not having it at the time of our appointment. After 20 minutes of trying, which also involved having two men detach the camera from the wall to make it somehow manageable, everyone was staring at us, trying to figure out a way to help us…

Eventually, someone ripped a poster from the wall, flipped it around to create a white background, and put it on the floor so we could take a photo of a baby lying down, still in the middle of the room and among other people taking their appointments though.

The idea behind it was good, but our baby was already frustrated and kept rolling and crying. This is how we ended up with an epic crying passport photo (below).

My advice for getting a Mexican passport for an infant: JUST DON’T DO IT!

Doing Baby Passport Photos at Home vs. At a Store

You can have your baby’s passport photo taken at a spot that takes passport photos, but not every place will accept infants. Based on our experience some might, but will do it badly and you’ll have to redo everything.

If you’re tech savvy and can take a baby passport photo at home, I recommend doing it on a harder white surface. It can be a white sheet, but spread it on the floor, not the bed or crib to avoid wrinkles. With this method ears are often getting smushed and aren’t visible enough, so it’s something to have in mind.

Personally, we found going to a professional photographer quicker. As long as you time it right and catch your baby during the middle of his awake window, not too close to feeding time as the baby might get fussy.

One parent stands behind the photographer and makes noises, while the other parent holds the baby up with one hand, supporting the head and neck with the other. It’s the only way to have both ears visible and a baby looking directly into the camera.

applying for a US passport for a baby

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *