Monday, February 06, 2006

Make your own passport pictures

Everybody needs to take passport pictures in his whole life. Especially for a person who lives in a foreign country or travels a lot. But when we look around, the average market price for the passport pictures seems to be $7.99 for 2 photos. Actually the cheapest price I could ever find is $7.99 for 6 in CVS. That's way more expensive compared to the printing price of the regular pictures. When I was looking at the sample pictures in CVS, something crossed my mind: why not make it myself? If you have a digital Camera, a color photo printer and some basic knowledge of photoshop, it would be a piece of cake for you. Here is the way I have been doing.
You may adjust the steps according to your own needs

(1) check the information regarding proper lighting, exposure, composition, and size of the pictures. For US passport pictures, you can get the guidelines from here.

(2) stand in front of a white wall and ask someone to take some pictures for you.
Small tips: (a)Try to choose a place with enough natural light without using the flashlight.
(b) Keep a little distance from the wall so that there won't be any shade on the wall.

(3) transfer the pictures into your computer. Compare those pictures and find one with the best exposure and lighting. And of course with your best looking

(4) Open it with photoshop or other photo editing softwares. Adjust the exposure further as well as the white balance

(5) Once you are happy with the expression and lighting, it's time to make sure the sizes are correct. Use the measuring tool to make the distance from your chin to the top of your head is around 1/2 to 2/3 of the length of the whole picture. Leave enough space on both sides.

(6) Save your pictures and print it as the required size. You may ask "What if I don't have a printer at home" . Don't worry. I don't have one either. You just save it in a mobile device and bring it to a photo center. I went to sam's club and printed two wallet size pictures.

(7) Use a paper cutter to trim the picture to your ideal size.

The final price for two of my passport pictures is just 28 cents. I saved more than $7 dollars and got the most satisfying passport picture I have ever had.


At 1:29 PM, Blogger Kay said...

We took our own pics this way.... you can make 8 passport size pics in a 6 X 4 photo. First determine the size of the picture. Open another file with dimensions 6X4. Copy the first picture into this eight times and adjust the positions.

When we printed using walmart photocenter 1 hr print, it was free for the first 10 6X4 photos, so we got it free!

At 5:40 PM, Blogger circle said...

thanks for the comments. WOW. I should have thought of that. But I didn't know that walmart has first 10 for free. But the dimention of the us passport pictures is 2by2. We should only get 6 pictures that way, right? Will try your way next time


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