How to take a perfect photo for a visa at home – 7 simple rules

If you don’t want to waste money and time at a photo studio, you can try to take high-quality pictures at home.

If you don’t want to waste money and time at a photo studio, you can try to take high-quality pictures at home. No professional equipment is mandatory; you only need a smartphone or a PC with a camera. Meet the basic requirements and enjoy the cost-effective process. Below, we present 7 simple rules, thanks to which your visa photos won’t be rejected.

Rule 1: Meet the basic conditions

Before you start taking photos, remember to check all the requirements that must be met. Generally, you should consider the following points:

  • The visa photo must be recent (taken within the last 6 months) and in color.
  • The quality must be good (without visible pixels, dots, filters, etc.)
  • Your head should be centered (don’t wear glasses and headwear unless for religious purposes).
  • The background needs to be plain white.
  • No major shadows on the face should be visible.

Remember that in addition to the photo rules, you must meet other visa conditions, such as preparing a valid passport. In many cases, you can apply for a visa online. Just fill in the form, cover the fee, and wait for the email with confirmation and a PDF file. It’s simple and intuitive.

Rule 2: Use a minimum distance of 1 meter

Your photo can’t be distorted, so don’t take a selfie. The distance between you and the camera needs to be approximately 1 meter (3 feet); this enables accurate proportions. Also, don’t face a camera from the angle. Look directly at it and keep your distance.

Rule 3: Tame light and shadows

An incorrect approach to shadows and light may spoil the picture. Avoid bad lighting and take advantage of sunlight. Your face can’t be shadowed, so turn your head towards the source of light (note that it can’t be direct and hard). Sometimes, different settings and positions may help, so try it out.

Rule 4: Adjust your background

In order to achieve a white background without shadows, you should keep a 0.5 m distance from the wall, sit on a chair, and edit the photo if necessary. You can use some applications or websites that will remove your background automatically. Just open the remover, erase the background, and change it to white color. It is quite simple and convenient.

Rule 5: Crop and edit a photo according to the specifications

There are a lot of editors available online that you can use to adjust your picture. The width and height should be the same and form a square. The best size is usually not smaller than 600 x 600 pixels and not bigger than 1200 x 1200 pixels. The most suitable format is JPEG, so convert your photo and save it on the computer. After that, you can upload it to the application form or print it out on photo paper.

Rule 6: Don’t wear prohibited items

You can read all the requirements regarding the photo on the official website. Generally, you should wear your usual clothing and avoid items that may interrupt the visibility of the face, such as:

  • Eyeglasses
  • Hair accessories
  • Headphones
  • Hats

If you need to wear certain items for religious or medical reasons, you must submit a mandatory statement to verify this information.

Rule 7: Remember about visible eyes and neutral expression

Your eyes must be visible in the photo, so don’t close them. Also, avoid the red-eye effect and any items covering the face. In most cases, a neutral expression is necessary, so don’t show emotions (such as happiness, excitement, anger, or sadness). If you follow all the rules, your photo will definitely be accepted without a visit to a professional studio.

Additional advice for taking a visa photo of a child at home

It is not so easy to take a visa photo of a baby, as it must stay still, look straight at the camera, and have a neutral facial expression. If you have some problems, you can try the following tips:

  • Consider dark clothing for a child, as it will create a better contrast in the pictures. Avoid hair accessories.
  • Prepare suitable surroundings (play soft music, place toys around, etc.)
  • Put a baby on a blanket and a white sheet on the top in the well-lit room.
  • Take several photos and pick the one that meets the requirements.
  • Edit the photo to get the best results.
Aleksandra K
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