How to take a biometric passport photo yourself

by Corinna

In this article we explain how you can easily take a biometric passport photo yourself. With a few tricks and the help of websites, you can get the picture for your identity card or driving licence in no time at all

How to take a biometric passport photo yourself

Whether it’s a passport, driving licence or ID card – if you want to have one of these documents issued, you need a biometric passport photo. You can either have this taken by a photographer or simply take it yourself. We’ll tell you how to do it.

  • Neutral background: If you have a white wardrobe, this can serve as the background. Otherwise, a plain white wall will also do. Make sure there is nothing in the background that could distract from the photo, as this is not allowed.
  • A camera: Nowadays you can already achieve very good picture results with the smartphone camera. Alternatively, you can borrow a digital camera or SLR camera from friends or at a photo shop. Usually the fee for a day is not very high.
  • Biometrics: The Bundesdruckerei provides a so-called passport photo template online, which you can use to check whether your photo is biometric or not when processing the photo.
  • Lighting: Also make sure you have sufficient lighting, because nothing is more unprofessional than a photo that is too dark or overexposed. If you are shooting in the evening, set up either softboxes or lamps.
  • Rules: Adhere to the rules set by the Federal Printing Office. In a nutshell: The picture must measure 3.5 x 4.5 cm, be sufficiently illuminated, have a neutral background and be of good quality. The facial expression must be neutral, the head held straight without headgear, the eyes must be open.
  • Editing: On special sites such as the Biometric Passport Photo Generator or Passport-Photo, you can upload your image, edit it and then crop it according to the biometric specifications. On some of these sites, you can then also order the finished product directly.
  • Print: If you prefer to print the image yourself, you should at least take a look at how the image was processed to make it biometric. If necessary, take a screenshot as a comparison image. Then open your image in either Gimp, Photoshop or even Paint and crop it accordingly.
  • Take the highest quality available to you and change the image only by cropping it. If you already change the image to the passport photo size before editing, there will be a very high loss of image quality and your photo will have strong image noise.

How to print the biometric passport photo

You have several options for printing the passport photo. You can print the picture at home. However, for this you need very high quality photo paper and of course a printer with full cartridges.

  • If you don’t mind having to pay a little money, you can of course also order the passport photo via the above-mentioned page if you already have it in your shopping basket there anyway after processing.
  • Besides this page, there are other providers where you can have pictures printed relatively cheaply.
  • If you are not pressed for time, you can also order the picture online. You can also get the finished picture printed in a drugstore or generally in a shop in your town.

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