Last Updated on March 1, 2023 by Aftab Mughal
While it’s true that a passport photo is something you don’t generally show off on social media, like vacation photos, you still want to look good there. After all, it’s your proof of identity, and you’re the one who has to live with it.
The general rule is to not look unnatural in your passport picture, but looking natural can range from looking tired and annoyed to refreshed and confident. Here are some tips on passport photo posing to avoid feeling insecure when immigration officers look at your passport whenever you’re traveling!
Smile with your eyes.
While you can’t smile brightly with your mouth (we’ll get to that later), nothing stops you from smiling with your eyes. As you’re supposed to keep your eyes open in passport pictures, some of us try to force our eyes open, sometimes even to the point that we raise our eyebrows. Unfortunately, while this does make your eyes look wide awake, it also makes for a scared or surprised expression. The immigration officer might be intimidating, but you shouldn’t be scared in advance!
As an alternative, try to “smile with your eyes.” Raise your lower lid or squint ever so slightly. Don’t overdo it, and be mindful of your eye shape when doing this.
Actually, do smile with your lips.
Passport photos require a natural expression when posing, but that doesn’t mean you must look glum. Generally, you can smile slightly, just enough to make you look friendly and confident. Raise the corners of your lips slightly while posing.
Remember not to overdo it. There are several reasons why smiling widely, especially grinning, in a passport photo is frowned upon. For example, passport photos are supposed to capture you at your most usual expression, so keep that principle in mind when posing.
Highlight your jawline
To avoid showing a double chin on your passport picture, make sure to highlight your jawline. You don’t need makeup to do this; a good posture will do.
To fix your posture and make a clearer jawline, push your head slightly to the front (towards the camera). However, keep your head straight and don’t strain your neck.
Wear (natural) makeup.
This tip is especially useful if you’re used to wearing natural makeup daily. But if you’re looking to cover up some imperfections, it would be very useful as well.
You can use makeup to highlight your features as well, including your jawline. Use a bronzer or a shading powder on your jaw to create the illusion of shadow and a more defined jaw. You might also apply a bit of highlight on the top of your cheeks and nose to define your features. As with other tips, be mindful and don’t overdo it.
Be mindful of the camera you use
This might be an obvious point, you do not want your pictures to have low quality, be blurry, or be grainy. But besides that, it bears remembering that the process the camera goes through when capturing our pictures is usually unknown to us.
A photo made by a camera is a projection of 3D objects into a 2D surface. Different cameras project objects differently depending on perspective. Ever thought that “the camera adds ten pounds”? This is the reason why. Especially if you’re taking passport pictures at home, this is one of the several nuances you will have to work with.
Background (and contrast with clothes)
If you’re going to take your pictures at home (the link leads to detailed instructions) or even edit them yourself, you should choose a light background that contrasts your top. Ideally, it should be a smooth and matte white or off-white background and a non-white (but not too light) formal top such as a shirt or a blouse.
A Quick Overview
Passport photos are an essential part of international travel, and it is important to make sure they are done right. However, many people are unsure of the rules when it comes to posing for passport photos. In this article, we will discuss the question, “Can I smile in a passport photo?” and offer other tips for posing for passport photos.
Can I Smile in a Passport Photo?
The answer to this question depends on the country that issued your passport. In the United States, you cannot smile in a passport photo. This is because the photo is used for identification purposes, and a neutral expression makes it easier for officials to verify your identity. However, in some other countries, smiling is allowed.
Other Passport Photo Posing Tips
Here are some other tips to keep in mind when posing for a passport photo:
- Look directly at the camera.
- Keep your face and eyes visible.
- Keep your mouth closed.
- Don’t wear hats or head coverings (unless for religious purposes).
- Avoid wearing glasses (unless necessary).
- Choose clothing with a solid color and a contrasting background.
Read More: Things to consider while buying a passport online.