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Distance from the camera while taking a passport photo

Distance from the camera

Take the photo from a distance of about 20 inches from your face. Ideally, the photo should be taken by another person.

face in front of the camera during passport photo

Face in front of the camera

Place your face in front of the lens and keep a neutral expression on your face. Hold the camera at face height.

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Even lighting

Just stand facing a light source such as an exposed window. Don't worry about the background.

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Singapore passport photo online

Travellers very often require an identification document such as a passport or a visa. This document helps to verify our identity and nationality wherever we go. Although you should bear in mind that you likely don’t need travel authorisation if you are not planning to leave the country, as Singapore citizens are only required to hold an ID card.

In some ways ID cards have the same function as a Singapore passport, as both are used to identify yourself to local authorities and officials. To that end, this kind of official document includes a biometric photo. 

Just like in every country, biometric photos are required to meet the requirements for the corresponding official document, though there exists certain requirements that you need to consider for each of them. For instance, the photo size, or the background colour. 

Keep reading to learn how to take the perfect passport size photos for your Singaporean passport application and many other identity documents.

Photo requirements - Singapore passport and ID card 

Bear in mind that each biometric photo is unique, so you should take into account the different requirements for a photo when applying for, or renewing, a Singapore passport or a Singapore ID card.

Singapore passport photo

Make sure your photo complies with the requirements for a Singapore passport photo. These are:

  • It must be in colour.
  • It must have been taken within the last 3 months.
  • The photo must be of the highest quality.
  • A white and plain background is required. If you or the person being photographed has white hair, it is recommended that a light grey background is used.
  • Correct photo size: 35mmx45mm.
  • Your face must occupy between 25 and 35 mm of the photo.
  • Keep your eyes fully open and your mouth closed. You are not allowed to smile and must retain a neutral facial expression.
  • Do not wear anything covering your face/eyes/ears/neck.
  • If you need glasses, you can wear them but make sure they don’t cover your eyes or cast any shadows on your face. Coloured glasses and sunglasses are forbidden.
  • Look straight at the camera, keep your head centred.
  • The top of your shoulders must also be visible.
  • You cannot cover your head with any headwear unless you wear it for religious or cultural reasons.

Singapore passport photo for a baby

If the person being photographed is a baby, it is understandable that some of the previously mentioned requirements are hard to fulfill. This is why you should know that Singaporean authorities have provided additional comments and recommendations for baby passport photos, though be aware that you should follow the previous specifications as closely as possible. The requirements for a passport photo for a baby are:

  • Place a white t-shirt or pillowcase in a baby bed, or any flat surface, on which to take the photo.
  • Make sure the photo only shows the baby’s face, this means that you cannot hold the baby during the photo shoot. Also, ensure that the baby’s hands are not covering his/her face.
  • Though we are aware that this may be hard, please be aware that the baby must look straight at the camera.
  • Try to take a photo while the baby is adopting a neutral facial expression or smiling. If the baby appears to be laughing or crying, it may be rejected.
  • Eyes must be clearly visible and open.

Singapore ID card photo

Now you should take a look at the official requirements for a Singapore ID Card photo.

  • The photo must be no older than 3 months.
  • It should be evenly lit.
  • It must not contain shadows, be blurry, pixelated, or contain any other flaws.
  • Keep your eyes open and your mouth closed. Do not smile.
  • Sit or stand at an appropriate distance from the camera so that your hair and shoulders are visible.
  • The background colour of the photo must be white.
  • If covering your head for religious reasons, the accessory must be a dark colour.
  • If wearing glasses for medical reasons, ensure your eyes are completely visible.
  • Photos must be taken with a full frontal view.
  • Passport-size photo (35mmx45mm).

6 common mistakes when taking passport photos

Taking an appropriate passport photo is not easy at all, although the probabilities of committing any mistakes are pretty low if utilising the use of a top-quality online photo booth. 

In this section, you will find the most commonly made mistakes; you might even see some reasons as to why your passport photo may be rejected. Take a look at the following list:

  1. Incorrect dimensions: when taking a passport photo, this may be the most important thing to consider, as it is extremely easy to see that a photo does not comply with the required photo size.
  2. Photos older than 3 months: do not try to submit a photo that was taken one or two years ago. The photo must show your current appearance. In fact, photos taken within the last 3 months may also be rejected if your appearance has notably changed (you have a new tattoo on your face, you went through facial surgery, you changed your hair colour, etc.).
  3. Low-quality photos. Make sure your photo is printed with top-quality paper. Moreover, photos containing blurring, shining, the red-eye effect or any other flaws will not be accepted.
  4. Facial expression is not neutral. Remember that you are not allowed to smile or adopt any other inappropriate facial expression. 
  5. Your eyes are not fully open or your mouth is not fully closed. You should retake your photo in that case. Trust me, your photo will be rejected.
  6. If taking the photo by yourself, do not take a selfie! Ask a friend or relative to take the photo instead. You can also use a tripod.

Where to take a biometric photo for an official Singaporean document?

You can get passport-sized photos in a traditional photo booth, though most of them do not offer any guarantee that your photo will be accepted, as the specifications they state are generic and do not follow the requirements set for specific documents, which could, in turn, lead to you submitting an invalid photo, and result in a rejected application.

Moreover, they are usually pricey and make you waste a lot of time. This is why we highly recommend that you reap the benefits of an online photo booth. Haven’t heard of them? Online photo booths allow applicants to take the perfect Singaporean passport photo and ID photo from home. 

How to take passport-sized photos from home

Passport-Photo.Online is one of the best online photo booths on the whole internet as the tool guarantees that your photo will be accepted by Singaporean authorities. However, in the rare case that your photo is rejected, you will receive your money back and a new chance to take your photo for free.

To take a passport photo from home, follow these instructions:

  • Download the online photo booth. Passport Photo Online is available on both Google Play and the AppStore
  • Would you like to take a Singaporean passport photo or a Singaporean ID card photo? We’ve prepared some guidelines for you that you can read in less than a minute. Nevertheless, don’t worry too much, Passport Photo Online will let you know in case your photo has not been correctly taken, so you can take a new photo.
  • Take as many photos as you’d like, there is no limit. Choose the one you prefer and upload the image to the app. Passport Photo Online will check the validity of the photo.
  • If accepted, your photo will be adjusted to the correct dimensions as well as to the rest of the official requirements, the background will be edited too.
  • Ready! Now you can download your photo in digital format and it will be ready to print as a postcard size photo, so you can save a lot of money. If you prefer, we can also deliver the photos to your address, so you don’t need to waste your time.

Read a few recommendations on how to use Passport Photo Online:

  • Selfies are not allowed, so you must use a tripod or ask someone to take your photo.
  • Choose good lighting. It is highly recommended that you benefit from natural light while taking a passport photo, which will ensure that your photo does not contain any shadows or other flaws that will lead to rejection.
  • It is important to consider that you must look straight at the camera. Taking the photo at the appropriate distance from the camera is also highly recommended. For instance, you can sit or stand 1 metre away from the camera. Finally, remember that you must adopt a neutral facial expression.
  • If using makeup, this must be subtle and not too colourful. The main purpose of a biometric photo is to identify individuals, so it does not make sense if the photo does not match your natural appearance. And make sure you don’t use shiny makeup, or your photo will need to be retaken without it.
  • Don’t worry about the photo background. You can take your photo anywhere. Passport Photo Online will erase it and transform it into a white, plain background.


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