Passport photos are a daily necessity for everyone in the community, whether you’re applying for a formal job, trying to get a license, or even going out of your state/country.
While hundreds of shops and companies will take your picture and print out your passport photo for you, most of them are usually very expensive.
Whereas, if you have a good printer and some photo paper at home, you can easily print your own photos with minimal cost and have a wider range of choices.
You might not know the first thing about printing, but that’s what we are here for! We’ll provide you with a detailed guide to print your passport photos easily and conveniently.
Select The Right Paper And Photo Size
One of the key factors you should look out for while printing your passport photo is the size of paper you’re using. Since printing on 2×2″ paper size is nearly impossible, you can compromise by printing multiple passport photos in one paper and then cutting them out individually.
Passport photos are found generally in two common sizes, 2×2″ and 35×45 mm. The 35×45 mm size will cover just your face, while the 2×2″ will also include the top part of your shirt/dress.
The number of pictures you can print in one go depends on the size of the passport photo and the paper size you’re using; you should choose accordingly.
For example, you can print four 35×45 mm photos in 3.5×5″ photo paper but only two 2×2″ photos. Thus, for an A5-sized photo paper, you can get as many as 18 copies of your headshot and eight copies of the 2×2″ photo size.
There are also several other photo paper sizes like the 7×5″, 6×4″, A4, and letter size. The larger the size, the more photos you can print.
Types Of Photo Papers For Printing
There are fundamentally three types of photo papers- glossy, satin, and matte.
As the name suggests, glossy photo papers are highly reflective, giving your photos a sparkly look. The paper is also smooth to the touch; however, inappropriate printing can result in unwanted marks on the paper and smeared ink.
The matte photo paper is the exact opposite of glossy paper. While it provides a soft texture, it’s not reflective at all. It’s also not affected by improper handling, and the color output is as good as the glossy paper.
Satin, also known as luster photo paper, is a mix of both glossy and matte paper. It has touches of reflectivity and softness in its texture while also being immune to scratches and ink spills. However, this paper is relatively more expensive than the other two.
Most countries and organizations allow both glossy and matte paper in passport photos. But there are a few countries that need you to submit passport photos that are printed in matte.
Since passport photos are usually used for official documents, the quality of the paper you’re using is of utmost importance. Poor paper quality can cause your photo to fade and become dull.
You must go for the branded photo papers, well-known for adequate performance, whether it’s glossy or matte.
You should also opt for paper heavier than 180GSM. This weight has proven to be the lowest bar for proper printing of passport photos by trial and error testing.
Step-By-Step Guide On Printing Passport Photos At Home
Printing Passport Photos On Windows PC
Adjusting The Photo Size
- Open your desired photo in Adobe Photoshop or any other photo editor. Make sure your photo follows the rules of a passport photo.
- According to your needs, crop your photo by 2×2″ or 35x45mm. You can change the ruler’s scale from the “View” option in the taskbar for precision.
Creating Multiple Copies
- Create a new file with the dimensions of the photo paper you’ll be using.
- Drag your photo to the new file and make as many copies as you need. Make sure there’s adequate space between each so that you can cut the photos with ease.
- Export and save the image file in .jpeg or .png format by pressing “Ctrl” + “S” on your keyboard.
Executing the print
- Right-click on the image file and select the “Print” option.
- Select the paper size you’re using for both the “Paper Size” and “Photo Size” options.
- Change the orientation to “Landscape.”
- Select “Print” to get your very own passport photos!
Printing Passport Photos On MAC PC/ Laptop
Modifying The Size Of The Photo
- Open your desired photo in iPhoto and select the “Crop” feature.
- If you select the “Square” option, you can crop by 2×2″ dimension. You can also select the “Custom” option to crop as per your requirement.
- Save the cropped image by pressing “Command” + “S.”
Printing Multiple Copies
- Open the image with Preview and select the “Print” option from the taskbar.
- Change the option at the bottom to as many images you want in a single printout. For example, if you want five images on a page, select “5 images per page”. Make sure it doesn’t exceed the range of the page you’re using.
- Modify the other option to match the number of copies per page to the number of images per page that you chose.
- Select the correct paper size on the “Paper Size” attribute.
- On the “Presets” feature, choose the “photo on photo paper” option and hit the “Print” command to carry out the print.
Tips On Choosing A Printer For Passport Photos
Which type of printer should you go for? What should you look for in your printer? Choosing a good printer for passport photos among thousands of printers available can be a tough job. Still, we’re here to make it simple.
Your printer must be compatible with all types of photo papers and support various sizes, starting from the smallest 3.5×5″. So naturally, the wider the range of sizes a printer supports, the better it is for you, as you can print a higher number of passport photos in a go.
For printing photos, nothing beats the likes of inkjet and dye-sublimation technology. Both of these produce immaculate colors and details in the output and enhance the vibrancy of the pictures.
Thermal inkjet technology is also a suitable option. However, laser and UV printers won’t be great options for printing passport photos.
You should check out the maximum resolution output your printer is capable of. It goes without saying that the higher the resolution, the better the printer will be.
Some printers provide 300DPI, which is just perfect for passport photos. On the other hand, some printers can give output resolutions of up to 4800 DPI and ensure the maximum quality of your passport photo.
There are various types of ink configurations available in inkjet printers. Some come in cartridges, while others have ink tanks consisting of bottles.
The cartridge configuration works with dye-based or pigment-based inks. It’s best to go for pigment-based inks since they’re more durable. Even though dye-based inks provide better colors, pigment-based inks have a much shorter drying time. In addition, they are relatively more resistant to water exposure and scratches.
Dye-sublimation technology also uses dye-based ink mixed with water. Since the process uses heat transfer, the printout doesn’t need to be kept for drying and use right away.