How To Make A Passport Size Photo In Photoshop (Step By Step)

Here you’ll learn how to prepare a passport-size photo in Photoshop and how to create multiple copies of it. Since these image requirements will vary based on your country, it’s important to confirm the exact dimensions requirements before getting into Photoshop. However, once you know which dimensions are needed, it’s easy to make any photo passport sized in Photoshop.

Here’s how!

Size Requirements For Passport Photos

Following the mandatory photo size required by your government is crucial since submitting a passport in the wrong size will automatically result in rejection.

You can find the size requirements for a few countries below.


In the US, you must submit a 2 x 2-inch passport. Additionally, the size of your head in the photo must measure between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches.


If you live in a country that is a member of the European Union, your passport size must be 1.38 x 1.77 inches. The image also can’t be larger than 10MB.


If you live in Canada, you must submit a 2 x 2 3/4 inch passport image. Your head must be between 1 1/4 inches and 1 7/16 inches in size in the photo. 

Standard Image Requirements For Passport Photos

Specific image requirements for passport photos vary from country to country, with some being stricter and others more flexible. However, particular rules apply to the majority of countries. 

If you have any doubts, consult your country’s legislation and remember that your photo should make it easy to identify you.

Here are the most common image requirements for passports around the world:

  • You must use a recent photo – generally no older than six months;
  • Your image must have a white background;
  • Your facial expression must be neutral – no smile, no angry face;
  • Your head must be facing the camera – no side profile, for example;
  • You can’t use accessories that cover your face or head, such as glasses or caps. Most countries allow you to wear religious hats and head coverings as long as they don’t cover your face;
  • Your photo must be correctly exposed (no harsh shadows or glare, for example)

How To Create A Passport Size Photo In Photoshop

You will learn how to prepare your photo as best you can so you can submit your passport photo and get immediate approval. To achieve this, you must ensure the image is exposed correctly and formatted in the correct size. Luckily, this is a straightforward job.

Before anything, you need to scan your photo to identify problems. In my case, for example, there were harsh shadows on the right side of my photo.

After identifying the problems in your photo, you can follow the steps below.

Step 1: Edit Your Photo Using Camera Raw

First, open your photo in Photoshop. 

To fix any exposure problems, go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter.

Within Camera RAW, select the Basic tab.

You can adjust the overall brightness of your photo using the Exposure slider.

The Contrast slider allows you to adjust the difference between shadows and highlights in your image.

In Highlights, you can control the brightness of the lightest parts of your image.

In Shadows, you control the brightness level of shadows in your image.

Reducing Whites helps in getting rid of blown-out pixels.

You can adjust the amount of Blacks in your image to reduce the overly dark areas.

You can also benefit from adjusting your image Texture. It helps reveal details that may be lost while adjusting other parameters from the Basic tab.

You can adjust your image Clarity.

If your image has haze, reduce it using the Dehaze slider.

By adjusting Vibrance, you can make the colors in your photo look more lively.

In Saturation, you can reduce or increase the intensity of the colors in your image.

Finally, you can open up the Detail tab and increase Sharpening to highlight the details in your image. 

Click OK when you’re finished.

Step 2: Select Your Subject

To remove the background, first, enable the Object Selection Tool (W) from the Toolbar.

Then, hover over your subject. Click to make a selection.

Step 3: Refine The Edges of Your Subject

Click the Select And Mask button in the Options bar.

Within the Select And Mask workspace, select the Refine Edge Brush Tool.

Now, zoom in on the edges of the hair by pressing Control + + (Win) or Command + + (Mac) and paint over the edges of the hair to refine it. Press the right bracket key to increase brush size or the left bracket key to decrease it. 

You can also use the Brush Tool (B) to refine the edges of your subject.

Then, zoom in on the subject’s edges and paint over them to refine them.

To eliminate the remaining pixels from the image’s original background, scroll down the Properties panel and tick off the Decontaminate Colors option.

When you are done adjusting the Select and Mask settings, set the Output option to New Layer With Layer Mask.

Then, click OK to confirm the actions.

Step 4: Create A New Document

Now you have to create a new document to place your subject. To do this, go to File > New or hit Control + N (Win) or Command + N (Mac) on your keyboard.

In the New Document window, change the unit to inches.

Then set the width and height to the required size for a passport in your country. For this example, I choose the standard values for US passports, 2 x 2 inches.

Set the Resolution to 300 Pixels/Inch.

Then click on Create.

Step 5: Place Your Image Into The New Document

Now return to your image tab and enable the Move Tool (V).

Select the image thumbnail in the Layers Panel.

Then click and drag your image into the new document you created. After that, the image might appear too big for the document, as happened in my case. 

Press Control + T (Win) or Command + T (Mac) to fix this. Control handles will appear around your image.

Push any of the handles down while holding Shift to scale down the image.

Then use the Move Tool (V) to adjust the position of the portrait and put it in the center of the document.

Hit Enter on your keyboard to confirm the action and disable the Free Transform Tool.

Step 6: Add A White Background

Select the layer under your photo.

Then click the Add Adjustment layer icon.

Then choose Solid Color.

Now enter the code #FFFFFF in the hexadecimal box to set the background color to pure white.

With that done, your passport photo will be ready to use!

Now you can save your file and store it where you can easily access it. You can simply export to JPEG by going to File > Save A Copy. If you are not sure how to do this, see my guide on how to save photos in Photoshop.

How To Make Multiple Versions Of A Passport Photo In Photoshop

If you want to print a page full of passport-sized photos, to keep on hand for when you need them, you can quickly make multiple versions of the passport photo you created in the previous section. This is useful if you need multiple images for different reasons, such as a passport and a driver’s license, if the image size requirements are the same. To do this, first, select the Rectangle Tool (U).

Then, drag the shape from top to bottom until it covers the photo.

Afterward, go to the Options Bar and set the Fill to transparent.

Set the Stroke to white.

Set the stroke width to 40 px.

Hit Enter on your keyboard to confirm the action.

Then, go to the Layers Panel and make sure the Shape layer is above the image layer. 

After that, go to Edit > Define Pattern.

Name the pattern, anything you want, and press OK.

Next, go to File > New.

Set the unit to Pixels.

Set the Width to 1200 and the Height to 800. You can size the document based on how many images you want to fit on the page. To work out the inches, divide the pixel amount by the resolution you set.

Set Resolution to 200 pixels/inch. Since I’ve set the resolution at 200, my document size in inches is 1200/200, which is a width of 6 inches, and 800/200, which is 4 inches. So my document is 6 x 4 inches in size, which means I can fit 6 2×2 inch photos on it.

Finally, click Create.

Next, go to the Layers Panel and click the Add Adjustment layer icon.

Select Pattern from the list.

Within the Pattern Fill panel, click the arrow next to the active pattern preview.

Then select your passport photo.

In Scale, you can control the number of copies of your photo that will fit your new document. The exact value depends on the size of your image. In my case, 67% was enough to fit 6 photos at the correct size.

Click OK to confirm the pattern, and you now have multiple passport-sized images on your document.

Learning how to create your passport photos means you don’t need to leave your house or struggle to find a good photographer. This is handy, especially when you are in a rush to get your passport documents in order. It does take some basic knowledge of Photoshop, but nothing too complicated, as you can see here. 

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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