How to Take A Baby Passport Photo

baby holding a passport
Photo Image Credit: copyright DPA/ picture alliance

We all know just how nightmarish passport photo regulations can be – and unfortunately, it’s exactly the same when it comes to babies!

Last summer, parents of baby Lucas Thursby hit the news when it took them over 5 HOURS to get a suitable passport picture taken for him, due to the strictness of photo requirements. So what requirements does your baby’s passport photo have to meet, and how can you best achieve them?

Baby Passport Photo Regulations: 

  • Your baby must be looking straight at the camera with both ears visible (children under 6 don’t have to be looking directly at the camera)
  • Your baby should have a neutral expression with the mouth closed, not smiling (children under 6 don’t have to have a neutral expression)
  • Both of your baby’s eyes should be open and clearly visible (children under one don’t have to have their eyes open)
  • The photo should be sharp and clear
  • The background should be white or a light pale colour such as blue, off-white or cream
  • There should be no object on your baby’s face or background eg. hats/dummies/toys/parents hands (you can support their head with your hand, but it must not be visible in the photo)
  • The photo should be taken in a bright room with no shadows across or behind the face
  • The photo must be in colour

You can find more do’s and don’ts at

baby passport guidelines
Image Credit:

How to Take the Perfect Baby Passport Photo in 8 Steps:

  1. Support your baby’s head with your hands but keep them out of the shot. You may want to practice a few times before you take the snap.
  2. Wear a plain pale top and rest your little one on your chest or hold them up against you.
  3. Alternatively, lie your baby on a white blanket or place him/her in a car seat against a white blanket to give you control.
  4. Don’t use any bright lights such as a torch to shine on your little one’s face – this will cause shadows behind the head that may mean your photo will be rejected.
  5. Hold a toy (toys that make noises are good for this, one of their rare benefits) just behind the camera to attract your baby’s attention, to keep their gaze straight and to encourage them to have both eyes open.
  6. Take loads and loads of pictures – the more you take, the greater the chance that one will be accepted/correct!
  7. Avoid scheduling a photography session during your baby’s usual naptime – a tired baby is not a cooperative baby.
  8. Apply for an infant passport as early as possible just in the case the photo is not accepted and must be retaken.

Extra Wriggly Baby?

If you’re still having difficulty getting that perfect shot with mr or mrs fidget, roll up two towels and fashion them into a head support to keep your baby’s head still like so:

baby photo positioning tips
Image Credit: Kristen from Sprouts en Route

Once baby has been laid down and is secure in the towel arrangement. Angle yourself over the top with your camera and aim for a portrait shot with some room above the head down to the middle of baby’s chest.

the best angle to take a baby photo from
Image Credit:

If you’re still looking for the perfect holiday for you and your family, explore our collection of beautiful family friendly holidays. Or, if you’re in the middle of planning a trip, you might find our baby & toddler holiday packing list helpful.

The images on this blog do not belong to Tots to Travel.

Olivia Frost
Olivia Frost

Olivia is a Digital Marketing Exec at Tots to Travel, talented film maker, production researcher, journalist and copywriter. She’s actually amazing.

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