Passport Photos

Rejected! But Why? The Surprising Reasons Why Your Passport Photo was Denied.

Passport Photos Epping

Have you ever been excited to apply for a passport, only to be told your photo isn’t up to scratch? Believe it or not, this happens more often than you think! Whether you’re applying for a brand new passport, renewing an old one, or simply getting ready for your next big holiday, the last thing you want is to have your passport photo rejected. Today we’ll look at the surprisingly common reasons why your passport photo might have been denied.

Passport photo epping

1. Smiling

keep your expression neutral

When taking a passport photo, it is important to maintain a neutral expression. That means no smiling or any other type of in-depth facial expressions; just keep things as neutral as possible. This also includes keeping your teeth hidden. If your smile creates shadows on your face or makes it difficult to recognise you from the photo then it will not be accepted. So if you want to avoid having to take another passport photo, keep your mouth closed and do not smile when taking yours.

Passport Photos Epping


Glasses are generally not allowed in passport photos, as they can obscure parts of your face and make it difficult to identify you from the photograph. However, there are exceptions for certain types of prescription glasses. If you choose to wear glasses for the photo, make sure that there is no glare from the lenses which could obscure part of your face. If there is glare from the glasses your passport photo will be rejected. If possible, we recommend taking your glasses off for your passport photos.


Passport Photos Epping


Your hair should be styled naturally and neatly. Make sure that all of your hair is off of your face, including bangs and sideburns. Avoid wearing hats, headbands, scarves, or other accessories in the photo - these items are not allowed in official passport photos according to government regulations. However you may keep on religious headwear for your passport photo.


Passport Photos Epping

The Wrong Attire

It might sound strange but wearing certain clothes in a passport photo can result in rejection! Refrain from wearing clothing with large patterns or logos as these items can obscure parts of your face and therefore render an unacceptable photograph. In addition try not to wear white as this colour tends to blend into a white background which could also result in rejection.


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using a flash

As tempting as it may be to use flash when taking a passport photo, try to avoid it if possible! Flash often casts an unnatural shadow over people’s faces, making them look too dark or washed out. When it comes to taking the perfect passport photo, natural light is your best friend. Whether you choose to take the picture outside or near a window inside, natural light will create more depth and texture in your photo.


Passport Photos

unnatural colouring

It is important that the colours in your passport photo appear natural and realistic; otherwise it won't be accepted either. That means avoiding editing programs like photoshop or using filters on social media sites like Instagram which can distort the colours too much and make them appear unrealistic. It also means avoiding wearing makeup or heavy foundation which may change the tone or shade of your skin too drastically from what it normally looks like.


The background

First and foremost, opt for a solid white background, avoid busy patterns or distracting backgrounds or your passport application could be rejected. Secondly, make sure that there is enough contrast between your skin tone and the background of the picture—this is important because if there isn’t enough contrast then certain features may not show up properly on the passport photo which could cause a passport photo rejection


Passport photo epping


Taking a good quality passport photo doesn’t have to be hard once you know what mistakes to avoid! Just remember - keep neutral expressions; no glasses allowed; and stick with natural colouring - and voilà! Your perfect (and accepted!) passport photo will soon be yours! We hope you've found this helpful and good luck on all those adventures ahead - don't forget us while you're away! :)

First and foremost, you want to make sure that your passport photo meets all the requirements set forth by the government. That means that your face should take up 70-80% of the frame, with no hats or sunglasses allowed. Your head should be in line with shoulders and facing directly forward, with a neutral expression on your face. In order for them to accept it, it has to be in color and taken within the last 6 months.

Passport Photo Essex

Where can I get my passport photos taken?


If you would like have your passport photos taken by a professional SO Studios offers passport photos in their Essex photography studio.