Document photographs are usually subject to special requirements. They must be of high quality, clear, and have a certain size. In order not to waste time, many people prefer to go to a photo studio and get pictures that satisfy the authorities that deal with issuing documents. However, this has its drawbacks – we often do not like ourselves in studio shots, and they are not cheap.

Photobooth online for document photos can be an alternative to the studio, but in this case, we are interested in doing it ourselves. You can view the archive of your latest photos, select the one you like, and process it in accordance with existing requirements.

Processing photos for documents – all about it

Preparing and editing a photo for a visa, passport, ID, or another document begins with its selection. But it’s not enough to choose a picture where you like yourself. The image must meet a number of requirements.

Among them:

  • the source file must be in raw format. This will allow you to adjust lighting, colors, brightness, reduce contrast, and set white balance;
  • eyes, facial features should be well distinguishable, and clear;
  • you must be like yourself;
  • do not use too dark or light photos;
  • the background should be uniform, white. Trees, sea, mountains, shops – no matter how much you like it all, you will have to remove them;
  • if you’re cropping your portrait from a photo that includes other images, make sure the size after cropping is sufficient. After cropping, the quality of the image should not deteriorate.

Photo editors are used to processing the selected image. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are best suited for this purpose. These programs contain all the functions necessary for photo correction:

  • white setting;
  • the ability to remove the background;
  • chiaroscuro correction;
  • decrease, in contrast, color
  • cutting according to the given dimensions.

Before proceeding with processing, please read the photo requirements. They are different for every document.

How to process a passport photo

Once you’ve made sure you have a photo and it’s good quality, open an image editing application. We will look at the editing process using Photoshop as an example.

The procedure is as follows:

  • Launch the application, open a photo in it;
  • Crop the picture. Select “frame”, and enter the required proportions. Don’t rush to crop. Open the rulers (CTRL + R), and make sure that the guidelines are in the right part of the face. In some applications, a stencil option is available. Just select the one you want and crop the photo. In Photoshop, the setting will have to be done manually;
  • Clear the background. Remember, it should be white and solid. In adobe photoshop, this is easiest done with the “mask” function;
  • Work with the face. Remove dark shadows, reduce contrast, and color saturation;
  • Save the file.

With this, your photo is ready. It remains to be printed.

Features of processing portrait photos

The main requirement for a portrait is that a person should look like himself. It is worth taking on the processing of a photo only when its origin is of good quality, requires a little refinement, and not a complete redrawing of a person.

During editing:

  • check that the image in the picture is not crooked. Otherwise, rotate the photo;
  • draw attention to the fact that the eyes and lips play the main role in the portrait. These parts of the face should be located at the intersection point of one of the two vertical and horizontal lines that conditionally divide the picture into 9 parts. If this is not the case, the photo should be carefully cropped, removing the excess and arranging the composition correctly;
  • work with the background – it should not distract attention;
  • adjust shadows;
  • make the colors look natural;
  • remove skin irregularities – wrinkles, pimples, hairs knocked out of the hairstyle. We remove red blood vessels in front of the eyes and soften or eliminate bruises under the eyes.


In modern photo editors, you can independently process photos for a visa, passport, and other documents. For successful editing, you need to know the requirements for a photo, have a high-quality picture, and be able to use the appropriate applications.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.