Passport photos are considered one of the most strictly required biometric photos around the world. When applying for a passport or visa, you must make sure that the photos you provide satisfy all the authentic passport photo standards, or the authority might reject your application. Unlike life photos taken at home or while traveling, passport photos are formal and official, so you have to take care of many details from personal image and photo quality.

If you want everything to go smoothly, you are suggested to continue reading for more information about the common mistakes to avoid and where to get passport photos. Actually, the criteria vary from country to country, and today we are going to talk about Australian passport photos.

Common Mistakes Australian passport photos

Dress code you need to know

As you are preparing photos for official documents, it doesn’t need to be a fashion show. Since only your shoulders are shown in the picture, the most suitable clothes should be a T-shirt or shirt with solid color which contrasts with the white background. More importantly, it helps to brighten your face and prevent unnecessary shadows. Remember not to wear white. 

Additionally, clothes with strips, sequins, laces, beads, crystals or any other sparkling accessories are not recommended. For ladies, a round neck or V-neck shirt is suitable, but not a turtleneck, because you are not allowed to cover your neck.

Last but not least, you should not wear clothes which are too casual (such as tank tops or vests), for it would make you look naked in the picture.

Wear unnecessary accessories 

Hats and caps are not permitted because your forehead is not exposed which disobeys the rule “Keep the whole face clear and fully visible”. However, if you have to wear headcovers like headscarves for religious reliefs and you still wear them when traveling abroad, it is possible to remain them on your head, but remember not to wear a bright or decorative one and don’t cover your forehead.

Jewelry is usually not allowed to appear in Australian passport photos, because there might be shadows projected by your ornaments. In order to 100% guarantee the acceptance of your application, we would advise you to take off your glasses, earrings or piercings on lips, nose, etc.

There is an exception when you have to wear glasses for medical reasons, but in this case, you are required to ask a registered physician to provide a certificate to confirm that you cannot remove your glasses and the glasses should not obscure your pupils or reflect light from the lenses.

no glasses in your new passport photo

Improper hairstyle & makeup

Before taking the picture, you should not apply any make-up, especially bright one which might cover your original skin color or distort your facial expressions. Never put on eyeshadows, nose shadow, eyelines, cheek color, etc.

As for the hairstyle, make sure to neatly gather your hair in the back. Beware not to leave your hair covering your forehead, eyes, ears and any part of the face. If you have long hair, tie it up into a ponytail or braid would be a perfect choice.

Wrong posture

Some people used to raise their chins or shrug their shoulders when standing in front of a camera, which leads to rejection of the authority.

Australian passport photos share the same requirements as global standards. Keep your head at the center of the photo and don’t swing around. Just look straight to the front instead of looking around. 

Make sure the camera is at the same height as your face. Don’t do a high or low-angle shot. Selfies are not allowed. So you can ask your friends or family to help. If not, you can also make full use of tripods, desks or chairs.

Distorting facial expressions

Although you might laugh or make faces in your family photo, exaggerated expression or funny look is not welcome in passport photos.

Keep your mouth closed and eyes open. Just leave a neutral expression on your application. If you do feel nervous and don’t know how to control it, you can smile. According to latest criteria, a gentle smile is acceptable as long as you don’t show your teeth or change your facial expressions.

Before going directly for a photoshoot, you can practice your expression in front of the mirror.

If you don’t have any method to hold your camera as high as the way you are sitting or standing, here is a small trick.

You can sit on the floor so that you don’t have to raise the camera so high. You can also put the camera on the floor, but you have to lean forward so as to make sure you can face directly to the camera.

Inappropriate lighting

“Red eyes” are common in photography and flash should be to blame. Therefore, when taking passport photos, daylight is the best choice, but not in the early mornings and late evenings. If it is impossible to apply daylight, you can use a strong artificial light source, such as lamps or light bulbs. Still, the light should be evenly distributed on your face. Any shadow on the face or the background would disqualify your photos.

If there is hard shadow due to uneven lighting, you need to fill the unevenness. What does it mean? For example, if the daylight illuminates the person from the left, the right side would be darker and form a shadow. Then you need to put a light souce from the right to fill the unevenness. Remember to ask the subject to face to the light source.

example photo with correct lighting and inappropriate lighting

Beautifying photos

As photo editing tools develop, we can get a perfect photo before sharing them on social media. For example, you used to remove wrinkles, freckles and dark circles or thin your face. However, beautifying your passport photos is strictly prohibited.

Incorrect size

Each country is featured with their own mandatory passport size photos. You have to keep the following standards in mind and don’t make mistakes.

The Australian passport photos must be 35mm-40mm (3.5 x 4cm) in width and 45mm-50mm (4.5 x 5cm) in length. From the margin of the photo to the top of your hair, it should be 3mm (0,3cm). Length from chin to head should measure 32mm-36mm (3.2cm-3.6cm). The resolution should be 600 dpi or higher.

If you have no idea of resizing your photo, you can go to an online passport photo maker (see the next part) and let the AI do it.

Photos out of period of validity

The photo should be taken within 6 months so as to reflect your current biometric features. Don’t use images which were taken too long ago. And two identical colored images are required.

Wrong printout format

You should prepare a paper photograph before you raise your passport application. Once you get a digital template, remember not to print it out on an inkjet printer. Instead, dye sublimation is a must.

Where to Get Passport Photos

As we have gone through the main common mistakes that we should avoid, it seems difficult to get a perfect identification photo. And it would cost a lot if you go to a photo booth, no matter concerning money and time. You might be definitely concerned about where to get passport photos. So, is it possible to take pictures at home? The answer is YES.

With the development of science and technology, there appears a lot of tools that help us produce passport photo online and AiPassportPhotos is one of the examples. What you need is simply a camera or a smart phone, some space and a few minutes.

AiPassportPhotos, supported by AI technology, could help you check whether your photo conforms to the passport photo requirements. If not, you can change or take a new picture until it is qualified, which eliminates the trouble of visiting the photo booth again and again. If yes, you can go on to uploading, editing and resizing your photo according to the Australian authority’s compliance.

After the digital version is prepared, you can choose to save it and print it out in the stores or apply for printout and delivery service on the website.

the website of AiPassportPhotos


Although we have talked about so many common mistakes in this passage, taking an ID photo by yourself is definitely feasible. Taking passport photos online is not always the best choice, but it saves you time and money by queuing up in the studio. You don’t have to prepare professional photography equipment or skills. A smartphone is enough. You might not be a skillful photographer, but you can try several shots and pick out the best one. 

Now that passport photo online is possible, you just need to follow the above tips. Then feel free to take a photo on your own or with the help of another person and AiPassportPhotos fulfill the remaining job for you.