One of the most important aspects to prepare for official government documents is the ID photo. That’s why when you’re getting ready to create your very own Singapore ID photo, it’s important to follow all the right steps and tips.

Making the perfect Singapore ID photo involves the right kind of lighting, proper facial expressions (or the lack thereof), proper framing or positioning of the camera and anything that helps make your face look as natural, neutral and unobscured as possible. 

If you’re not feeling particularly adept as a photographer, then it’s highly recommended to use a proper ID photo editor, especially for working on the more precise elements of the picture, such as its ID photo size.

1) ID Photo Lighting

1.a) Why Proper Lighting is so Important

Good lighting is important for any kind of video or photography job. This is just as true for government photos or documents as it is for actors, newscasters or performers. Without proper lighting, the subject of the photo will be hard to see.

In the case of ID photos, bad lighting will make it too hard to see your face, making your ID photo invalidated if your identity cannot be verified.

1.b) Tips on Good Lighting

All ID photos should be taken indoors. This gives you the benefit of not having to rely on the weather or the time of day for good natural lighting. If you have a room with well-positioned windows, feel free to take advantage of sunlight if you feel it improves the picture.

It’s also important to avoid harsh shadows or bright lights that lighten up your face too much. Either scenario can make it too hard to make out your unique facial details and structure.

2) ID Photo Background

One of the easiest things to prepare for when taking your Singapore ID photo is the photo background.

2.a) Rules for an ID Photo Background

Requirements for your picture background are simple: it needs to be blank and empty, colored white or grey. That means no other people, no objects such as plants or paintings, and no text either.

2.b) Selecting a Proper Background

There are two standard options to select from: either a blank wall painted white or a white paper backdrop to stand in front of. If you don’t own such a backdrop, you may have to visit a professional photographer who has one.

3) ID Photo Pose and Framing

The next step in making the perfect Singapore ID photo is your own pose, including your facial expression. This also includes how to properly stand and how to angle your neck and shoulders.

3.a) How to Pose for ID Photo

The best way to pose is to look directly into the lens. This can be easily achieved if the camera is placed so that the lens is at eye level. This prevents you from angling or tilting your head and neck too far.

As for facial expressions, don’t make any. Keep a neutral look with your mouth closed and eyes open in a normal fashion. It should look relaxed and not strained, but without being expressive either.

3.b) How to Frame for ID Photo

It’s also important that your shoulders and the top of your chest are also included in the ID photo. While the camera should focus on your face, it shouldn’t zoom in so far that it only captures your head. Your chin should be about 10 mm away from the bottom of the picture.

4) ID Photo Clothing and Appearance

Much like how your face looks, it is also important to make sure you are dressed accordingly for your ID photo.

4.a) Singapore ID Photo Dress Code

While the rules aren’t very strict, it is important to not wear a white shirt or anything that will blend in with the ID photo background. While formal business attire isn’t mandatory, it is recommended to wear something that looks professional or at least something you would normally wear to work.

Headgear, such as hats, sunglasses or scarfs, is not allowed under any circumstances except for religious purposes.

4.b) Tips on Grooming

Men with beards should keep their facial hair since this is how they normally look. Men who don’t normally sport a beard but have grown out some stubble should shave before the ID photo. It is important to take the picture in a way that reflects how you usually are.

Women are more than welcome to wear makeup, but only as long as it isn’t excessive and masking important facial features.

5) ID Photo Size and Technical Requirements

Every Singapore ID photo size needs to be 45 mm by 35 mm. This size includes depicting the face, neck and the top of the shoulders. Your head should take up around 30 mm in height.

If using a digital camera, the file size cannot be more than 2 MB. If you are having trouble meeting these requirements, your best course of action is to use a dedicated online photo editor tool.

6) Post-Processing for the Singapore ID Photo

Sometimes an ID photo doesn’t look quite right when it is taken. Perhaps something was off with the lighting, the blurriness or the color balance. If you need a useful tool to help with this, AiPassportPhotos is highly recommended.

With AI and facial recognition technology, you can easily use AiPassportPhotos to remove the background and replace it with a blank white slate. 

Besides, AiPassportPhotos provides other features for not only passport or ID photos, but explores more functions if you need to process your daily pictures by improving blur reduction, enhancing sharpening, or editing file size.

the homepage of AiPassportPhotos


To recap, every Singapore ID photo needs to display your natural face as clearly as possible. The proper use of lighting, framing and posing will help accomplish this, but it’s also important to meet the technical requirements as well regarding cropping or digital file sizes.

Taking a Singapore ID photo is actually quite simple if you have all the right tips and tools. You now have everything you need to know!