Saving Money on Passport Photos

Our family is planning on an overseas trip for the first time with both kids. My husband’s passport expired a while back and our 7 year old already has one expired passport too. But our 4 year old hasn’t traveled much (she is a much more demanding child). One of the challenges with getting a passport are that those tiny photos can cost anywhere from $15 at the post office to $17 at some stores. For three passports that’s an extra $45-$50 dollars on top of the $330 for processing and the $75 for the administrative execution (I went with the passport + card route for everyone).

Only after I already went the standard photo route did I realize that there were more economical alternatives using phone apps and printing at home or sending the photo to a cheaper photo print location like Walgreens or other printer.

From the US Department of State’s Official Website: HERE

Your passport photo must be:

  • In color
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • Taken with a neutral facial expression (preferred) or a natural smile, and with both eyes open

You can see examples at the website. The website even has a cropping tool to create your own photos at the government’s website.

There are also a number of phone apps which can save you money. I haven’t tried these apps and have no financial incentive to list them.

For iPhone:

ID Photoprint – Free to use, $4.95 to print 2 passport photos.  You can also save and send to another printing service or do it yourself.

My Passport Photos – Free to use, get photos printed for a cost.  You can also save and send to another printing service or do it yourself.

ItsEasy Passport Renewal & Photo App – Free, offers additional features of allowing for US Passport Renewal for a fee. You have to mail them the application and passport, they will pre-check your documents, submit government payment and they will bring the passport photo.  I’m not sure why anyone would want to send them their passport.

For Android/Google Play:

Passport ID Photo Maker Studio – seems to require in app purchase of background removal, photography tips.

Passport Photo ID Studio – Free