How to Look Good in a Passport Photo – Passport Size and Specifications

About Australian Passport Photos

Last updated on Sep 12th, 2022 by Heena Ganotra

When you submit your passport application, you need to make sure the passport photo size and appearance is up to the requirements set by your country. Taking a passport photo can be a nerve-racking experience for most. There are many things you need to pay attention to beyond looking presentable in the picture. Fortunately, the Australian passport photo size and appearance requirements are fairly straightforward. Here’s a look at what you need to do:

1. Australian Passport Photo Size

The Australian government requires applicants to submit two identical photographs of 35mm to 40mm in width and 45mm to 50mm in height. The size of your face from chin to crown shouldn’t be less than 32mm and more than 36mm. 

Most photography studious are aware of these requirements and will provide the best passport picture upon request. However, it is still a good idea to conform with your photographer to avoid problems during the passport application process. If your photograph has any issues, your passport will be rejected directly.

2. Head Coverings

When it comes to head coverings, the Australian passport photo requirements can differ. Simple hats and caps aren’t permitted. You need to remove them before you take the picture. However, if your head covering is due to religious requirements, you can wear them. A turban or hijab is allowed but you need to make sure your eyes and other distinguishing facial features are clearly visible. 

Adjust your turban or hijab according to ensure the airport authorities can have a clear picture of your face. A professional photographer will tell you how to adjust your head covering accordingly. 

3. Plain White Background 

Make sure your face is against a plain white background with sufficient contrast so that all of your features are clearly visible. Avoid dark backgrounds or backgrounds with any sort of design or decoration on it. You need to make sure nothing in the picture distracts from your face. 

If the background is too bright or too dark, the photograph will be rejected. Choose a professional photographer with experience taking an Australian passport photo. They will make sure the image is up to standard. 

4. Accessories

Don’t wear accessories like large earnings or glasses of any kind. Stick to modest jewellery and remove your goggles or specs before stepping in front of the camera. Glasses will cover your eyes and obscure your facial features, which can make things more difficult for airport authorities.

If you wear contact lenses regularly, wear them during the photography session. If not, try to go through the shoot without glasses despite any discomfort that may cause. If you can’t remove your glasses at all, you may need to provide a medical certified by a qualified professional explaining the reason. 

5. Hearing Aids and Implants

If you use any sort of hearing aid or implant, wear it during your photography session. They are the exemptions to passport photo specifications Australia because they can be used to identify individuals and make people aware of their disability as well.

Make sure your aids are in and implants are attached during the shoot. This applies to babies and children as well. If they need hearing aids, let them wear them during the passport photo shoot. 

Suggested Read: Everything You Need to Know About Australian Passport Application

6. Passport Clothing

While there are no big restrictions of what you can and cannot wear in your passport photo, it is best to keep things simple, clean, and formal. A good, light and solid coloured shirt or dress is sufficient. Make sure there are no distracting ruffles or accessories near your face that may obscure your features. 

Avoid wearing white and bright clothes that will blend in with the background. A little contrast is essential to define your features. We recommend wearing something like light blue, light pink, grey, green, etc. If you can’t wear it to an office, don’t wear it to the passport photo shoot just to be on the safe side.

7. Hairstyle

Like your passport clothes, your hairstyle should also be clean, simple and professional. If you’re letting your hair fall loose, make sure all strands are clearly tucked behind your ears and there are no bangs obscuring your forehead. Ladies should tie their hair back for a better result.

Men should comb their hair neatly and make sure nothing covers their ears or obscures their features. A neat, clean, and professional style that you would wear to a formal meeting is the most suitable option for passport photo Australia.

8. Light Makeup

It is best to avoid using makeup but if don’t want to do that, make sure you wear light makeup that doesn’t alter your key features by much. You can apply a light layer of foundation, colour on lips and cheeks, and concealer under the eyes. Just don’t overdo it. Automatic face recognition won’t get distracted by everyday makeup. You can still look like yourself with makeup. Use makeup to look fresh, presentable, and energized. 

But avoid heavy contouring, dark eye-makeup, and techniques that are designed to disguise or alter your features. That won’t fit the Australian passport photo guidelines. 

Suggested Read: Renewal of Indian Passport in Australia

9. Pose Properly

If you want your Australia passport photo to look nice, you need to pose properly. Many people feel very anxious during the photo session and forget to smile or look presentable. That can have an impact on the appearance of the photograph. While you’re not going to participate in a beauty contest with this photo, you may want to look decent. Some tips from professionals include:

  • Raise your neck and extend your jaw out a little bit. This will make you look sharper and more energized. It may also help disguise some pesky double-chin you may have. Don’t overdo it as it may look unnatural. You can practice this in the mirror for a while before the shoot. 
  • Keep your shoulders and neck straight. That will ensure your features are clear and attractive. Don’t slump your shoulders and make them look rounded in the pictures. 
  • Wear a faint and natural smile. Don’t smile too widely as that will cause your eyes to squint. A small smile that doesn’t show any teeth is sufficient and will look pleasing to the eye. 
  • Make sure your eyes are open. People who blink a lot often face this problem. When the photographer reaches the count of three, keep your eyes open. 
  • Face the light and let it highlight your features fully. If your Australian passport photo is clear and all features are distinct, it will pass the scrutiny and your application will be approved. 

If you keep these tips in mind, you will have a great Australian passport photo and will look good in it too. If you have questions or concerns, speak with your photographer directly for some advice.


Q. Where can I get passport photos taken?

Ans: You can get a passport photo from professional photographers, your nearest post office, camera stores, large stores with printing facilities, pharmacies, and more. All you need to do is search for ‘Australian passport photo near me’ and the options will pop up in your search engine. 

Q. What happens if my picture fails the passport photo requirements Australia?

Ans: If your photograph fails, your application will be rejected and you will have to go through the entire process again and pay the fees again as well. That’s why it is important to look at Australian passport photo specifications carefully. 

Q. How many photos needed for passport Australia?

Ans: You need two identical photographs for every application. It is best to have multiple photographs on hand for other uses as well. 

Q. Can you smile in a passport photo?

Ans: Yes! Smile, but don’t smile too widely or expose your teeth. A faint smile is sufficient. 

Q. Can I take a passport photo at home?

Ans: Yes, you can but the Australian authorities won’t accept inkjet or home-printed photos. You will need to visit a professional photographer for printing out a copy anyways. It is better to use a professional for the entire process in any case. 

Now that you know what the passport photo size and specifications are, you can get your passport and travel around the world!

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About Heena View All Posts

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness and kindness in abundance. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)

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