How to take a biometric photo of your baby in 10 simple steps


Easy guide to the perfect biometric photo of your baby for your child’s first passport at home

One of the beautiful things of being a parent is the ability to discover the world anew through the eyes of your little baby. This includes taking your baby on trips abroad and introducing them to travelling. Granted, they might not be fully able to indulge in the experience when they are very young, but I believe in the mantra “Happy and relaxed parents equal a happy and relaxed baby”.

One thing that is not contributing to a relaxed state of mind however is the question how to get your baby to pose without movement or giggles for a biometrical passport picture to enable your traveling. While some countries are fine issuing travel documents without pictures or without a biometrical photo of your baby (like Germany), the US at least requires a biometrical picture for the passports of children including newborns. This naturally makes you ask yourself how to approach this, when the object of your photo project is not exactly hyper cooperative.

To spare other parents the “photo booth experiments gone wrong” journey we took at first, when we got the US passport of our daughter (as can be seen in the picture below), I wanted to share our tried and tested solution for the challenge of taking a biometric photo of your baby in 10 simple steps, which is also recommended by the US State Department aka acceptable for the task at hand.

What your passport picture should NOT look like

Equipment you need

  • A white or light cream colored blanket or bed sheet without pattern
  • A rattle or a set of keys
  • A smartphone
  • Patience
  • A baby

Step by step guide on how to take a biometric photo of your baby

  1. Dress your baby so that the neck area is free and the full face is visible on the picture later
  2. Lay the blanket or bed sheet on a flat surface. I recommend using your bed as the head of your baby will ever so slightly sink into the mattress which enhances the chances of him/her looking straight up into the camera
  3. Check your phone camera settings to ensure the pictures are all in high resolution (min 300 dpi)
  4. Place your baby in the middle of the blanket and make sure there is plenty of blanket space around the baby to allow for a neutral, all-white background
  5. Place yourself with the camera directly above the baby
  6. Make sure you hold your smartphone in a straight angle from above and that part of your babies shoulder area is in the picture
  7. Use the a rattle of a set of keys at hand to grab the baby’s attention
  8. Fire away with your smartphone and take at least 10 pictures in a rectangular and horizontal angle, so you get at least one or two useable photos out of the session and don’t have to redo it afterwards
  9. Upload the picture to a passport photo website like – this page offers a free service as well as a paid one and allows you to rotate the pictures ever so slightly until the eyes of your baby are perfectly aligned with the edges of the photo and to zoom in and out until the head fills the picture in the required proportion. Make sure to preselect the right size and format required for the passport standard of your country/your countries.
  10. Either send the digital biometric photo of your baby to the passport issuing authority for your country or print it at home or in a store if a physical photo is necessary.

You made it! You now have the first biometric photo of your baby and are now all set to go and discover the globe together and go on an adventure. Happy travels!

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