New UK Passport photo

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by Malcolm Stewart, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. Had some passport photos taken a short time ago with one of these at a well
    known high street photo shop:-<>prd_id=845524441760103&c=uk
    From the website you'd think it was the latest and best...

    First problem was that the near-lens flash caused serious reflections in
    spectacles. Not acceptable.
    2nd. is that the thermal paper has "Polaroid" on the rear which causes it to
    fail the stated requirements of the Passport Agency. (Possibly permitted at
    the moment, but being phased out.)
    Next is that the portrait produced failed the latest size requirements (a
    little too high) as clearly stated by the Passport Agency, but would
    probably meet those on the previous issue.
    I can easily adjust the size issue in Photoshop but inkjet prints are not

    So download the latest info from the Passport Agency website - before
    wasting your money in the high street! The most annoying thing is the waste
    of time, and that the "professionals" seem to have been led astray by
    advertising copy.
    Malcolm Stewart, Apr 11, 2006
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  2. "Malcolm Stewart" wrote
    I took some passport photos for my stepfather which were accepted and they
    were inkjet prints with the minimum stated resolution of 1200 dpi. I had to
    use a friend's printer for this as mine is not good enough.

    Roger Blackwell, Apr 11, 2006
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  3. Malcolm Stewart

    John Bean Guest

    Indeed. I've also recently had inkjet prints accepted
    without question.
    John Bean, Apr 12, 2006
  4. Malcolm Stewart

    Paul Guest

    I did mine and printed them at 720 dpi and had no problems with the passport
    office accepting them
    Paul, Apr 12, 2006
  5. Malcolm Stewart

    Mark Dunn Guest

    The problem isn't really with the industry but with the Home Office's
    unbending interpretation of new regulations. However, OP, one of the
    recommendations is to take your specs off.
    So, inkjets on photo paper have been accepted? What brand and type?
    Mark Dunn, Apr 12, 2006
  6. Malcolm Stewart

    Brian Guest

    All the guidance says is:"..printed on low-gloss, plain-white
    phot-quality paper (with no watermarks, embossing or printing on the

    The interesting bit is later where it says: "The photograph printed professionally. Photographs printed at home are
    not likely to be of an acceptable quality."

    I know I used to tell the kids there was a man with a camera in those
    booths but....!


    (For email change closed to open)
    Brian, Apr 12, 2006
  7. Malcolm Stewart

    Mark Dunn Guest

    I agree that's ambiguous. Fisrt it says 'photo-quality', then it appears to
    say 'photographic', which isn't the same thing at all. Hmm.
    Mark Dunn, Apr 12, 2006
  8. Malcolm Stewart

    John Bean Guest

    Mine were Epson 1270 printed on Epson Premium Glossy paper.
    John Bean, Apr 12, 2006
  9. Malcolm Stewart

    Paul Guest

    Mine were Epson 2100 printed on Epson Heavyweight Matte Paper
    Paul, Apr 12, 2006
  10. Malcolm Stewart

    Alan Mills Guest

    I also printed some passport photographs of myself recently. I used
    HP photosmart 7660 printer with HP premium paper.
    I used the Post Office service to send them off - the staff there
    checked them against their recommendations and thought they would be
    OK and they were accepted by the Passport Authority.
    I've since used the same pictures to get a visa from the Indian High
    Commission and the passport to travel to India so it worked for me!
    Alan Mills, Apr 12, 2006
  11. The statement above is what I believed yesterday based on the rejection
    (after using a template) by staff in one Post Office.

    When checked carefully against the latest template downloaded last night, it
    turned out that the portrait did meet the size requirements and was accepted
    without comment by a different (Main) Post Office. Interesting to recall
    that yesterday after the size "failure", we were "steered" towards a
    particular shop in Milton Keynes offering passport photos. We're now
    wondering whether there's a connection between our yesterday's rejection and
    some business interests...
    Malcolm Stewart, Apr 12, 2006
  12. Malcolm Stewart

    A.Lee Guest

    I'm in the business, and come across stories like this regularly.I heard
    the PO asssistant tell one customer that "we always reject pictures from
    the Co-op, as they are too big, but the ones from our machine over there
    are OK". Which is utter bollocks, as they are both the same machine.

    I got a complaint from a bloke recently who had to have his photos
    redone, as the originals were too big - I got out my template,and they
    were perfect, and it was hard to see how they were rejected by the PO
    checker - there is a definite trend here - Post Office checkers.

    There are very few pictures rejected by the Passport Agency, and the
    ones that are, are usually because of 'customer error' - looking away
    from the camera, BIG glare marks on their glasses etc.

    The main culprit of all this nonsense is the Government, who awarded the
    Contract to a Company who had no experience of scanning pictures for
    passports, and thus were rather put out when they found they couldnt
    scan the old (2+ years ago) passport picture, which had a near pure
    white background, so forced all picture suppliers to make sure their
    pictures were giving an off-white/neutral/grey background, with a head
    size of 32-36mm(around 6mm bigger than the old size).
    Further on, they realised that children/babies could never get a head
    picture so big, so they reduced the head size requirement to 29-34mm.So
    all picture producers had to reset/modify all of their cameras to give a
    smaller head size, after spending many £ thousands on modifying them to
    get the bigger size.
    They have now realised that it is near impossible to get childrens heads
    this big with current passport photo booths, so have done away with the
    head size requirement for children.
    All passport booths should meet a standard to be allowed for passports -
    newer ones use a thermal paper, with a very light manufacturers marking
    on the back - they sent out a memo banning ANY writing on the back of
    the pics, but after realising that it would be impossible to order
    Kodak/Ilford/Mitsubishi to stop putting their names on the rear of the
    paper, they've now said that so long as the 'watermark' is not seen
    through the photo, then it is OK.
    A.Lee, Apr 12, 2006
  13. Malcolm Stewart

    harrogate3 Guest


    This is just another typical example of HMG being behind the times and
    slow to respond to current technology. They probably thought this one
    up in the days of the likes of the HP693 at 600dpi or slightly later
    ones at (Wow!) 1200dpi. Anyone today doing their own pictures is
    likely to use at least 2400dpi and usually 4800dpi or greater.

    Having said that there is probably many irks out there who know
    nothing about what they are attempting to do and just leave the
    printer default settings and don't use good enough paper, hence
    unacceptable results.
    harrogate3, Apr 13, 2006
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