Month: April 2010
Comparison of FREE and Pay Passport Photos Websites on the Internet
Review of Passport Photos services on the Internet
Normally passport photos are taken in Brick and Mortar stores. Most local stores offer Passport photo services. However they have become expensive over time. Most stores like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Rite-Aid etc charge around $10 for 2 passport photos. Plus most such stores offer only 2×2 inch USA passport photos. Because of these two reasons, now there is another alternative and that is to get passport photos online.
How does passport photo service on the Internet work?
With most families having digital cameras and access to Internet, it is much easier to get passport photos online. Here also, there are two types of services. DIY or pay some money.
There are excellent businesses like http://www.onlinepassportphoto.com which for a reasonable will will provide 6 or 8 passport photos for around $6 to $8 which is very economical compared to paying $10 or so for only 2 photos. So if you need photos for whole family or need 10 or so photos per person, getting them done on the Internet can save you lot of money. Besies the economic side, it is also easier to get passport photos for any country and in any size. Plus the biggest advantage in our opinion is fixing of customer photos. Full service passport photo websites on the Interet will fix flaws in your photos- like, correcting exposure, fixing background, removed harsh shadows behind the the head. This way, the photos you get are much likely to be accepted and this can save you some precious time with passport application.
Now there are some DIY free websites which revolutionized the printing of passport
photos. ePassportphoto.com comes on the top followed by www.potraitbooth.com. However, there are some problems with using FREE Passport Photo services:
- Your digital photos may not be as good for making passport photos.
We estimate that barely 10% to 20% of the photos taken by individuals with their digital camera have accurate exposure, background, contrast needed to make valid and nice passport photos. There is no statistics available but there must be a significant rejection rate for photos created on free websites.
- Shadows by flash. Most cameras fire flash when photos are taken inside and that roughly 95% of the photos would have undesired shadows behind the head in photos. Most passport photo requirements specifically ask you to submit photos without such shadows. (Our tip: Use full service online passport photo services like http://www.onlinepassportphoto.com
who digitally remove the shadows from the photos or will advise you how to avoid shadows while taking photos. This will eliminate chances of rejections for your passport or visa application and will save you considerable time.)
- Foreign passport/visa photos: Most countries have their own passport/visa
photo requirements. If that is not enough, different consulates of the same country have sometimes very different requirements for passport photos. As an example, the OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) application if submitted at San Francisco Consulate of India or New York Consulate of India will ask you to submit 2×2 inch photos but if you are submitting your application to Houston Consulate of India or Chicago Consulate of India, you will be asked to submit 35mm x35mm photos (which is like
1.3x 1.3 inch)! If the size issue wasn’t enough, some consulates ask for Colored background and some require White or White-like background only even if the photos are to be used for the passport/visa application for the same country!!With FREE Passport photo websites like ePassportphoto.com
and www.potraitbooth.com, you will miss out these fine details but using full service OnlinePassportPhoto.com, you will leave such worries behind as they take care of such details for you.
- Most free passport photos sites like ePassportphoto.com and www.potraitbooth.com
require you to upload a file within only acceptable file sizes. If your photo file is too big or too small, the sites will reject your photos outright.
What is good about the free DIY Passport photo websites?
- The biggest benefit is that ePassportphoto.com and www.potraitbooth.com help you convert your digital photos in to passport photos for free. You upload your digital photos and they give you back a 4×6 print format
with multiple photos on it.
- This is a very quick process. Probably 3 clicks and you are done.
- The best part is- it is free! If you are a good photographer and your photos have right exposure and no shadows behind head, you are good with such free websites. You don’t have to pay anything compared to $10 that most stores charge for 2 passport photos.
- You can create passport or visa photos for any country, in any size.