how many photos do you need for a passport

How Many Photos Do You Need for a Passport?

It may be a simple question, but it’s surprisingly common for people to submit the wrong number of photos when applying for a passport. If you’re wondering how many photos do you need for a passport, it’s not as many as you think. However, there are also other factors to consider that you may overlook when submitting your passport photos. 

How Many Photos Do You Need for a Passport?

The short answer is two. You only need two photos of yourself to submit along with your passport application. If you want to feel at ease, bring more as backup copies.

The long answer is that, while you only need a couple of photos, you can’t just submit any photo. For the Canadian government to accept your application, your images must meet specific requirements

Why You Should Take More Passport Photos Than Necessary

It’s better to be redundant. A backup photo gives you peace of mind in case a problem arises with the original. Aside from ensuring you have enough photos for your passport application, having a set of photos can also prove convenient in other ways. For example, you can use your photos for a job or citizenship application.

What Else Do You Need for Your Passport Application?

Other than how many photos you need for a passport, remember to go over other passport photo requirements set by the Canadian government. These requirements include the following:


Your photo should not be older than six months. This is because the Canadian government needs to see your current appearance. If your appearance doesn’t match your set of photos, they may ask for another, more current set. This is especially important for people who lost significant weight, had a gender transition, or suffered severe facial damage.

Appropriate Size and Dimensions

The correct measurement for the photos is 50 millimeters by 70 millimeters (2 inches wide by 2 and 3/4 inches long). This avoids stretching and incorrect proportions once your image appears in the passport and when printing the photo. You need high-quality photographic paper for printing.

The two photos you submit must be the same. They should be identical in dimensions, size, color, and resolution.

Correct Position

Your photo must clearly show your face without any obstruction or shadows. In this regard, glasses and other eyewear must not reflect or create any glare that will cover your eyes. You cannot wear sunglasses and tinted eyeglasses. To be safe, don’t wear any glasses at all if possible.

In the photo, your face should be squarely in the center. It should measure between 31 millimeters (1 and 1/4 inches) and 36 millimeters (1 and 7/16 inches) from the top of the head to the chin. You shouldn’t be smiling or frowning – you must maintain a neutral expression.

Correct Background

Only white or light-colored backgrounds are allowed for Canadian passport photos. There should be enough contrast between your face and the background. 

Correct Colour

Both colored and black-and-white photos are allowed. For colored photos, ensure the image has proper lighting, your skin tone is correct, and the tint is accurate.

Appropriate Clothing

We recommend that you wear clothing that is neutral and timeless. Your passport will not expire for some time. If you wear trendy clothes in your passport photo, your appearance will look dated very fast. Avoid wearing white, as that will blend with the white background. Also, refrain from wearing highly distracting patterns and offensive prints.

Don’t wear uniforms and headwear, except if worn for religious reasons. If you need to wear your headgear, make sure it doesn’t cast a shadow on your face.

Tips for Getting Your Passport Photos Taken Correctly, Easily, & Affordably

Aside from knowing how many photos do you need for a passport, here are some additional tips you’ll find helpful when taking passport photos:

How to Take Photos of Babies

Taking passport photos of babies and toddlers can be tricky. One tip is to take a picture with the baby lying on a white bedsheet. Another way is having them seated on the baby seat with white sheets behind them. If you need to hold the baby, avoid showing your hands, as the baby needs to be alone in the photo. 

How to Take Photos of Someone in a Wheelchair

For a person who uses a wheelchair, we advise having a plain white blanket draped over the back of the chair and behind the applicant’s head to blend with the white background. 

Work With a Dependable Photographer That Specializes in Passport Photos

The Canadian government requires a professional photographer or studio to take your passport photos. If you want to be sure that your citizenship photo satisfies Canada’s standards, it’s best to have it taken by a professional. 

You need to work with a studio that can take good photos and understand what makes a good passport photo. However, remember that the Canadian government has the final say on whether your image will be accepted.

Some of the reasons why a photo studio is the best choice for you:

  • The chosen studio can take a picture of you that complies with your passport requirements.
  • It is well-versed in the specific guidelines for taking a citizenship photo, such as the required dimensions and good backgrounds.
  • If you need to resubmit your citizenship application, getting extra copies of your photo from the photo service provider can be helpful.

If you live in Calgary or nearby areas and are looking for passport photos in Calgary, Photo Studio Calgary is the No.1 choice. We ensure high-quality passport and ID photos in less than 10 minutes. Drop by our photo studio today.

Wrapping Things Up

Your passport application should push through without problems if you adhere to all the photo requirements, including how many photos do you need for a passport. The process might seem complex, but you should do okay if you follow the above tips.

You can put your worries to rest by visiting Photo Studio Calgary. We’ll take care of the particulars and ensure you have the right photos to apply for a passport. Photo Studio Calgary is a one-stop shop for all your photographic needs. We also do PR card renewal in Canada, photo printing in Calgary, and even photo restoration in Calgary. Make an appointment right away and get your perfect passport photo.