why are passport photos so expensive

Why are passport photos so expensive?

Now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, travel bans are also being lifted. Tons of people are itching to get out of the country. If you’re part of the unlucky bunch whose passports just happened to expire during the lockdown and are scrambling to get them renewed, you need a new passport photo for your application.

But why are passport photos so expensive? In this quick blog post, we’re going to talk about why passport photos are so expensive. Then, we’ll uncover where you can get the cheapest Canadian passport photos for your applications. But before that, let’s go over the requirements for a picture-perfect passport photo.

What Are The Passport Photo Requirements?

Not all countries have the same sizing requirements for passport photos. In Canada, we are required to submit two 5cm by 7cm photos when applying for a passport. Here, we’ve listed down all the dos and don’ts that you need to keep in mind when getting your passport photos taken.

Passport Photo Dos

  • Do submit a photo taken in the last six months.
  • Do use a clear high-resolution image of your face.
  • Do have someone else take your photo.
  • Do take off your eyeglasses when taking the photo.
  • Do use a plain white or off-white background
  • Do have a neutral expression on your face and keep your eyes open.
  • Do face towards the camera directly
  • Do keep your head centered with the top of your head down to your chin measuring about 31 mm (1 1/4 inches)-36 mm (1 7/16 inches).
  • Do print your passport photos on high-quality photo paper.

Passport Photo Don’ts

  • Don’t submit a photo older than 6 months.
  • Don’t overexpose or underexpose your passport photos.
  • Don’t have a harsh shadow in the picture.
  • Don’t use filters that alter your skin’s complexion.
  • Don’t submit blurry or grainy photos.
  • Don’t submit photos with red-eye.
  • Don’t submit a selfie.
  • Don’t wear eyeglasses.
  • Don’t wear hats or head coverings, except for religious or medical purposes, and with a signed statement only.
  • Don’t retouch or digitally alter your passport photos.
  • Don’t have anything obstructing your background.
  • Don’t use a colored background.
  • Don’t tilt your head or body backward, forwards, or sidewards.
  • Don’t stay too close or too far from the camera.

Visit our blog for more tips on what your passport photo should look like.

Do We Really Need To Follow The Requirements?

At this point, you’re probably thinking that’s a long list of dos and don’ts to keep track of. And you’re right, it really is! Nonetheless, you need to make sure that all your passport application documents are complete and follow the exact requirements—especially your passport photo.

Even if the rest of your application documents are perfect, if your passport photo isn’t, your application might get rejected. All your travel plans will go down the drain and you might have to go through the entire application process again. What’s worse is you might have to pay additional fees.

This can be such a hassle if your flight is booked just a few weeks after your application gets rejected. You might not get your passport in time for your flight if you have to re-apply. By following all of the passport photo requirements you can save time and money.

Can We Take Our Own Passport Pictures?

In Canada, no. We aren’t allowed to take our own passport photos. The Canadian government requires that you get your passport pictures taken in person by a professional.

And that’s exactly why getting your passport photos taken by a professional can be expensive.

A professional photographer has all the proper equipment (i.e. lighting, background, high-resolution digital camera) and knowledge of the requirements to give you the perfect passport photos.

Passport photos taken in studios have a much higher chance of getting accepted than those taken at home—around 95% higher. And if your passport photo does get rejected, studios make sure to refund what you spent to get your passport photos taken.

If you want passport photos that will definitely get accepted, make sure to research the best places to get your passport photo taken.

Where Can You Take Your Passport Photos?

There are several places where you can take your passport photos, but they are quite pricey. Here are some of the well-known stores and pharmacies that offer Canadian passport photo services:

  • Walmart Passport Photos: Walmart has over 400 stores in Canada. So you can visit any of your local Walmart stores and get two passport photos for $9.97 until December 8, 2021. On a regular day, their passport photos cost $15.99. You can pay online but the photo must be taken in-store. They do not offer printing services for passport photos. They also do not take passport photos for infants.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart Passport Photos: At Shoppers Drug Mart you have the option to either take home two hard copies of your passport photo or one digital photo that will be saved in a USB. Unlike Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart actually offers passport photos for all ages, which includes toddlers and newborns. But their prices are a bit higher at $19.99.
  • Henry’s Passport Photos: Henry’s mainly services Ontario, and their passport photos also cost $19.99.
  • Jean Coutu Passport Photos: Jean Coutu has more than 400 franchised locations in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec. They offer passport photos for $13.80.
  • London Drugs Passport Photos: London Drug can take your passport photo for $11.99 plus tax. It’s currently the cheapest one on the list, but they have very limited stores around Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia.

The stores above might be a bit pricey but not all professional photographers charge a high price for passport photos. When it comes to independent photo studios, you can find prices as low as $7—unbelievable right!

Chances are you only stumble across expensive passport photo services because you don’t take the time to actually compare prices. But then again, not everybody has the time to compare passport photo prices especially if they’re rushing.

If you still find the stores above quite pricey, we know a great photo studio in Calgary that offers the cheapest price for high-quality passport photos.

Photo Studio Calgary – The #1 Studio For Cheap & High-Quality Passport Photos

If you’re looking for a photo studio that offers great quality photos without breaking the bank, look no further than Photo Studio Calgary. We are the #1 choice when it comes to getting passport photos in Calgary, NE. You can get your picture-perfect passport photos for as low as $6.97 and only under 9 minutes!

With our $6.97 passport photo bundle, you can either get 2 printed copies or one digital copy of your passport photos. Or you can get both hard copies and a softcopy for only $9.97—what a steal! These bundles are only available for ages 2 and up, but don’t worry we also have a special bundle for newborns and toddlers at only $17.97.

Our passport photo services are not only the cheapest in the city, but we also have one of the highest passport application acceptance rates.

Have other photo needs? We don’t only focus on passport photos. We can also take your visa photo, ID photos, license photos, and so much more! With over 7 years of experience, we know all the requirements needed for each type of photo. All you have to do is come to our store, sit in our chair, and smile for the camera.

While you’re at it, if you’ve got any photos you’d like printed or restored, we offer the best photo printing and photo restoration services for reasonable prices too. We can fix even the most severely damaged photos. Once we’re done with them, that 1940s picture of your grandma will look like it was taken yesterday!