Please note that I have no affiliation with PassportBooth, nor do I receive any commissions from them for reviewing or linking to their product. This is simply a tool that I have utilized with success that I wanted to pass along to my readers.
One of the things that has always angered bothered me was that most places that offer passport photos want to charge you $12-15 for two 2×2 photographs. From a consumer perspective, and considering that these photographs are always taken up against a white background screen with a low end digital camera, I just cannot wrap my head around why passport photos are so expensive. From a retailer perspective, I get that it is all about the bottom line and that has to be an exceptional money maker for the retailers that offer this service.
In any case, I recently applied for a 10 year Chinese tourist visa and needed to attach a 2×2 passport photo to my visa application. Not wanting to spend the $12-15 on a passport photo from my local pharmacy retailer, I started doing some searching for alternative options. That is when I came across PassportBooth.
PassportBooth is an app that you download to your Apple or Android phone which utilizes your cell phone’s camera to take a passport photo. The app is incredibly easy to use and even offers a silhouette on the screen so you know where you should be positioned for the photograph.
All you need to do is make sure that you are standing in front of a white (required for U.S. passport photos) or a light colored background for the picture. After you take the picture, you will automatically be taken to a screen where you can choose to either order your pictures from PassportBooth, or e-mail the picture to yourself.
If you choose to buy the photo from PassportBooth, you will get a 4×6 sheet of six 2×2 photographs on glossy stock photo paper. The cost for pictures from PassportBooth is ~$5. Although that is much more inexpensive than your average pharmacy retailer charges, there is still an even more inexpensive option if you e-mail the picture to yourself.
When you e-mail the picture to yourself, you get an array of six 2×2 photographs which are designed to be printed on a 4×6 sheet of glossy stock photo paper. All you have to do after you receive the e-mail is save your photograph to your desktop, then go online to your favorite photo retailer and upload the image you saved.
After you have uploaded the image, simply select your photo size as 4×6 and then place your order.
As you can see, a 4×6 print with six 2×2 professionally printed passport photographs on glossy stock photo paper will cost you less than 50 cents!
Now, I will make the caveat that if your background is too dark or there are shadows in your photograph that your pictures may get rejected by either the passport agency or the country you are applying for a visa with. I have yet to read any stories of these photographs being rejected (except in extreme situations like when someone took their picture in front of an orange wall) by any agency or country for passports or visas, but I believe in full disclosure. With that said, my experience with PassportBooth was extremely positive and I would highly recommend this app for anyone who does not want to get stiffed paying $12-15 for a passport photo!
I have always thought that paying $12-15 for two 2×2 photographs at a pharmacy retailer was downright extortion. PassportBooth offers an easy to use and inexpensive alternative to that for around 50 cents, which I find to be exceptional value.
Have any of you utilized PassportBooth or other apps for your passport photos?