This video is not sponsored or endorsed by the app makers, and the opinions expressed are entirely my own. Other passport photo apps are available, these are just the two I happened to find first.
Hi everybody. So today I wanted to show a couple of apps that I’ve been using recently to take passport sized photos with. I’ve recently moved to London, and as a result of that I’ve had to get new travel passes, we’ve needed to get a new blue badge for Mum, we’ve had to get disability registration cards with the local social services. Things like that we’ve needed passport sized photos for, the little tiny photos.
Now for my photos I went to a photo booth like, you know, many people normally do, and got mine. It was very difficult, because I can’t see the screen in them, they’re behind a pane of glass, quite a way back behind the pane of glass. And although there is speech in the machine that talks to you, it doesn’t describe what’s on the screen, so you still have to look at it to see what you’re doing. So I was using my monocular, my little telescope, to look at it, and line myself up, and make sure that the photo looked as best as it could. And then you’ve got the light shining in your eyes as well, and I’m light sensitive. So it was quite difficult, and it took me 3 attempts to get the photo right. Luckily you get 3 attempts for your £5, so it didn’t cost me any extra, but it was difficult. But I got my photos out in the end, so that was sorted out.
But then in doing Mum’s photos, she’s blind so she can’t use the machine on her own. So I would have to lean in to the machine and help her set it up, and then get out of the way quick before the photo was taken. And I thought, well hang on a minute, we’ve got smartphones with good cameras and that now, so is there a way of taking someone’s photo using an app that you can get a passport sized photo out of. And it turns out, yes there is.
I couldn’t really have used these apps for myself. You can use them in selfie mode with the front-facing camera, but again you still need to be able to see what’s on the screen. And if I’m holding the phone at a distance, it’s still not really gonna work. I’m not gonna be able to see clearly enough what’s on the screen to line myself up properly. So it wouldn’t have been a good idea for me, but I was able to take photos of Mum with it, with both of the apps that I used, and they both came out very well. The purpose that we wanted to use them for really works nicely.
So I wanted to show you those two apps, just to show you what we did, in case it’s useful for you, in case you’ve got someone sighted who can take a photo of you with it for whatever you’re applying for. So let’s have a look at these two apps, and I’ll show you what I mean.
Ok, so this is the first of the two apps. This is called Passport Photo by and is by vsmedia. And basically what it allows you to do is it allows you to take a photo and then either print it or save it in electronic format and send it on to yourself or someone else. That’s the useful bit I like about this app, the fact that you can save an electronic copy, which the other app doesn’t let you do. Because sometimes you can upload a passport sized photo to a website to complete an application. So this app is really useful for that, and the photos it’s given us have been accepted for those applications that we made. So it is correct, as long as you take the photos correctly of course. So let’s have a look at it.
So it’s a very simple interface, you can create a new photo, you can print a stored photo, or you can send a stored photo somewhere. And there’s some settings as well, you can change measurements to centimetres or inches, you can draw a border which will help you cut it, you can print in portrait or landscape, there’s a correction factor as well in percentage – not quite sure what that does, because I haven’t had to use it – and there’s email attachment file format, you can have a ZIP file or a JPEG. And you can remove the ads as well if you wish, although if you’re only gonna use this app once or twice, it’s not really worth paying that extra 99p. And there’s some information screens as well, you’ve got copyright information and stuff about the file formats and things like that, but nothing you really need to check out. But, you know, if you like reading those things you can I suppose.
So if you want to create a new photo, you just click the top button, which is a very big button, to create a new passport photo. You can select the country you’re in – it will default to United Kingdom in my case, but there’s loads of others here, every country under the sun I think really, literally. Because they all have their own sizes. A lot of the countries have very similar sizes, but some do differ, so it’s useful wherever you are in the world. But we’re going for United Kingdom here.
And you can load a picture. If you’ve already got a picture of your own that fits the passport photo conditions, you could load it into the app here. Or you can take a picture with the camera, which is what we did. So we’re gonna take a picture with the camera, like I did for Mum before.
And as you can see here, you get guidelines on the screen to help you. So you’ve got the height of the head, the upper and the lower limit, you’ve got a bottom line for the chin, and you’ve got a central column to line up the centre of the face. So there’s plenty of help there, and you just line it up with the person’s face.
Obviously the usual rules for passport photos apply – you need to be against a plain background, they can’t have glasses on, they’ve got to be looking directly at the camera without funny expressions on their face, all that kind of stuff. The app doesn’t check for that, obviously, but the applications that you make, their instructions will tell you what you what you can and can’t do.
But yeah, if you just line it up and take the photo. Obviously there’s no face in this picture because I’m pointing it at the wall, so you can just see those guidelines. But yeah, you can use the guidelines, you can bring them back there then, to just double-check if you’ve got it right or not, and then just turn the guidelines off to see the photo as it is. If you’re happy with it, you can go on to the next screen. You can adjust the saturation and the brightness and the contrast if you so wish. Like that, so there’s extra brightness and contrast. And then once you’re happy with it… I’ll reset all the options there.
Once you’re happy with it, you can then say what sort of format you want. You can have a single photo, which is what I did, because that’s what we want. And there’s other paper sizes as well, you can have 9 by 13, 10 by 13, you know. So you get 4 on a page, 6 on a page, 8 on a page, that kind of thing. And there’s an option to unlock all 5 paper sizes there, so you’ve probably gotta pay extra for that. Yep, £1.99 if you want to unlock it all. The settings icon there as well, that takes you back to that settings screen from before.
But I just want the 3.5 by 4.5, or 1.38 inches by 1.77 inches. And it asks you what you want to do with the photo. So you can save it, print it or email it. And it really is just as simple as that, that’s all you need to do. And then you save it and it gives you a file back. That’s the file we sent off, and it all worked very nicely. So that was nice and easy.
Then this is the other app. This is Passport & ID Photo by Andrew Garfield. And this app doesn’t let you save a photo to your device, but it does send your photo off, for a small fee – it was £3.99 I think – and Andrew will print your photos, and cut them up, and send them back to you. So I’ll show you how this works. It’s very similar in terms of taking the photo.
Start Capturing, click that at the bottom. You do get the instructions here for what to do. Keep a mutual expression. Ensure your lips are sealed. Look directly into the camera. Make sure there are no distracting shadows. Use a white, or off-white (grey) background. Fit the crown (the top) of your head between the top two lines. Fit your chin between the bottom two lines. And then for any queries contact firstname.lastname@example.org. So you’ve got those instructions there.
And then you’ve got some terms and conditions there. This app is to be used as a simple guide to create a photo ID. It is is the user responsibility to ensure the photo meets the requirements for the intended purpose of use (e.g. passport photo). For full details on the requirements for the passport photo please visit http://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports. Your photo must show a close-up of your full head and shoulders. It must be only of you and no other object or people. Children under 6 don’t have to be looking directly at the camera or have a neutral expression. Outer line of overlay should be maximum face size and inner line should be the minimum size allowed. So just say I Agree.
And then you get this. You get a little outline of a head, with an inner outline and an outer border as well, which is your maximum limit. You’ve got lines at the top and bottom as well. So as long as your head, or the other person’s head whose photo you’re taking, is within this border line, then you should be fine. And here in the screenshots of the app on the app store, you can actually see an example of the head lined up within the borders. So that gives you an idea of the sort of thing you’re aiming for. And again you can switch to selfie mode at the top if you so wish to. But we’ll just take a photo there.
You can take multiple photos as well if you wish. But if you say Done, it will show you the photo, and then you can say whether to delete it or use it using the icons at the top. The only thing I would say about this app is that it’s white on very light blue, so if you’re not that great at distinguishing between light colours, it doesn’t show up terribly clearly. But it’s good enough for me, I can see it well enough. So you just say Use It then at the top.
And then from here you can check out your order. You can choose how many sets of 4 photos you want. It’s £3.99 for one set of 4, and you can say if you’re in the UK or Europe. You give your shipping information, and you go on to give your payment information, etc.
Now the good thing about this is – Andy will check the photo that you send him, and if it isn’t very good, or if it isn’t quite right, he will tell you, and he will allow you to take another photo free of charge. He won’t charge you twice for it. You will have to go through the checkout again, and you will have to pay the £3.99 again, but then he will credit that back to your account. And that’s what he did for us. He did come back and say “look, the photo isn’t quite right, you need to do this.” And we did, and we sent it back, and he accepted it. And, true to his word, he did credit the money to our account. He was very nice, he was very quick, he was very prompt.
And the photos we got back in the post were also very prompt. They were in a flat, card envelope, so it wasn’t just a soft paper envelope, it was a proper card backed envelope. And the photos were all cut up nice and neatly for us, so it was perfect. And those photos have been accepted as well. We’ve used one of them for Mum’s disability registration card, it sits in there very nicely.
And yeah, it just works really nice, and Andy’s really nice and professional. And, yeah, I recommend giving this app a go if you want photos that are checked for you, that’s the good thing about what Andy does, compared to what the other app does. Because the first app doesn’t tell you, there’s nobody there to tell you. Andy does tell you if the photo’s suitable or not, so you’ve got that extra level of checking there. So yeah, it’s a really nice app, and really simple to use.
So those were the two apps I used. I think there are others out there as well, so they aren’t the only ones. Those are just the first two I happened to see on the app store that looked suitable for the purposes we wanted. But they worked very well for us, and everything we applied for with the photos resulting from the apps, we got.
So yeah, it’s worked really nicely, and it’s definitely a good alternative to the photo booth, if you can either see what you’re doing on the screen on your phone, or if you’ve got someone who can take a photo of you using the app. So yeah, it might be worth considering if you really don’t like using the photo booths. But yeah, I hope you found that useful. I just thought I’d point those things out, in case you hadn’t thought of looking for things like that. And I will see you for more videos soon. Bye.