7 Things Get Passport Photo Rejected

7 Things That Can Get Your Passport Photo Rejected

Passport photos are an important document for any traveller. After all, if you don’t have a passport on hand when it’s time to head overseas, you may be turned away from the airport and denied entry into your destination country. Thankfully, there are some things that can help ensure your passport photo isn’t rejected. To find out more, feel free to continue reading below as we discuss 7 of the things that can get your photo passport rejected:

  • Wearing glasses, hats, or other head coverings
  • Not opening eyes wide and visibly
  • Having shadows on your face
  • Hair obscuring face
  • Wearing makeup
  • Not having a plain background
  • Wearing distracting clothing

1). Wearing Glasses, Hats, Or Other Head Coverings

Wearing glasses, hats, or other head coverings in your passport photo can be a problem because these items can distort the features of your face, the camera might not capture your hairline properly, and the photo might not be an accurate representation of the real you!

Glasses can trick cameras into recording more light than needed which results in looking overexposed on film, making for blurry photos where nothing shows up clearly. Hats can also cause shadows under your brow line so your eyes appear dimmer while wearing them, which misleads officials because your features, such as your hairstyle or eye colour, are not properly visible.

It is crucial that the whole of your face shows up clearly on the photo so that it matches what is shown when you present your passport to the appropriate officials. If anything appears too dark from underneath, then that area needs exposure correction until things look more natural again. Certain exceptions can be made such as if you wear a head covering due to religious purposes; however, as long as the edges of your face are not obscured, you will be accepted.

2). Not Opening Eyes Wide And Visibly

In order to have your passport photo accepted in Australia, many people are told that they should not keep their eyes close, open their eyes too widely, or make any facial expressions. If any of these requirements are not met, then there is a big chance that your passport photo will be rejected on the basis that it is not a true representation of you.

7 Things Get Passport Photo Rejected

3). Having Shadows On Your Face

Passport photos are all about conveying a sense of clarity and honesty. A passport photo with shadows on the face will often be rejected because it appears to have been airbrushed or doctored in some way, which is not allowed for passport photos under Australian law. Having shadows on your face could also distort your facial features and give authorities a hard time validating whether the picture really is you.

Australian passports require that you show your true identity with no editing whatsoever. This means that having even small dark spots on your cheeks can disqualify you from getting an approved passport photo!

4). Hair Obscuring Face

Another important requirement when it comes to passport photos is that you must be facing forward without any part of your face being covered with strands of hair. Having hair on your face can disrupt an accurate likeness of your face, which can pose problems when it comes to identification by authorities. Make sure to tuck your hair behind your ears or simply part it away from your face.

5). Wearing Makeup

Wearing makeup can lead to rejection for certain passports because of the recent legislation change from Australia’s Passport office which states that your natural appearance should be captured and not “enhanced” with any cosmetics such as lipstick or eye shadow. This is because the law also requires whole-face pictures in the documentation, where having a natural face is part of this stipulation.

6). Not Having A Plain Background

If you take your passport photo without having a plain background behind you, then it will most likely get rejected. Make sure that the background is not too dark, too light, have shadows, has insufficient contrast, or has patterns. Ensure that your background is just plain white with no other distractions.

7 Things Get Passport Photo Rejected

7). Wearing Distracting Clothing

In Australia, it is important that you wear plain clothing when having your photograph taken for your passport. If there is anything on the clothing which may distract from facial features such as logos, emblems, slogans, etc. then authorities will not allow this image to be used. Any patterns or designs on your clothes can result in a rejection and a retake.


Be sure to check all of the requirements for passport photos before you take your photo. It is worth it to be safe rather than sorry! Our team is always happy to answer your questions because we want nothing more than for our customers to have a great experience when they come in. Please feel free to contact us today!

So if you’re looking for the best store in Sydney for your passport photo, then look no further than Photoland. We offer a complete range of products and services from print photos and scanning, right through to picture framing and photo albums.

Please call us today on (02) 9235 1933 or contact us via our website.

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Tanya Gabe
Tanya Gabe
9 days ago
They offer ID photos specific for Chinese visa application. The wait time was 1 hr. I found their staff to be friendly and helpful.read more
Sammy Dawn
Sammy Dawn
23 days ago
Victor was very responsive and patient. He also gave good recommendations on how to get our print on canvas mounted on a wood frame. As i had absolutely no idea how things are done etc , his expertise helped make this job seamless! Thank you so much! To top it all, his prices are transparent and reasonable!read more
Charlotte Jackson
Charlotte Jackson
26 days ago
Wonderful experience. I first went into the store very tentatively, not sure if I ‘needed’ a custom made frame, however, having Victor’s consultative input on the different frame designs and customisable feature was so valuable. In the end Victor helped create a beautiful frame for my father in law’s memorial service sheets. As you can imagine, this was a sensitive thing to put in someone else’s hands but the team treated everything with such care and the finished product looks amazing.Thanks guys, would 100% recommend.read more
Simon Gould
Simon Gould
a month ago
#aboveandbeyond Victor and the Photoland team produced the most fantastic framed photo gift for me to surprise my partner with. They combined the half marathon medal and number with a photo from the finish line - the end product far surpassed my expectations . Real customer service, great communication - no wonder they are the only photo framing place in the CBD. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Thanks again Victor.read more
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Wendy Smith
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Victor and Photoland are the best people I deal with - incredibly friendly, professional and good value. It's always such a pleasure to visit them. They've done so many jobs for me personally and professionally and there's never been a single mistake. Absolutely wonderful service. Plus they are good at rushing things through last minute. They have never let me down. Best service and range you can get. They totally know what they are talking about when it comes to framing.read more
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