Passport Photos for Babies

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi fellow parents, what is the good place in Berkeley/ Albany/ El Cerrito to take infant's passport photo?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    I had a great experience with my infant for her American and also her EU passport sized photos at A1 Photos and Video Lab in Berkeley! No frills but it was drop in and they knew how to set her up and the sizing for each passport, and neither got rejected (I was especially worried about the EU one but they obviously knew what they were doing!)

    1629 university avenue in Berkeley 

    good luck!!:) 

    Not quite in your area but Montclair 1-hour photo is our go to for passport pics when we need something more than what you can get at Walgreens. They are very professional and can do pics for international passports and visas as well.

    Use an app called passport booth. You can do it yourself and then print the photos out at cvs or Walgreens. Very easy! 

    We're in Oakland and we did ours at the post office. Our daughter was only 3 or 4 months when we took it (be ready to sweat a little trying to hold the baby in the right position while not being in the photo yourself). It was relatively easy and you can just book online. Otherwise, I know people who have gone to CVS to get their babies' photos.

    If you're interested, we went to the 41st St post office :)

    Good luck!

    FWIW, you can do it at home with the baby on a white sheet. We put our 5 month old on a white sheet in her car seat and worked fine.

    I found the state dept passport site's examples of children's photos helpful --…

    Hi there, I just laid my daughter on a white sheet in diffused light and took the photo myself.  I then printed the images myself- (the head needs to be a certain size, as outlined on the application)- but I feel like you could get the same results (if you do not have a printer) with taking a few pictures at different distances and having them printed on 3.5x5- and then cutting them down. I got her looking surprised and we got looks of chuckles from agents as we travelled.

    This might be a bit more work than what you're looking for: we took phone photos of our infant laying on a white sheet. It took about 40 shots to get a good one! Then we uploaded this photo to one of the many passport photo apps (can't remember which one) you can download, which turned the photo into a 4x6 sheet that could be printed anywhere. We printed it at Photolab in Berkeley and are very happy with the result.

    For what it's worth-- for my infant, I laid out a flat sheet, laid the baby on it in a white shirt/swaddle, used a bright overhead light, and took about 70 photos on my phone so I had at least one where she was looking straight ahead. I then used a passport photo online re-sizing software to get it to the right size. I already had photo paper on hand, but some of the online software also have print options.

  • ive seen some older posts but was hoping someone has gone through getting a passport for a baby recently and can recommend the most painless location with the shortest wait times for infant passport photos and passport processing. ive seen Costco listed for photos or have folks done the on site passport photo at the post office on Allston which is also a passport acceptance facility? How long did it take and what time of day is best to go? Have heard the UC Berkeley dept of sports takes up to 2 hours on a sat for passport processing??!

    We got our replacement passprts at Albany City Hall and it was pretty painless. Parking easy and passport window less than 100' from parking. Only two people in line when e got there. Easy to get photos at a place on Solano Ave. 

    take your own picture at home and use that. That's what I did when I had babies.  

    For the photo, I highly recommend East Bay Photo lab right in downtown Berkeley, 131 Berkeley Square. They're experienced with babies, and are always pleasant and friendly. You'll be in and out of there in less than 10 minutes. For the passport itself, go to the RSF on campus. I've never had to wait long, but maybe you could call ahead and ask when they are less busy. Also, check carefully what paperwork you'll need beforehand.

    The Albany police department has a passport service office. Easy parking, lots of space inside, rarely busy. Take your picture at costco, fill out the forms at home print and bring them with you, have your credit card ready and you will be out of there in no time. check out their info at

    Good travels!

    Hi!i recently got a passport for my daughter (then three months). I actually took her picture at home with a white background and then took it to walgreens on Shattuck (across from Berkeley bowl) for printing. They edited it as needed and it worked fine. 

    For the passpoet itself, we went to the UC Berkeley sports department on Bancroft. They are open until 7 I believe, so we went in the evening. We didn't have an appointment but I think you can make one. We were there about an hour but it didn't feel like it. Just make sure you pay with a money order or check (no cards accepted) and don't forget your little one's SSN (I forgot both and had to run two errands!) 

    if they take appointments, even better. Either way, it was much better than the post office!

    We took the photo for my son's passport at home ourselves. Just lay the little one on a white blanket or towel, download a free app - we used "ID photo studio" - and take the picture. It will generate a file that you can take to kinkos and print out yourself. This was much easier and more relaxed for us. Then we applied at the San Francisco Passport agency on golden gate ave -…;

    If you apply within 3 weeks of travel they will process very quickly. It was a relatively painless experience. 

    Take your own pictures! We put her in front of a white background and took burst mode pics on our phones until we had one that was acceptable. The passport website has a tool so you can crop it correctly and then you can just send them to be printed at Walgreens or whatever.

    For processing, we made an appointment for mid-day ish at one of the post offices that does that and it took all of 10 minutes.

    We got a passport for my son about 10 months ago and had a great experience at the UC Berkeley Dept of Sports. They took the picture there for us and in total I think it took less than 45 min. They were friendly and helpful the staff as well. I can't remember which day of the week we went but it was in the morning.

    Good Luck!

    You can actually take the passport picture yourself at home. I did this when my son was about 1 year old. Go to the State Department website for exact instructions but basically cover a carseat with a white sheet and take a picture of the baby in the seat. You can print a 2x2 photo right from your phone at Walgreens or at home if you have a decent printer. Much easier to take the picture at home and you can retake until you get the one you want! I did my own passport this way too. Happy travels

  • Passport photos for 6mo baby

    Apr 28, 2017

    I need to have passport photos taken of my 6 month old.  Please let me know if you have any recommendations of where to go.  A lot of places won't take pictures at this age. Thanks. 

    We took the picture of our son ourselves, when he was 3 months old.  The only requirements are that you put your baby on a white background (we used a sheet) and that they have their eyes open.  Then, we had Walgreens print it out in the appropriate passport dimensions.  His passport arrived a few weeks ago, so there was no problem.

    The post office will do it - just check online for which locations offer the service. We took our 4 month old to apply for her passport and were able to get her photo taken there. Just bring a white shirt or blanket that they can put behind the baby since they won't be able to stand in front of the white background. Also, I'm sure you're aware but both parents have to be present or you have to have an notarized affidavit from the missing parent.

    When our son was that age, we took him to the little passport office at the RSF on the UC Berkeley campus. They took his picture and handled the application for us, all at the same time. It was a couple of years ago, so you may want to double-check that they still do the photos. By the way, I assume you're talking about a U.S. passport. If not, there is also a little photo shop down on University whose name escapes me (I think it might be Foto Shop?) that does passport photos of little ones for other countries too (Canada, in our case). 

    Same thing here, we took the pictures ourselves. The key is to take a ton of pictures so you can select the best one. We laid baby on a bed with a white sheet. Just make sure you're not too close, so that you have some room for cropping/rotating as needed.
    The person at the Albany city center who received the documents said that they're not very strict with passport photos for babies because they know it's hard.

    For my daughter's French passport we went to UnionpostSF in downtown San Francisco (we were at the French consulate and didn't realize we needed her photo so it was a rush job). They do US and Foreign passports for all ages and we were very happy with their services. They ended up giving us multiple photos in case one of them didn't meet European standards. For her US passport we went to Walgreens. She was only 1 month old when we had them both done.

    Sears will do it. We needed one for our daughter's new certificate of citizenship. 

    I use Costco because they are quick and very inexpensive. I don't know if they have facility to take photos of infants.

    Per Dept of State website infants do NOT need to have their eyes open. 
    For more details go to

    There's an app that you can take a photo then have it printed at Walgreens or something. That's what we did for our 1mo old. Just lookup passport photo

    app. UC Berkeley also does it at RSF. 


    We went to the Walgreens in Temescal at 5055 Telegraph. The staff took a photos of our 4 month old on the floor. (She wore a puffy hooded jacket so it was okay.) It was very fast and there didn't seem to be any issues with her age. We didn't make an appointment- just dropped in. 

    We also took it ourselves, but the lighting was a little off. The passport office at the RSF in Berkeley will also take the pictures for you there, on the spot--so those are the pictures we ended up using for his passport. This was when he was just about 6 months old.

    We got ours at Costco (twice) and they were great. It's helpful to have two adults. One person needs to hold the baby without being in the photo (a good arm workout!) and the other to keep them looking in the direction of the camera.  Although if you can't bring another adult it's not a big deal. The photo technician was kind and patient and took multiple photos and the whole thing took less than 5 minutes. Helps to go during a time that's not super busy if you have the flexibility.  Not sure if you have to be a Costco member to do this but call and ask if you're not. Their customer service is excellent. Good luck!

    When I applied for a passport for my (then 3 month old) son, I laid him on his back on the floor on a smooth white surface (I think it was a poster board). Someone waved something to make him look straight up and I took his photo from above. Cropped it to fit the passport specifications. FYI you can do adults this way too, except they obviously don't have to lie on the floor. If your six month old can sit independently you can have him sit but nothing can show behind him (not in your lap etc). 

    We went to Walgreens. They had no problem doing the photos. 

    Our neighborhood shipping spot in the Dimond District in Oakland did our sons at 4 months. They were great and super friendly. The Mailbox at 3542 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94602

    We had our baby's passport photo taken at the CVS on 41st & Piedmont Ave in Oakland when she was 2 months old. It was quick and easy! 

    You can definitely do it yourself!  Be careful to use a white, not off-white, background.  There are free software programs online to accurately size the picture before getting it printed as a 4x6.  Then you just get it printed anywhere, and cut it up.  It's a bit of work, but less stress than waiting in any lines with an infant!

    We did ours at Costco. We also have done them at CVS. 

    I just used the iPhone app called Passport Booth to take a photo of my daughter at home.

    It has a template and you line up the person's head in the outline, so the final photo is the right size. Then you can email it to yourself for free, to be printed at the pharmacy or at home...

    Berkeley Gym has a super easy and fast passport service 

    Not sure if this is still offered but I took my six month old to the Orinda post office.  At the time, I made an appointment and it was very quick. They are familiar with the application requirements. 

    Costco is your best bet. I just had passport photos for my two-month-old taken and it was fast and cheap. $4 for four photos. I left my baby in her infant car seat and unbuckled the straps. The photographer placed a white sheet underneath her and snapped a few shots. Very easy! We didn't need to take her out of her car seat.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


    Updated info on infant passport photos?

    Sept 2009

    There are some old posts from 2004 about infant passport photos but I'm wondering if anyone has any updated business names that did a good job with infant photos. Our baby is just 5 weeks old and we need to rush a passport in the next month for a trip to Europe at the end of September. It'd probably be best to go to someone who has experience with newborn passport photos...given the new stricter guidelines. Thanks! Katrina

    Try You take your own pictures (for such a young baby, lay her on a white sheet), upload to the site and it will resize. Tricky part for me was figuring out that the head and chin had to be within (i.e., touching) the green boxes. You can pay more to have a human verify the size. You can take it to any photo shop to print it out. Epassport worked for us!

    I had my infant passport photos taken at Costco (Richmond) for only a couple of dollars. They knew exactly what they were doing and the photos came out great. I just had to have a stroller that allowed the infant to sit in an upright position - they put a white towel behind him (perhaps you should take a white towel incase they don't have any in stock). Happy Travelling Mom!

    We got our infant passports done at the UPS Store on Alcatraz (almost at the corner of College/Alcatraz) - fast and professional. Go when your baby is fed and rested,and it will be easy. Melanie

    In 2006 we went to Costco for our infant anon

    Got my infant's passport photos at Costco in El Cerrito/Richmond! They were really good, knowledgeable, helpful and inexpensive... oh, and fast! My baby was about 8 weeks at the time. travelin' mam

    This isn't exactly a business recommendation, but I wanted to say that for both our infant sons, we took the pictures ourselves with no problem. We laid a white towel down on the ground or bed and used our digital camera, then just took the pictures to a Kodak kiosk or Ritz to print. We took many pictures to get the right shot, but think it ended up being easier because we could attempt as many times as needed, and our kids were more relaxed laying down instead of squirming in our arms. So even with the new guidelines, it worked out fine for us. Tanya

    My baby was 7 weeks and needed passport photos. I went to CSAA at hilltop, paid $10 for 1 photo (2 copies provided). Basic criteria: face needs to be about the size of an adult thumbprint. the background needs to be white. My baby could sit still for a few seconds while they snapped the shot. I was next to the photo chair watching to see/catch the baby if about to tip over. The back up plan was to have the baby in the carseat with the white fleece background. They told me that sometimes an adult wearing a white sheet to meet the photo background criteria will hold the baby. some babies can't sit on their own or are needy for their parents' hold. bring a big white towel or a sheet to your sitting. You may be able to do it yourself if you have someone to snap the shot. look at the state department website for criteria on the photo requirements. for my project I needed more than 2 photos so I scanned and made duplicates at Walgreens. Also for my project, I needed 2 gov't issued IDs. One was the birth certificate. for the other, I made an appt at DMV and got the baby a CA ID. It was $24. most people don't get one for their kid, but it has been handy for setting up bank accounts, getting into my workplace to visit with the baby. It just makes it more official so folks are not scrutinizing a birth cert. DMV took the picture while I held the baby up in the air and getting the thumbprint on the pad was the toughest part. Lisa

    We did the photos at the Post Office where we also got the passports. We'd heard many stories from friends who had photos done elsewhere where the cost was lower but when they got to the PO, they had various reasons why those photos were not acceptable. Yes, sound like just their way of making the money, but if you're short on time, you don't have time to fight it.

    The post office in downtown Berkeley has a dedicated passport service, and they'll take the pictures of your baby right there. It's across the YMCA, on Allston Way. Our first was a month old when we did, and it helps if you have something white, like a blanket, to use as background for the picture. Good luck on your trip! Anna

    Not sure anywhere really does this. I did my own by lying my 4 week old son on a white sheet. It took about 20 shots, but as long as it's a face on shot it's fine. I don't think they're so worried about baby photo's, give it a week and they look different anyhow! Photomama

    Passport photo for 4 month old

    June 2004

    I will be traveling in july with my 4 month old, and need to get passport photos and citizenship photos taken. Does any one have any experience or recommendations for a good place to get these taken? margie

    I just got passport photos at Costco, about $5. Check the state government website to download the application and instructions. You will need your child's birth certificate and if only one parent is going with the kid you will need a letter from the other parent authorizing you to apply for the passport on behalf of your child. I just applied for my passport renewal and a first time passport for my kid at the Albany City Hall. No appointment needed. They do charge $30 per person to process the application. As we are traveling in July, I paid $60 per person to expedite the application process. It cost $275 total for the passport , expedite and City processing fees for 2 passports. Next time I'll apply much earlier to save the extra fee! Have a good trip! barbara

    There was a discussion a while ago and some people mentioned taking a digital photo and printing it was the cheapest option, but this was not a good choice for me.

    There is a small place in Berkeley Square that charges about $10 for 2 pictures. They are good and fast, and if the picture doesn't come right they are willing to re-take it.

    Now, advice where NOT to go. I went to Abby Photo, on Claremont near College. I asked for passport photos for my infant child, but din't ask the price since I assumed it was going to be about $10 (what I had just paid a few weeks earlier for my older child). When the lady was going to take the pictures, I said I would like two sets. She then said that it would be better to do them digitally, since she would only have to take one shot of not-yet-able-to-sit-by-himself infant and could print multiple copies in one page. I said OK and she changed cameras and took the picture. When I went to pay, she charged me $50!! When I told her since she suggested the change she should have also informed me of the difference in price, her rationale was that I had not asked for a price in the first place.(!) By the way, the price IS $9.50 for 2 passport polaroid pictures... Unhappy customer

    Go to EASY GOING, the travel store at Rose and Shattuck in Berkeley. We had both of our children's pictures taken there as infants. Our daughter was less than 2 months old when we needed a passport photo taken. They were extremely patient while we tried to get her to open her eyes. We had the same positive experience with our son's infant passport photos just a month ago. They told us that if the photos were not accepted by the passport agency that we could come back and they'd take them again for no cost. Fortunately, both times the photos were accepted. Shoshana

    We did this with one infant in LA and it was really hard to get an acceptable shot. With the second baby I laid her down on a white sheet and took a close up photo of her by standing over her. This worked fine. Just make sure that you get it pretty close up so that there isn't a lot of extra white showing. Amy

    PS-You can get all of the necessary forms to get the passport on the web. Note that now if only one parent goes to get the passport the other parent must fill out a form giving permission. Also, bring a check with you.

    Sarber's Cameras at 1958 Mountain Blvd. in Montclair (tel. 339- 8545) recently took some great digital photos for my infant daughter's passport. We lined her car seat with a white sheet (which they had on hand), sat her down, then started shooting. The photographer/clerk willingly took several shots so I could choose the one I liked best, then printed and cut them down to the right size -- all in about 20 minutes. The digital photos are far superior to the Polaroid film used by other places, especially when you have a squirmy baby. Sarber's has a 2nd store on Solano Ave.; I imagine they'd do the same there. Have a great trip! -- Ann S.

    My husband was born in Germany (on a military base) and had to have a passport photo taken at 2 weeks old (in case they needed to evacuate on short notice - it was the Cold War period). Apparently the photo was very funny because his father had to hold his head up but remain off camera, so the picture was of a tiny baby's head with a man's hand wrapped around the back of it. I don't know if that's helpful, but I always thought it sounded funny. Andrea

    Passport photo for infant son

    March 2003

    Hello: I will be traveling with my infant son to Spain in June and need to get him a passport. I was wondering how/where one takes a photo of an infant for the passport application. Can anyone recommend a photo store that can do it, or suggest the best way to do it myself? Thanks very much. Elizabeth

    I tried half a dozen times to get my 6 week old son's passport photo taken at various locations. Either he was crying or sleeping or would not relinquish his pacifier every time. None of the situations would yield a photo acceptable by the passport authorities. The way most passport photo places work with infants is to have the baby in your arms as the photo is taken.

    What finally worked for me was to take the photo myself of the baby lying on a bed with a white blanket underneath him. I found a time when he was in a happy, playful mood and got a great shot. I had the smallest possible prints made and then cropped the photos to the correct size for passport photos. These were accepted by the passport office.

    Nowadays you could probably even print them yourself on a color printer. -- Travelling mom

    I just had to get a passport for my baby and had a difficult time finding a passport photo place that would agree to do a baby. (apparently a lot of them set it up so you have to stand in front of a white background that they roll down from the ceiling... they told me that the passport people are really picky about baby pictures and they wouldn't accept one where I was holding him...he needed to be ''floating'' on a white background).

    Finally I went to Easy Going, the travel store at the end of Shattuck where it meets Rose, just past Longs. They were great, really nice. I got a great picture of my son. They even took a second one for free because he moved in the first one. They will drape a sheet over you and have the baby on your lap. They were also a few dollars cheaper than the other places. I highly recommend them.

    Also, when I went to go get the passport I thought I had all the necessary paperwork (birth certificate, SS#) but it turned out that they needed a ''statement of consent'' from my husband. He could either write a letter ''I _____ give my consent to the issuance of a United States passport to my minor child named on this statement.'' Then sign and date. Put chlld's name, date of birth and relationship to child on there. Alternatively (and a safer bet), they have a form the other parent can fill out, but that takes an extra trip to pick it up from the office that is only open till 3:30pm M-F in downtown Berkeley. Probably the easiest is for both parents to go together if that's possible.

    Hope that helps. have fun in Spain

    Anywhere where they take passport photos should be fine. We had the our baby's passport picture taken in the post office where they processed her passport application (you have to go in person for a child's first passport). She was 6 months at the time, so she could sit up (I kneeled next to her and held her so she wouldn't fall). anon

    used Ritz (Wolf) Camera on Solano. They were very patient and accomodating.

    We just put our infant son on a white bedspread (since you need a white background) and took his picture many times on a digital camera. Then my husband cropped in on the computer and we cut it to the specified size. It was actually pretty easy. --Looking at his baby passport

    We did this with both our kids when they were infants. We just went to Walgreens and had them taken there. The secret is to have two grown-ups with the baby, one to hold the child in the position and the other to stand next to the photo clerk with the camera to make silly faces, jump up and down, and otherwise get the infant to look in the right direction with a smile. As I recall, it took a couple tries with their special passport polaroid, but the clerk had such fun that we only got charged for one. Rhabyt

    I did this recently with my 12-month old and found it was harder than I thought! I finally walked in to a photo development place on Shattuck, I can't remember the name but it is close to Center Street on the same side as Walgreens. There is another photo place further up on Shattuck, on the ''island'' between Center and Addison. Anyway, the issue is that you need to find a place with a fancy enough camera that will be able to get a close-up picture of the baby. I had gone to AAA and to another photo place and they used a polaroid camera, but their camera couldn't take a picture that would result in the baby's face being large enough to meet the requirements for passport photos (I believe it has to be 1'' long or something like that?) So check the measurement requirements and then check the picture when they hand it to you. anon

    You can get infant passport photos done at the camera department in most Walgreens. Just call first to confirm that they offer the service at your local Walgreens. Patty

    The Easygoing Travel Bookstore (across from Long's on the corner of Shattuck and Rose) does passport photos and they've been extremely patient and good-humored with my twins. 843-3533 Ann

    When I needed a passport photo for my 1 month old I had an awful time with several places (it didn't help that my 1 month old was sleeping most of the time). Sarber's in Montclair did a great job with my daughter then and again a month ago when we had to do the renewal. They were right on the money with the size of the head on the photo which is REALLY critical for passport pictures. Make sure that you attach an original certified copy of your child's birth certificate (they'll return it with the passport). A copy won't do. And you also need an affadavit from the parent who is not directly applying for the passport that they consent to the passport. The rules are much stricter now for getting a passport for a minor now then they were 5 years ago when I went through it the first time!! Hope that helps.

    There is a passport office at the Berkeley Main Post Office. We had passport photos taken on-site w/ an instant camera (my husband held our babies in front of his chest for the photos - he was wearing a solid grey t-shirt and the pics turned out fine) filled out the apps and paid for the service all at once - it was very easy. Just so you know, you have to bring a notorised copy of the baby's birth certificate which they keep and then mail back to you along w/ baby's passport. I don't remember their hours but I'm sure you can get them if you call the P.O. Anna

    I had my baby's passport photo taken at three months in San Francisco around the immigration office while I was getting my visa. There are a lot of photo places there with a lot of experience. What they did with my daughter was photograph her in her baby carrier on the floor. I would recommend that you call the passport photo place ahead of time to make sure that they know how to photograph infants. Anon

    I took my then 3-month-old daughter to the Ritz Camera store on Solano in Berkeley (I think it is called Presto Prints) and was pleased with the process and results. Requirements for passport photos are very stringent, so you might have trouble doing it yourself. Liz O.

    When our son was 6 months old I got him a passport for a trip to England. I took the photo at Kinko's by holding him up in the air for the head shot so he was the only one in the photo. It was hilarious and a very cute photo! Maya

    I got my son's passport photograph taken just last week at the portrait studio closest to JC Penny at the Hilltop Mall. I liked the way the guy handled my 3 mth old baby and am happy with the way the photographs turned out. FYI almost any studio will do it for you, but keep in mind that the requirements ask for it to be taken against a white or an off white background. Shil

    In the past, we were able to take passport pictures of our 2- month-old by holding her in an elevated position with one hand (from underneath) and the other hand went behind her body and supported her head from behind. This way I was completely invisible and the picture came out just fine.

    Last time we renewed our passports though (a couple of months ago), we decided to take our own pictures. We did it with a digital camera, at home where we could choose a good moment for the girls to cooperate, in front of a white wall, and then we were able to adjust the images to the size we needed and print them out. We did it for both kids and for ourselves. The clerk in the passport office said: Good photos! Where did you take them? We said - in Chinatown. Maria