Passport Photos

Hi. I have been unsuccessful uploading 2 sets of passport photos for my husband’s uk online passport renewal - both sets of photos looked like they conformed but have been refused and Passport office about to cancel and not refund our money. Does anyone know of a photographer shop or other in Ruffec or Angouleme where we could get photograph with a code? Would appreciate any ideas/advice. Thanks in advance!

Hello Noodles and welcome to Survive France!

I’m not sure that the codes used by photographers in France work outside France - I know they work fine in France because I’ve used them for my driving licence! I’m sure someone will have more exact information than me though…

By “refused” do you mean just the website or has the passport office emailed/written back to you - in which case I would hope that they have, at least, identified the problem.

We had problems with my wife’s application with an automatic rejection of the image by the web site, despite multiple attempts to take her mug-shot. In the end we just proceeded with the application (it seemed to be a warning rather than a show stopping “computer says no”) and in the end there was no problem.

Hi Noodles, I spent a day getting a just acceptable photograph using iPad and phone. The resulting photo is horrendous but I assumed the actual passport would be a bit blurry as it only just qualified. Unfortunately it is very very clear - just awful. Your problem - can you get an official passport and then scan it to the required just acceptable size.

Yes Billy, that is what I finally did after correcting for lack of light, then shadows, then eyes not wide enough open etc etc. I just uploaded the best image of the worst photo.

Can the passport booths email a photo to you? (genuine question, I don’t know but they can send to ANTS etc so they must be online)

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I used this particular online service for my titre de sejour and will be using the same for my UK passport renewal later in the year. You install their app on your phone. There are comprehensive instructions on getting a correct photo. They will verify the photo conforms and refund if it is refused.

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A significant problem with phone cameras is the distortion they introduce, particularly when close. Since the image doesn’t have to be a high resolution I would suggest not trying to fill the frame with your husband’s face, but rather pull back quite a lot, then crop the image. If your phone has a ‘telephoto’ lens and you can force it to use that then the image will be better. Make sure you find a completely plain light coloured background to take the shot, with plenty of natural light.

As suggested, you may also be able to photograph or scan an image produced by a passport picture booth, if there is one nearby.


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It took me many, many goes with an iPad. But finally accepted a photo so keep trying! And yes we took a more distant photo and cropped it.


Wow! Such prompt and helpful replies. Thank you. Will try all of the above. I sent my first set of photos with the old passport as theyd shoen as fair when uploaded and when i received an email saying they werent acceptable i phoned and was told to keep trying. Will keep trying. Thanks!

… I thought that it was people pout at them in the most bizarre of places!

Be still my imagination! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yes, duckface was never a good look for passport pics.

My wife and I had ours done at the photo/camera shop where we’d had our d.lic and cds photos done. This time the photos were then emailed to us (they were home before we were!), so it was just a question of uploading them to the UK passport office. More expensive, but less faffing about and no worries.

Thanks everyone. I took your advice and made several more attempts with my booth photos and have now submitted one rated ‘good’. Wait and see now🤞


I gave in last time and provided my driving licence number on the form instead of a photo. I suppose that’s an advantage of still not being able to swop my UK licence for a French one :slight_smile:

Tha is everyone. Passport approved and soon be on it’s way. So it’s true … if at first you don’t succeed, try try try try try again😏