How to Create a Passport Photo With Photoshop Elements

Passport photos can be pricey if you have them taken by a professional photographer or at a passport-issuing agency. While these professionals typically use a specially designed passport photography camera, you can make your own passport photos with your own photograph and Photoshop Elements. The most important thing is to produce a photograph that meets the legal requirements of passport photos, including the size of the photograph, the size of the subject's face and the color of the background.

Designer focusing on his work on the computer
credit: Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images

Step

Open the photograph you want to make into a passport photo in Photoshop Elements by clicking on the "File" menu and choosing "Open." Find the photograph you want to edit in the explorer menu, highlight it and click "Open."

Step

Click the "Lasso Tool" and trace a selection carefully around the subject's head. Select the entire background as it appears above and to the left and right of the subject's head.

Step

Open the "Select" menu and choose "Modify" and then "Feather." Apply a feathering of about 30 pixels to soften the selection around your subject's head and avoid the photo appearing as if you cut out the person's head.

Step

Access the "Image" menu and choose "Adjustment" and then "Brightness/Contrast." Move the Brightness slider all the way to the right until the background turns blank white.

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Click the "Ruler" tool and click and drag a selection from the top of the person's head to the bottom of her chin. Note the vertical distance (in pixels) Photoshop Elements reports.

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Divide the vertical distance by 1.1 (because passport photos need to feature a face between 1 and 1 3/8 inches tall) to find the DPI (dots per inch) of your image. For example, if the height of your subject's face was 660, divide 660 by 1.1 to arrive at 600 DPI.

Step

Multiply your DPI value by 2 (because the final photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches) to find your resolution. For example, if your DPI was 600, your resolution will be 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels.

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Click the "Marquee Selection Tool" from the toolbar and click on "Fixed Size" in the "Style" drop down menu. Enter the resolution value you calculated in the height and width boxes.

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Drag the selection box until your subject's nose is directly in the center of the box. There will be a cross shape in the middle of the selection box to help you.

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Open the "Edit" menu and choose "Copy."

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Open a new file in Photoshop Elements by clicking on the "File" menu and choosing "New." Set the dimensions to 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall.

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Go to the "Edit" menu and choose "Paste." Drag the photo you pasted to the middle of the bottom half of the image. Go to the "Edit" menu and choose "Paste" and drag the additional photo to the middle of the top half of the image. This will let you print two passport photos on the same 4-inch-by-6-inch photograph.