600x600 pixels is a common size requirement for photos used in official documents. Passports are a primary example of the size request but it's also used by a variety of programs. Resizing to 600x600 is easy but paying close attention to pixelation and quality loss remains important. Free resizing programs are readily available and most photo and graphics editing programs make the resizing process a cinch.
The United States Department of State has specific sizing requirements for passport and official identification photos. 600x600 is the official requirement with some flexibility to expand into a 1200x1200 maximum in some cases. Sticking to the 600x600 requirement is the best bet, however. They also require a JPEG format, color at 24 bits per pixel and compression to fit within the maximum file size.
The state department does offer a free photo tool where users can load a photo directly from their computer. The tool has a cropping feature that will bring the size to 600x600 pixels. This tool is handy because it ensures the photo fits all of the requirements for photo sizing, file size and resolution. The other option is using a scanned photo that is edited to meet the requirements.
For passports specifically, the easiest route to achieving the perfect photo size is through a physical service. Numerous businesses, including the United States Post Office will take and print passport photos for a small fee. After receiving the photos, they are mailed with an application and a check for the passport. Digital photos are not often used for passports but they are used for a variety of government badge and ID programs.
Photo 600x600 Pixel Resizer
Another very easy method of getting 600x600 pixel pictures is through a free photo resizer (see Resources). Most cameras will not shoot for this specific photo size and post editing is necessary. Luckily, a quick web search will reveal free photo resizing programs that function entirely in the browser. Open the program, upload a photo and use the cropping and resizing directions until the desired 600x600 size is reached.
After the resizing and cropping is complete, save the new photo to your computer. Use a different naming convention for the new photo to avoid replacing the original. Keeping the original will leave a backup option for future editing and resizing tasks.
Photo Editing Software
Photo editing software programs make resizing easy and they also offer more advanced features to help avoid pixelation and quality loss. Adobe Photoshop is a very powerful program but also comes with professional licensing fees. Microsoft Paint, GIMP and other similar programs will also suffice and make resizing a simple task.
In Photoshop, open the desired image and click Images followed by Image Size to open the sizing dialogue box. Locate the pixel dimensions and set the sizing to 600x600. Photoshop will automatically adjust the resolution and physical size of the image. Click to save the changes or undo and crop to adjust the selected area before resizing again.
In other editing programs, the process is very similar. Choose the correct editing task and navigate to image sizing, then change the sizing to 600x600 and the resolution should auto-adjust. Save the changes, make sure the photo is a JPEG and the image is ready for use. This will work on cell phone photos and photos coming from a more professional grade camera.