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Passport photo nightmare

58 replies

Frazzled2207 · 18/03/2022 11:16

Applied electronically for son's passport renewal and the photo was rejected. Am not surprised because each attempt at uploading the photo resulted in the software cropping off the top of my son's head. Is crackers that you can't adjust it yourself. I naively thought that the entire file might be sent to them not just the poorly auto-cropped version.

This morning we have taken a dozen new photos, some at considerable distance away and every single one auto-crops off the top of my son's head.

We will try more later but wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom. I just want to email them the photo but of course it's not possible - a classic case of computer says no.

To those saying go and get them done professionally - it will still be an uploaded file and no reason to think that the same would not happen. My husband is a serious amateur photographer so is no numpty with the camera although we're going to try my phone for the next batch.
Infuriating!

Would be great to hear if anyone else had this issue and managed to resolve. We are supposed to be moving house and could do without this totally unnecessary stress. Was easier to get them printed out and sent tbh, is ridiculous that it's so hard.

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BrieAndChilli · 18/03/2022 11:20

Our local independent stationery shop does the passport phots and uploads them directly to a portal which checks them, they then keep retaking the photos until its all green ticks. You then get a code to use when you submit your passport application.

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SoupDragon · 18/03/2022 11:21

Does your son have pale hair that is being mistaken for the background?

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Frazzled2207 · 18/03/2022 11:23

@SoupDragon

Does your son have pale hair that is being mistaken for the background?

good shout definitely not his hair is very dark! We are going to try a different background though in case it's that that is the problem.
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nearlyspringyay · 18/03/2022 11:29

Can you just take him to a booth?

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SoupDragon · 18/03/2022 11:31

I did 2 online applications last year and it all went though fine (dark haired DC).

Hope you find the solution!

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Frazzled2207 · 18/03/2022 11:31

@nearlyspringyay

Can you just take him to a booth?

I don't think you can do hard copy photos with an electronic application and I've paid for the electronic application now. If you can get digital copies from a booth there's nothing to say that the same won't happen because the portal insists on auto cropping the photo.
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nearlyspringyay · 18/03/2022 11:32

Meant to say they booths check whether or not they are compliant

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nearlyspringyay · 18/03/2022 11:32

You get a code to submit the electronic version

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SoupDragon · 18/03/2022 11:32

Photo Booths give you a code to input on the application.

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HandScreen · 18/03/2022 11:33

The booth gives you a code that you enter on your application, and sends the file directly to the passport office.

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EmpressCixi · 18/03/2022 11:34

I just did mine and the software on the website was doing the photo uploads ok. I’d suggest contacting the passport office by phone or web chat or web form to let them know there is a glitch on their website.

Alternatively you could troubleshoot. Try accessing using a different web browser for example as sometimes these government websites are not compatible with all web browsers. You could also delete that application and start over as it may be they’ve corrected the glitch but it still crops on existing applications. The different device is a good one to try.

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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 18/03/2022 11:35

Sounds stupid but have you tried doing it on a different device?

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Hersetta427 · 18/03/2022 11:38

Can't you just crop it on your phone yourself before you upload it.

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WhatAWasteOfOranges · 18/03/2022 11:43

I didn’t have a photo issue but Just to warn you if you’re moving you may want to move first as some applications seem to be taking ages. Out of 3 passports, I’ve had one back and two are still in their 6th week of processing

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fruitpastille · 18/03/2022 11:46

Can your local post office help? Mine was great at helping to fill out the application and took the photo on the iPad they were using.

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BasementIdeas · 18/03/2022 11:46

I did my sons at the local photo shop, where they take the photo and confirm it is correct. They upload and give you a code to use

When I entered the code and checked the photo, it had cropped off the top of his head. However, the application went through fine and his passport has the full picture. Funnily enough I did his sister’s at the same time and it didn’t crop hers

Maybe try submitting another one with his head cropped. Is the background completely white? Or go to a photo shop

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Thesunrising · 18/03/2022 11:47

We had similar difficulties getting the software to accept the photos we uploaded. It kept saying the lighting wasn’t right. We kept bashing away and taking different shots outside and inside until the computer finally said ‘yes’ - very annoying.

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Frazzled2207 · 18/03/2022 11:57

@BasementIdeas

I did my sons at the local photo shop, where they take the photo and confirm it is correct. They upload and give you a code to use

When I entered the code and checked the photo, it had cropped off the top of his head. However, the application went through fine and his passport has the full picture. Funnily enough I did his sister’s at the same time and it didn’t crop hers

Maybe try submitting another one with his head cropped. Is the background completely white? Or go to a photo shop

this is interesting, suggests it does actually take the whole file not the poorly cropped version.
It could be the background that is the issue rather than the cropping. It is light grey but light grey is allowed. We are going to try a white one though.
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Frazzled2207 · 18/03/2022 11:58

@Thesunrising

We had similar difficulties getting the software to accept the photos we uploaded. It kept saying the lighting wasn’t right. We kept bashing away and taking different shots outside and inside until the computer finally said ‘yes’ - very annoying.

oh God. Pleased it's not just us.
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Frazzled2207 · 18/03/2022 12:00

@Aroundtheworldin80moves

Sounds stupid but have you tried doing it on a different device?

not yet but def will try Iphone next.
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Frazzled2207 · 18/03/2022 12:01

@WhatAWasteOfOranges

I didn’t have a photo issue but Just to warn you if you’re moving you may want to move first as some applications seem to be taking ages. Out of 3 passports, I’ve had one back and two are still in their 6th week of processing

yup noted. We are going to have to redirect mail but if we move and it hasn't turned up will try and notify them somehow of the change of address. Can't be the first time this has happened when they take ages.
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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 18/03/2022 12:06

Are you armt the initial upload stage or them checking the application stage? If its them checking, we recieved DDs passport a few days after we sent a new photo (our issue is that DD always looks like a ghost in passport photos unless the light is just right...).

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emmathedilemma · 18/03/2022 12:06

There's photo booths that issue you with an electronic code that you put in your application, you don't need to send the hard copies. I can't even remember if it did hard copies as well or just the code. They show you where to line your head up etc and check they're compliant so you can retake if needed. The big supermarkets usually have them.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 18/03/2022 12:08

Take it from slightly further away than you think, step back a pace. They will auto crop it to fit . If it’s a lighting issue wrap tin foil around a piece of card board and have him hold it at waist height out of shot, reflecting the light back at his face.

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CeeceeBloomingdale · 18/03/2022 12:09

Or crop the photo to 6x4 in your phone and upload that

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