The beauty dos and don’ts of taking your ID photos

Picture perfect


By Low Sue Mae

Image credit:Instagram/@linnygd
The beauty dos and don’ts of taking your ID photos

Renewing your ID soon? Here are some things that you should know to properly prep for the most important selfie of your life.

Formal photo sessions are a challenge for most of us. Unlike selfies and photos taken on your own devices, there is no room for retakes, photoshop, or trial-and-error before you get the shot. With one click, the camera shutters, and voila, an unfiltered photo of your face is taken and inserted into your ID—you only get one chance. 

Feeling nervous now? Don’t worry because we are here to make sure that you’re fully prepared for your photo session, from what to avoid on the day to how to look your best. Ahead, find our guide to nailing the perfect ID photo that’ll leave you with no regrets.


DO: Keep your makeup subtle


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Unfortunately, you are required to look like your everyday self in your ID photos so that the authorities can easily identify you. As such, it’s important to keep any makeup minimal and natural-looking. 

This means using a foundation that is close to your natural skin tone, going easy on the blush, contour and highlighter, and keeping the lipstick neutral-toned.

In addition, eye makeup should be kept natural. Fake eyelashes, heavy eyelash extensions and coloured contact lenses are a no-go as that is considered to be “altering your appearance”, and you will be ordered to remove them before your photo is taken.


DON’T: Wear your piercings

This is a common mistake that a lot of people make when heading to renew their IDs because piercings practically feel like a part of our bodies. The good news is that not all piercings are prohibited. Just make sure that you remove all the piercings on your face and ears before taking your ID photo.


DO: Keep your hair sleek and tidy

When it comes to styling your hair for your ID photo, the key is to keep your hair off of your face so that your face can be clearly seen in the photo. This means that bangs, ’90s face-framing braids and the like are a huge no on the day. 

To be safe, keep it simple. Either tie your hair back into a full or half ponytail or, if you want to keep your hair down, tuck it neatly behind your ears. 


DON’T: Switch up your look too much

The worst time to get a big makeover is right before taking your ID photo. If you want to try any funky new perms or hair colours, make sure you wait until after your ID has been renewed. If not, chances are that your ID photo will be rejected.

DO: Practise your angles


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If you’re still feeling nervous about your upcoming picture appointment, try to practise posing in front of your own camera. After all, practice makes perfect! Do keep in mind that you are only allowed to smile lightly, with none of your teeth showing when taking the picture, so rehearse your best smize until you’ve got it down. 

If you’ve done everything on this list, you’re good to go! Just remember to stay relaxed to avoid stiff facial expressions during the shoot!


DON’T: Wear anything white, blue or unflattering

When choosing what to wear, there are two things to keep in mind: Your skin tone and the background. Passport and ID photos tend to be taken against blue or white backgrounds, so make sure you’re avoiding both of these colours to prevent yourself from blending into the background. Further, when you’re picking a ‘fit for your ID photo, make sure you’re dressing to complement your skin tone—remember, since you’re keeping makeup to a minimum, your top is what’s going to make you pop!

Of course, you’ll also have to cover your shoulders for the photo. As such, the safest choice for attire here is a black T-shirt or shirt. It’s a colour that helps brighten your skin tone with an additional slimming effect that makes your face look less bloated in photos.


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