What is ‘biometric’ face recognition?

Biometric face recognition works by using a computer to analyze your facial structure. Face recognition software uses nodal points to take measurements, including the distances between key characteristics such as eyes, nose and mouth, angles of key features such as the jaw and forehead, and lengths of various portions of the face. Using all of this information, the program creates a unique template incorporating all of the numerical data. This template may then be compared to enormous databases of facial images to identify the subject.

This technology is used at airports across the world, with each country using their own pre-programmed criteria to set the standard for their passport and/or visa photos. If a photo fails to meet the criteria the facial recognition software will reject the photo causing inconvenience and delay going through international checkpoints.

Some of the typical reasons photos are rejected include:

  • Non-neutral expression eg smiling or frowning
  • Shadows on the face
  • Mouth open
  • Large foreign objects such as jewellery and/or glasses

What does the guarantee cover?

The ID Photoshop guarantees that the photo will meet all of the technical criteria stated in the official photo regulations guide for a specified country/institution/company. If your photo is rejected, please provide reasons for the rejection, evidence of the same and the full set of the rejected photos and we will retake the photo or give you your money back.

The guarantee is only valid if you rely on our experience and follow any specific advice we give you. If you choose, for example, to ignore our advice to remove your glasses and the photos subsequently get rejected, those photos will not be covered by our guarantee and you will need to pay again for a new set of photos.

The guarantee does not cover non-technical requirements and we will not, for example, offer a replacement photo/refund because the photo is not to your personal liking or because an item of clothing is out of place. Naturally, we try to ensure that you are satisfied with such things when we take the original photo.

How long does it take to get the photos?

We usually succeed at ensuring our clients are in and out of the studio with their photos within 10 minutes. Please account for slightly longer during peak periods.

Do I need to book an appointment?

We operate a walk-in service during our normal opening hours so there is no need to book an appointment. If you are running on a tight schedule we will do everything we can do accomodate you, including advising you on quiet periods and out of hours options (please note, there may be additional costs associated with these arrangements).

Why does one countries photo specifications/size differ from another?

Passport/visa photo regulations are like any other rules, regulation or laws determined by individual nation states. It is for this same reason that different countries have different rules/laws relating to traffic control or crime. Unfortunately, we have no control over this aspect of passport photos but we are able to ensure that the photos we take meet your specified standards.

Should I bring a copy of the photo requirements with me?

This is advisable, and not just for your own peace of mind. There is often misinformation out there from non-official sources and we have also seen a lack of clarity from official sources too. It is always useful to be able to double check an specific requirements.

Why does the price vary, depending on the country?

Photo standards are individual, stand alone products with no specific relationship with each other. Pricing is based on a number of different considerations which include size, biometric requirements, risk of rejection based on our experience and how onerous the photo standard is. We always try to find the most cost-effective solution for customers and we try to ensure competitive pricing.

Why do digital photos cost more than printed ones?

Countries across the world are increasingly adopting digital standard photographs which have similar but different considerations to printed ones. Measurements, for example, are in pixels rather than millimeters and the digital file size has to be within certain parameters. Configuring these photos therefore requires additional time and care. In addition to this, to ensure the security of your biodata and to meet GDPR rules we give your digital photos to you through a secure web link, which comes at an additional cost.

How many photos do I get in a set?

The number of photos you will get will again depend on the specified photo standard – we will give you at least the number of photos required by the standard. Please note, however, that some standards only come in a set of 2 photos.

You may purchase additional sets in the same denomination as the original set.

I just need a standard UK passport; can’t I use a booth or a shop that has a passport photo camera?

Anyone can take a passport standard photo if they ensure that the photos meet technical requirements. We simply take the headache away from you and ensure high quality photos using the latest lighting and camera equipment. We also give a guarantee on all of our photos to ensure you have peace of mind.