Cheapest way of making my own ID photos?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hallaisen, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. hallaisen macrumors regular

    May 28, 2006
    I'm writing an application to the government, and as part of identification they are asking for 9 recent photos of a certain size. I don't feel like shelling out big bucks to a photographer for doing something I am perfectly capable of myself, but I'm not too sure about the best way to print my photos.

    I do have a Brother MFC - 795cw printer that was left here from my landlord. I have not tried printing photos with it yet, so I do not know anything about the quality. I am considering getting glossy paper, taking the photos with my dslr and tripod and resizing the photos to the desired proportions and then print them myself. However, a better option may be to go to one of the photo booths they have at certain grocery stores and drugstores. My problem then, however, is that I do not know if those machines will let me print the photos in the very specific size restrictions that I have for a reasonable price?

    I basically don't want to waste my time running around for glossy paper or trying to work those photo machines, so I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with either solution and can recommend me the best route to go?

  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Big bucks? ID photos are inexpensive at say AAA office or similar places.
  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    Make a test picture and print that. Measure it with a ruler to figure out how to resize the photos you want printed.

    A single 4"x6" print (of anything) from a photo kiosk should be well under $1. Consider it an education investment.
  4. bdj33ranch macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2005
    I suggest going to a place familiar with taking passport photos - like WalMart, Target or something similar. Government ID's like passports, visas, driver's license's, etc do have very specific requirements. If the particular ID you need uses the actual photo you are providing (vice being converted to digital image) then there is another concern. That being the paper and ink used in your photo must survive the ID manufacturing process which often involves high heat and/or adhesives. Not all papers and inkjets printers survive.
  5. poopyhead macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2004
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    It is cheaper to have them made than to buy the paper and do them yourself. Recently I went to a walgreens pharmacy and had the picture taken and received 6 copies cut to standard size in less than 10 minutes for roughly $5-8.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Plus, in some cases, the photo must have the stamp of the photo studio. I've never understood why, but for some countries - it's a requirement for passport photos.

    On another note.... as a professional photographer, you are about to learn why we charge for what we do. Yes, you are perfectly capable of doing this yourself. It's going to take you some time. Make sure you count the time you have already spent writing your first post, and the reading the answers. Also, the time it takes to make a few test runs, to read the manual on how to set the self timer, the research about how to light the background so it goes white, and of course all the printing requirements. Make sure you count any time off work you take. Also if you have to take time away from family or hobbies.

    If this is also an educational thing for you... well you would have been better off starting off by stating that, instead of implying that an ID photo was not worth paying a professional for.

    Touchy? Yes, perhaps. But - if you have some questions, ask away and I'll see if I can help. Note, that I don't do ID photos.... so I can't give specifics, but if you know what you need you should be able to get the advice to get there.
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA

    I did mine at a CVS for less than $10 in less than 10min and got 8 copies. If you try yourself you most likely get the size wrong. It's not worth the hassle.
  8. bubulindo macrumors member


    Jul 16, 2010
    Neither here, nor there...
    Worst... for my Singapore working pass, they declined my picture, accepted previously in 3 other countries on the basis that it had shadows. They then directed me next door, where I paid around 5 USD for 4 pictures taken with a point and shoot camera with a setup that got the picture well overexposed.

    I'm bald and you can't really tell where my head ends against the white background. That one was accepted... I still think the director of that office is the owner of the photo shop.
  9. hallaisen thread starter macrumors regular

    May 28, 2006
    thanks guys. it is not for a passport application, but for immigration purposes, which is a bit different. thats why i was doubting the photo kiosks. i went down to shoppers drug mart (im in canada) to have a look at their photo lab but it was closed the next 30 minutes so i came back here. ive tried taking my own photo and resizing it in photoshop, but it didnt work out too well because of the original dimensions of the photo.

    in terms of photo kiosks, can you bring your own photo there and print it in its original size, or do they only have standardized print sizes like 4x6 etc?
  10. tunerX Suspended


    Nov 5, 2009
    Go to a store. You would have been done by now. It takes money to make money...
  11. hallaisen thread starter macrumors regular

    May 28, 2006
    I did. Their photo lab was closed.

    I just called Shoppers now, they do take those kind of photos but they charge $9.99 per photo. Freaking ridiculous. I need 13 of them!
  12. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Have you read the photo specs carefully? I assume you have, but if you haven't then don't assume just because it's 'only' for immigration purposes that there won't be some hoops to jump through.

    My suggestion is to go to the kiosk and try it for yourself. I'm perfectly happy to help you through the process of photographing yourself, and then working out the best way to print them.... but the rest of it you need to work out for yourself. You're the one getting the job, show some initiative, eh?!
  13. hallaisen thread starter macrumors regular

    May 28, 2006
    I ended up going to a photo kiosk this morning and had him give me a good discount. It was originally $7 per pair of photos, but I ended up paying $33 for 15 so I'm happy. Thanks for all the help in the thread.

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