Friday, April 15, 2011


I did it myself.  And it was a success!  (No, this is not a mug shot.)

I didn't want to post about this until I was sure these had "made the cut", but now that I know our visas are safely on their way back to us, I hope I can help someone else save a few dollars.  I only wish I had thought to do this before we applied for passports.  I happen to think passport/visa photos are a rip-off!  The cheapest I've seen are still $7.99 (with coupon)...and that's for only two photos.  Not bad, but we also had to send two each with our dossier, then another photo each for our visa applications, and have to bring several more to China with us.  That would certainly add up.  And you know, I just hate paying more than I need to.  For anything.  Yes, I realize the cost of passport and visa photos is a measly drop in the vast bucket of adoption costs.  But if I can save $20 or $30?  You'd better believe I'm going to try. 

I did some investigating online and found that we could make our own visa photos.  The government's travel site ( actually explains how to take your own photos, and includes a handy-dandy tool for making sure the photo meets the size/composition requirements.  Then I went to to create the image you see above, so I could print off several photos at once.  This site also has its own photo template.  For a price, they'll print the photo(s) and mail them to you.  Just click "no thanks" to save the photo and print it yourself. 

Even though I thought our photos came out looking adequate, certainly visa-worthy, I was nervous that they'd be rejected at the Embassy. 

But they weren't.  Total cost = $0.54 + the time it took me to iron a white bed sheet (for the first, and hopefully the last, time in my life) and drape it just-so over the hall bathroom shower curtain rod.  


Chen said...

I used to create photos for visa and passport for several times. They were all accepted. Good luck!

Nancy said...

OOOOOHHHH! I am SO SO going to save me some money with this!!!
Thank you so much for the info!

Tera said...

Oh man, wish I had seen this a couple of weeks ago. Just spent $40 getting 4 passport photos each of my hubby and I.

Our Family said...

Awesome! Thank you! We had planned on stocking up on passport photos this week! :)