How to Take a 3x4cm Photo on Your Smartphone: a Detailed Guide


Long story short, there’s an official document you need some high-quality photos for and you’re not sure whether you can achieve the required 3x4cm format using only the phone you have? The short answer would be yes, you can, just with extra help from the online editing service. 

3x4cm Photos: Where to Use 

The 3x4cm photo size is the most commonly used one across Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Doesn’t matter if you need a visa or a passport renewed, this would be the usual requested size in the specifications. Below are just a few countries to give you an example:

  • Ethiopia
  • Estonia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia
  • Japan

If you have a trip coming up or lost your passport or an ID and need it renewed, you should use the online photo tool for a quick service. The whole process shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes, doesn’t require leaving your house and costs two times less than the photos at the photo centre or a studio. 

To find out the requirements for your photo, it’s better to check the government websites. For instance, those who need a tourist visa to Japan would go to the Embassy website to learn about the specification. 

3 Steps to a 100% Compliant Photo 

If you take the photo for your documents by yourself using your phone camera, you absolutely cannot submit the original file. Here’s how you can convert it to the appropriate size and have it match the specifications: 

  1. Take the photo.
  2. Find a decent online photo service that will help you crop and edit the image to fit all necessary requirements.
  3. Download the files and attach the photo to your online application or print for in-person submission.

First of all, it is much faster and easier than using the photo centre alternatives. You have to bear in mind that although there’s a bunch of online editing tools available, not all of them provide a compliant result. Opt for a service that’s all automated and definitely check out the success ratio. We don’t want to pay for something that will ultimately fail. 

Using the editing services that have manual alterations option is good if you already know the requirements and can make sure your hand won’t jiggle. Otherwise, it’s much better to use the automatic one to be safe. 

Pros of Using the Online Editing Tool

Before getting into all the benefits, check out these quick tips on taking a better photo for your ID type documents:

  • Take your photo stepping 1,5m away from the camera. This is the common requirement for all IDs
  • Keep your posture straight and look upward. It’s not much, but really helps to appear put together
  • Wearing monochrome clothes is best; keep your shoulders covered, as they might get into the picture
  • Tuck your hair so it’s not in the way and doesn’t cover your eyes. It’s better to remove glasses for the same reason
  • To have better lighting, stand in front of a window and take the photo in the morning or early afternoon, that’s when you have better chances at getting the best photo. It shouldn’t have any darkening or overexposed parts, look out for glaring too
  • Don’t smile, but keep a natural relaxed expression. If you wear makeup go for something nude; lipgloss is usually allowed

Now that we’ve covered the basics of taking the document photo at home, you should know more about editing the said image. 

Knowing that your photo will match the standards is as important as having all documents inserted in your application. Sometimes the quality of it gets overlooked hence resulting in the overall rejection. Be better than that and go for a top-quality editing tool that will leave you with a 100% suitable photo. If you were wondering, these are a few reasons as to why online services are simply 10 times better:

  • It costs roughly $7USD. You get two images: one for print out and one for digital upload via a download link. Add extra $0.30USD (give or take) for the printing services
  • By choosing your country you input the necessary data into the software. The tool will automatically know how to fit your photo best to the specifications of your destination
  • Before you submit your image for editing, you also choose the required format. You may rest assured you will get exactly the 3x4cm photo that you asked for with the automatic online tool

As you can see, getting a 3×4 image done is quite easy. All you have to do is get yourself all pretty and handsome, set up your camera, take that shot and use an online tool to take care of the rest. You can be sure that the image you receive won’t compromise your application.