Does Costco Take Passport Photos?

Taking your own passport photo is tricky. You’d have to set the timer on your camera and then run back to your spot in front of it on time. A small shake or movement at the last second can blur the shot. So now you’d have to redo it all over again.

You’ll also have to consider your background and the lighting. But all this stress can be avoided if you just went to professionals like Costco. But wait, does Costco take passport photos in 2021?

Let’s find out!

Does Costco still take passport photos in 2021?

Unfortunately, Costco no longer takes passport photos. So if you live close to a Costco branch and you need a photo taken urgently, you can’t get it done there.

The store made the announcement at the beginning of the year in a public letter to their customers:

We are writing to inform you about the upcoming closure of the photo department at all Costco locations on Sunday, February 14, 2021.

Since the introduction of camera phones and social media, the need for printing photos has steeply declined, even though the number of pictures taken continues to grow. After careful consideration, we have determined the continued decline of prints no longer requires on-site photo printing.

While you may not be able to take passport photos at Costco, the store still offers photography-related services online. The Photo Center still exists, although it has been revamped as a merchandise store. You can purchase event-themed items like custom holiday cards, calendars, photo blankets and photo mugs.

Costco Photo Center page on the website

So if you want custom print homeware, you just need to upload your family or personal photos on the Photo Centre. After that, you can place an order for the printing process. Since the holidays are close, you can get a special discount for printing services.

What other stores take passport pictures?

Since Costco doesn’t take passport photos, here are some other stores that do:

Walmart

Walmart has a convenient passport photo taking process. First, you need to visit the Walmart photo page. You should see a guideline on how to take your passport photo properly. Click on “Add photo“. This will give you the option to upload photos from your device library, or take a new photo in real-time with your device camera.

Walmart Photo page on the website

Take a shot of your face using the Walmart passport photo guidelines from the previous page. Once you’ve taken the photo, tap or click on the pencil icon to edit your photo. When you’re through editing, click on “Apply” to effect the changes.

Click “Done” to add your photo to the Walmart virtual cart. On the new page, select the passport quantities or copies you want and choose between home delivery or store pickup. When you’re through, hit the “Checkout” option to place your order.

Walmart Photo order page

Target

Target’s passport photo taking process is similar to Walmart’s. The store uses a web-based app to allow customers take their passport photos themselves. To use it, visit the Target photo app and tap “Upload“. From there, you can choose to either upload an existing image, or take one with your device camera.

Target online passport photo app

Once you make your choice, tap on “Add to cart“. On the next page, you can choose the quantities you want and view the total price. You can also choose between home delivery or Walmart store pickup. Click on “Proceed to checkout” to place your order.

Target passport photo checkout page

Can I take my own passport photo with my phone?

As we mentioned earlier, taking your own passport photo is tricky. However, it’s not impossible. You can do it with your iPhone or Android device at home. To help you get started, here are four best practices for taking passport photos yourself.

  • Set up good lighting. It’s important to set up your ring or LED lights properly. This will ensure that shadows don’t appear in your photos and ruin the shot. Always opt for natural lighting. To achieve this, stay close to a window where the sun is clearly visible. But not too close that the photo becomes too bright. If possible go outside and find a suitable shade.
  • Get a good background. The ideal passport photo background color is pure white, although this may vary across different countries. Some countries use off-white. If you don’t have access to professional studio backdrops, you can create a makeshift backdrop. Canvas and muslin are the most recommended fabrics for backdrops.
  • Set up your mobile device. You’ll need a tripod to station your mobile device. An adjustable tripod will hold your phone up at an angle that aligns with your facial features.
  • Compose yourself. Facial features are important. Since passport photos are for formal use, you’ll want to avoid smiling. Look straight at the camera, and if you’ve got glasses on, take them off for the photo. If you can’t do without them, ensure there’s no light or reflection bouncing off your lenses. This could prevent your eyes from being visible in your passport.

Need passport photo templates for major countries? Download the Passport Photo Editor app.

Passport Photo Editor app product on Amazon

Download Passport Photo Editor


Just a recap!

Does Costco take passport photos? Costco no longer takes passport photos. You can use alternative online solutions like Walmart and Target online passport photo apps. If you need a hand in taking the photos yourself at home, we outline four best practices for taking passport photos yourself in the article.


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