Change background color on photo

I have a photo I want to use for a passport. However, rules say the background must be white or off white, and this is that blue with cloud like background from a professional photo studio. Assuming the government would reject it, I would like to redo it with a white or off-white background. I do not have Photoshop so I need an alternative method to do this. Does anyone have an easy to use/access alternative?

You could try The GIMP ( It’s an opensource alternative to Photoshop.

I have no idea if the authorities would be happy with a re-touched photo? It’s a risk though.

Surely the $5 or whatever it costs is worth it for another, acceptable, photograph?

If you are a member of AAA they will do passport photos for free. I’ve heard that credit unions will also of they are one that use photos on their ATM cards.

If it’s a good hi resolution photo GIMP will do it. Part of the problem is hair. What I mean by that is it’s hard to remove the background if the hair style includes lots of loose hair sticking out. I do this a lot and love photos with hair plastered down.

Believe it or not, it is not the cost. The person I am going with loves this picture, and wants it on her passport, so I am trying to oblige. I have already ordered my own crappy picture from Walmart. They actually have a good service, photo’s in one hour, $7.44. I always thought it was a dumb idea, and I thought of the fact it might get rejected for being altered.

If the editing is done by someone why know what they are doing they won’t be able to tell. Particularly when printed as a 2" square photo.

This approach has a few things to consider. The bottom line is that she should just get a standard passport photo to avoid a lot of hassle and send you off on a project that may not succeed.

On the plus side, you are giving them two copies of a hard-copy 2" x 2" photo, not a wall poster. If done well, a change in background will be unnoticeable. I have done that on a passport photo and it was no problem although I changed the color cast and did not completely replace the background. As noted, hair is the big problem here. But because the person is a female, if she has long hair then it’s likely this will be hard to get right.

Also, this photo must be “Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera.” If this is a 3/4 studio photo like most of these then it will not be acceptable regardless of background.

A passport photo is not a modeling portfolio. It will be seen about four times each time you make an international trip and the people who look at it won’t give a shit how gorgeous you look. (Post another thread in IMHO and we’ll talk about the pitfalls of vanity :wink: )

They are pretty strict with their regulations regarding PP photos. I don’t think an altered photo will cut it. Still I’m willing to give it a shot, if you are interested PM me.

Who was it said “If you look like your passport photograph, you’re too ill to travel.” :slight_smile:

You’re not supposed to smile, or do anything to look interesting in a passport photo. I’m a little perplexed that someone would be so attached to a photo that qualifies for a passport, since by definition they need to be as neutral as possible.

GIMP can certainly do the job, but it’s overkill, specially for a rookie.

Assuming Windows, I’d recommend and following this video tutorial. (muted)

I changed the background color in my photo, also the color of my shirt. Since I’m a graphic artist, I was able to do it in Photoshop without it being detectable.