difference between passport size photo and postcard size photo

What’s The Difference Between Passport Size Photo and Postcard Size Photo

Almost all of us have used a passport size photo or a postcard size photo in our lives. In most cases, we have used both! Although people often tend to confuse the two, these are two completely different photo types.

Our passport size photo vs. postcard size photo guide will delve into their difference to inform you on the topic.


Passport Size Photo vs. Postcard Size Photo

The difference between passport size photos and postcard size photos is that a passport size photo ideally has a different size and use compared to a postcard size photo.

You can get a better idea of this difference by observing the terms they are associated with – “passport” and “postcard.” A passport-size photo is used on formal occasions, and a postcard-size image is used for informal events.

The two are also different in terms of size. However, in this case, you should not consider the related terms. We have discussed this part later in detail.


What Is a Passport Size Photo?

passport size photo

A passport size photo is a formal photograph that is used in every official document in use.

Whether it is a job application or a driver’s license, you will need a passport-sized photo to verify your identity. It is the most commonly used official photograph, sometimes paired with stamp-size photos.

Every passport-size photo follows a specific composition. However, the dimensions of the picture vary from country to country.

In the United States, the dimensions are 2 x 2 (inches). Although the term “passport” is related to this picture, it is not exactly the same size as a physical passport.

Passport size photos are portrait pictures with no filters. The main focus of the photograph is the subject.

While editing is done on the picture to improve the resolution and color grading, no major editing is allowed on the subject’s face. Also, the photo must be a color image.


What Is a Postcard Size Photo?

postcard size photo

A postcard size photo is what the name exactly suggests – an image that has the size of a postcard. Usually, such pictures are sent along with postcards as memoirs.

Since postcard size photos are used for informal occasions, you can edit them however you like. You can use filters; you can use a selfie, use a black and white image, etc. None of these are allowed in passport size pictures. There is complete freedom to try out a lot of things with this particular picture type.

One thing that is constant in all postcard size photos is the size. All postcard size photos have dimensions of nearly 4 x 6 (inches).

These photos are also thicker than passport size photos and can be customized according to your choice. Furthermore, you can also use old pictures here, whereas only recent ones are allowed for passport-sized photos.


Main Differences between Passport Size Photo and Postcard Size Photo

passport size photo vs. postcard size photo

1. The dimensions of passport size photos are different in each country. The approximate measurements of postcard size photos are 4 x 6 (inches) nearly everywhere.

2. Passport size photos are used for official documents, and postcard-sized images are used for unofficial documents.

3. You cannot use a selfie for a passport size photo. It is always a portrait image with uniform background. There are no such limitations with the background or orientation of postcard-sized images.

4. Passport size photos have to be in full color. Edits can only be done to enhance the natural color, not distort it. In postcard size photos, you can use any color on the images.

5. Passport size photos are square-sized in most countries, but postcard-sized images are always rectangular.


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Comparison Table between Passport Size Photo and Postcard Size Photo

Parameter of Comparison Passport Size Photo Postcard Size Photo
Dimensions It varies from country to country Nearly 4 x 6 (inches) in almost every country
Use Used for official documents and formal events Used for unofficial documents/informal occasions
Color 100% color image The color can be modified depending on the user’s preferences
Orientation Portrait. Selfies are not allowed Any. Selfies are allowed
Customization Not allowed Allowed



Passport size photos and postcard size photos are often interchanged in discussions. But no matter what the context is, these two are different with dissimilar properties, uses, and dimensions.

Passport size photo is a formal, mostly square-shaped picture used for administrative purposes. On the other hand, postcard size photos have the standard size of a postcard and can be used for many different occasions.

We hope this article has helped you identify every difference between passport size photos and postcard size photos. Good luck!


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