Make Your Own ID Photos

Where can I get ID photos in Nantes? It’s a question that comes up on Knowing Nantes quite often. Normally it’s people looking for ID photos for kids / Babies. Though you’ll need one for the Student Card …  Museum Pass … your TAN travel card … Carte Vitale and so on if you’re living here for any amount of time.

First the simplest option?

Go to any shopping center and you’ll probably find a Photomatron machine similar to the below which is at my local SuperU


From the looks of it for 5 euro you’ll get 5 ID photos. I Believe you’ll still have to cut them out. However the photo system uses some logic so should get your head at the perfect dimensions and lighting and they conform to the official identity guidelines.

Not sure where your local photomatron is? You can find one on the website … there are a LOT around France.

Local map of Photomatons

Second option is to go to any of the photographers around town and have them do it for you. Of course you’ll probably pay a bit more (Around €10 I’m guessing). Go to Google and do a search? Alternatively ask for a recommendation over on Knowing Nantes. The baby photo we have of Charlotte was done professionally and is awful!

Your third option take them yourself.

Of course this is going to depend on your requirements really (If you require a Photo Agreees)

We currently need to take photos of the kids every year for school so why not take them yourself €5 + €5 = €10 (I’m good with maths and this is based on the photomaton costs above not on a professional taking the shots in a store which may well increase the price). My local SuperU has a photo printing machine and one of the options is for id photos. Print them out at a cost of 32 cents for 4 and save a fortune. OK €9.36 to be precise in this case. All for a few minutes work. You’ll be buying food at the supermarket anyways won’t you? So it’s not like you’re going out of your way.

Self Print

What you’ll need? A camera for one. Most of us have one or access to one. Does your phone take a decent photo? Do you have a decent point and shoot?

Do you have a friend to take the photo.

A blank light grey wall. (no texture)

Make sure you’re in a well lit area. You want to avoid light coming in from the side and too much shadow behind you. If you’re doing it at home you might need to think about the best time of the day (When is the light straight on)

Get up close and take a photo leave space around your head so you’ll be able to adjust and zoom in or out as needs be. Check it out on your computer do you need to make any adjustments? Lots of editors let you tweak the contrast of your photos.

Head Placement

Visit your local shop / super market and find the ID photo option. You are able to zoom in and out and reposition things with the one shown about in SuperU. When you’re happy print it out. (You’re looking for the 35mm x 45mm photo options there are smaller hence I mention that). I picked up a passport photo cutter on ebay. You could just as easily use a scissors or a craft knife and a ruler. Just make sure you cut it to 35x45mm exactly.

In general the rules for ID photos are

  • No smiling
  • Look straight ahead
  • No accessories (Earrings / head bands / hats)
  • If you’re wearing glasses they should be clear (no shades)
  • Use a light grey background
  • No hair covering your face.
  • The head should be 32 – 36mm in height as per the photo above (possibly specific to France though most countries have similar rules)

You may want to figure out how to turn flash off on your camera as you also want to avoid the artificial light / flash that may show up on your face over exposing areas. The great thing with this option is you get to have a photo you are really happy with.

Please Note: ID photos are meant to be taken by a professional / or a machine that has been certified.