Does "on" in "Face the camera straight on and either smile naturally or adopt a neutral expression" mean "in front of (the camera)?

2 Answers 2


"Straight on" is a way of specifying a direction relative to a person. It means "in front of (the person)". The alternative is to deviate by turning right or left.

So this doesn't mean "you should be in front of the camera" it means "the camera should be in front of you". Those are significantly different.

Implicitly you should also be in front of the camera, otherwise you would not be in the photograph, or at least not centred. But a more common fault in passport photos is for the person to be artistically photographed in three-quarter view.

  • Think you all very much for your detailed explanations!
    – Maurice
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 5:05

A passport photo has to be full-face. You must look straight at the camera lens, not turn your face to one side as you might for a portrait photo.

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