Without a passport, your travels are typically limited to the country where you reside, although there may be some exceptions. One of the first requirements associated with getting a passport involves snapping the photographs for it. A selfie isn’t sufficient, nor are the amateur photography skills of your well-intentioned best friend. Fortunately, though, you have several options when it comes to figuring out where to take passport photos.

Go to Discount Retail Stores in the Late Morning

Many of your favorite mass merchandise stores, such as Walmart, may have one-hour photo studios that develop passport photos for you. If you’re not able to come into the store, you can also upload a photo that meets the requirements of the U.S. Passport Service to the retailer’s website and pick it up at your convenience. The late morning hours are a prime time of day because many of the people who regularly shop at those stores are still at work or otherwise occupied.

Consider Going to a Membership-Based Outlet in the Afternoon

Sam’s Club and Costco are two well-known retailers that charge membership fees to customers. Both brands can supply passport photos, since they have on-site photo technicians.

If you have a membership card, use it in the afternoon. People who rely on those stores are often business owners replenishing their supplies. It’s not hard to understand why they’d want to do that in the morning before their customers arrive. By planning an afternoon visit, you avoid that crowd and boost the probability of efficient service.

Head to Professional Photography Studios in the Early Evening

You could also get your passport photos from a professional studio that handles headshots and similarly specialized photos. If you do that, try to get your appointment in the evening. By that time of the day, the facility should be quieter than it would be earlier since the rush periods have passed. It’s even better if you aim to book the last slot on a given day.

Drop Into Drugstores at Night

Walgreen’s and CVS are two top drug stores in your area that may shoot and develop passport photos. Because the majority of people who shop at those places aren’t solely going for photography-related reasons, aim to visit as late in the nighttime hours as possible. Of course, you should verify the operating hours of the photo department to avoid disappointment.

Consider that some of the people working at drugstores may be cross-training, meaning they work as photography experts as well as cashiers or stockers. This means that if you go during peak traffic times, you may have to wait. But if you go as close to the photo department’s closing time as possible while still being able to get your pictures the same day, the overall store traffic should be at one of its lowest points of the day, making it easier to get your photos without a long wait.

This list of suggestions will get you off to a good start in obtaining appealing and functional passport photos. Happy travels!