DV Lottery - Instructions for Submitting a Digital Photograph (Image)
The image file must adhere to the following compositional and technical specifications and can be produced in one of the following ways: taking a new digital image or using a digital scanner to scan a photograph. Entrants may test their photos for suitability through the photo validator link on the e-DV website before submitting their entries. The photo validator provides additional technical advice on photo composition, along with examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos.

Your photographs must be recent, they must not be manipulated and must be able to meet the specifications explained below.

Details instructions on preparing a photo

Compositional Specifications: The submitted digital image must conform to the following compositional specifications or the entry will be disqualified.
  • Head Position
    • The person being photographed must directly face the camera.
    • The head of the person should not be tilted up, down, or to the side.
    • The head height or facial region size (measured from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) must be between 50 percent and 69 percent of the image's total height. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56 percent and 69 percent of the image's height.

  • Background
    • The person being photographed should be taken with the person in front of a neutral, light-colored background.
    • Dark or patterned backgrounds are not acceptable.

  • Focus
    • The photograph must be in focus.

  • Decorative Items
    • Photographs in which the person being photographed is wearing sunglasses or other items that detract from the face will not be accepted.

  • Head Coverings and Hats
    • Photos of applicants wearing head coverings or hats are only acceptable if the head covering is worn for religious beliefs; even then, the head covering may not obscure any portion of the face of the applicant. Photographs of applicants with tribal or other headgear not specifically religious in nature will not be accepted; photographs of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats will not be accepted.

Color photographs in 24-bit color depth are required. Color photographs may be downloaded from a camera to a file in the computer or they may be scanned onto a computer. If you are using a scanner, the settings must be for True Color or 24-bit color mode. See the additional scanning requirements below. Of course, if you don't have the scanner, someone else scan for you as long as it meets all the specification requirements.

Technical Specifications
The submitted digital photograph must conform to the following specifications or the system will automatically reject the E-DV entry form and notify the sender.
  • Taking a New Digital Image. If a new digital image is taken, it must meet the following specifications:
    Image File Format:
    The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
    Image File Size:
    The maximum image file size is 240 kilobytes (240 KB).
    Image Resolution and Dimensions:
    Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 pixels (width) x 600 pixels (height). Image pixel dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (meaning the height must be equal to the width).
    Image Color Depth:
    24-bit color [Note: Color photographs are required. Black and white, monochrome images (2-bit color depth), 8-bit color, or 8-bit grayscale will not be accepted.]
  • Scanning a Submitted Photograph. Before a photographic print is scanned, it must meet the compositional specifications listed above. If the photographic print meets the print color and compositional specifications, scan the print using the following scanner specifications:
    Scanner Resolution:
    Scanned at a resolution of at least 150 dots per inch (dpi).
    Image File Format:
    The image must be in the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.
    Image File Size:
    The maximum image file size is 240 kilobytes (240 KB).
    Image Resolution:
    600 by 600 pixels.
    Image Color Depth:
    24-bit color. [Note that black and white, monochrome, or grayscale images will not be accepted.]