A Good Passport Photo – Does it Exist?

Annual Leave Entitlement, Annual Leave, Travel Tips, Passport, Taylorheartstravel, Taylor Hearts Travel, Travel Blog

Wow, talk about hard work. I was convinced my next passport photo was going to be a good ‘un. How wrong I was.

My last passport photo was taken when I was eighteen. I was going through a phase of boycotting hair dye and make up; claiming the natural look was the best one and that it was all about inner beauty. Don’t get me wrong, those are great looks if you can pull them off, but not when it comes to a passport picture, or at least not for me.

Harsh lighting, no backdrop, limitations on smiling, face void of expression, no hair to frame the face. It’s a recipe for disaster, or at least it seems to be for me. I was dead set that finally after ten years of passport control officers sniggering at my pic, or people (even my friends, my very own lifelong friends) asking if I really looked like that back then, I was going to have a good passport photo.

Recommended Reading: How to Get the Baby Passport Photo Right (First Time)

I know it sounds shallow, but my passport is my prized possession. I love travel, as I’m sure you do, and my passport is my token to escape. I’ve done the whole unwashed hair, no time for make up thing. In fact, I’ll admit I still do it sometimes. However, I did not want that look to be my ‘logo’ for the next ten years. Full face of make up and freshly blow dried hair, I was ready. Annoyingly, no little had I been on my way to the photo booth, I was home in bed with a bloody migraine.

Time wasn’t on my side as I had a short turnaround before the next trip abroad. The next day feeling better, I ventured to the booth. Luckily it had been updated – you no longer only get three attempts before your £5 is eaten up and your close eyed pic is printed. You actually get to have your picture taken before you commit your money. Well, eight shots later and I realised I was not going to look like the supermodel I had hoped. Unrealistic? Me? Never. I selected the photo and reluctantly sent it off. Ah well, at least I can continue my travels.

Recommended Reading: Why I don’t Share Photos of my Children Online

It did make me feel a little better to read that Mario Testino is apparently called upon to take Anna Wintour’s passport pics. Now if only I had a famous photographer, rather than a grubby photo booth in the supermarket…

Before you ask, nope I’m not sharing my passport pics (new or old) with you. *cringe*

Have you had more passport success than me? What’s your secret to a good passport photo? Is it really possible to have a great one? 

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Comments (9)

  • Alena 6 years ago Reply

    Had my hair pulled back in a ponytail for my most recent passport photo… big mistake. You can’t see the hair, so it looks like I just have a pixie cut… which looks cute on some girls, but not one with extremely curly hair. Only five more years til my next try :(

    Ah I’ve made that mistake before too, except I just look bald! Well I hope in those five years you might be able to figure out the secret to a good photo and share it with me (no pressure!). I’m so glad we only have to show our passports for a fleeting two minutes on each trip..x

  • LoveLyndaLovely 6 years ago Reply

    I recently had a passport pic rejected because my hair was too big!

    Wow, that sounds harsh – how can your hair be too big?!

    LoveLyndaLovely 6 years ago

    Hello! Nice to meet albeit very briefly at WTM today

    Hey you! Yes, it was lovely. Your hair looked amazing by the way, so I can’t believe it was a problem for your passport pic! I’m still waiting to hear if mine has been accepted or rejected…

  • runningonwall 6 years ago Reply

    Reblogged this on runningonwall.

  • littletravelbee 6 years ago Reply

    I feel your pain, I’m due to get my passport renewed and I don’t know whether to even bother trying to get a decent pic or be resigned to the fact it will just be awful! Any tips would also be greatly appreciated!!

    P.s we defo want to see a pic!

    My advice would be to put more make up on than you normally would. My normal eyeliner was practically invisible on the photo. Other than that and with all the guidelines to follow (no smiling, hair away from the face etc) I’m not sure what else you can do!

    Good luck with your passport pic. Let me know how you get on :)

    I’m waiting to hear if my photo has been accepted – fingers crossed!

    P.S. Nope!

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