Bad Beauty; Evil Passport Photos

I was flicking through my passport the other day when I realised that it was soon to be out of date! Noooo! I may not have any travels planned but still, one needs a valid up to date passport incase:

1. I win a holiday

2. I get whisked away by Christian Bale

3. I get arrested as the boss of a criminal mastermind organization who smuggles eyeliners to kittens and I need to prove my identity. Anyway. Passport photographs will be there for TEN years. You thought that fringe was a good idea? Not in ten years you won’t. Blue eyeliner? Yeah you thought you were being alternative, and now your kids laugh in your face.

Don’t forget the regulations. Many people have their passport returned because they have not followed the rules which are: The photographs must be: * identical; * recent (taken within the last month); * 45 millimetres (mm) high x 35 millimetres (mm) wide (please do not trim your photographs to meet this condition); * taken against an off-white, cream or light grey plain background so that your features are clearly distinguishable against the background; * printed on low-gloss, plain white photo-quality paper (with no watermarks, embossing or printing on the back); * undamaged, for example, by creases from paperclips; * of you on your own (no toys, dummies or other people visible); * a close-up of your head and shoulders so that your head, from the bottom of your chin to your crown is between 29mm and 34mm high; and * clear of writing on the front and back. The photographs must also: * be in sharp focus and clear; * have a strong definition between the face and background; and * be printed professionally. Photographs printed at home are not likely to be of an acceptable quality. The photographs must show: * no shadows; * you facing forwards, looking straight towards the camera; * a neutral expression, with your mouth closed; * your eyes open and clearly visible (with no sunglasses or heavily tinted glasses, and no hair across your eyes); * no reflection or glare on your glasses,?and the frames should not cover your eyes (you may find it easier to remove your glasses); * your full head, without any head covering, unless it is worn for religious beliefs or medical reasons; and * nothing covering your face. Please make sure nothing covers the outline of your eyes, nose or mouth. Nowadays the stupid talking booth will tell you if something fits with the passport agencies regulations or not but nevertheless accidents will happen.

So, I shan’t lie. I’m not sure how to style myself for my new passport but I knew there are some rules, like:

– Neutral Make Up, but strong enough to show up

– Contouring

– Simple coloured clothing

– Simple hair but also not covering the face (bye bye bangs)


– Mini lastolite reflector

And its pricey – £4 the last time I had some pictures taken. I can’t afford to sit there all day and have take after take……(there are the photo shops you can go to and they will take your photo on a handheld machine. But I used to operate them…I know how funny it is to take a bad photo of someone and watch them cringe as they nod and say ‘yes….yes….that’s er….fine’. So I won’t be doing that.

So how will it all turn out? Will I look like Batgirl or the Joker? tune in tomorrow to find out.

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  1. says

    I seldom take good looking passport photos too! Thanks for the tip! I’ve watched Tyra about the tips too..but I guess it’s just the fact that your photo is concentrated on your whole Face lol…pressure!

  2. Chica says

    Talking about Christian Bale & the Joker – how AMAZING was Dark Knight?! (I went last night so I’m still buzzing)
    …and i now totally get your Bale obsession – mmmm.
    My passport photo is from when I was 16 and apparently I look like an evil gypsy – I’m wearing GIGANTIC gold hoops and look pretty..erm aggressive..can’t wait til next March when I have to renew ze passport, even though it means having to wait in the Spanish embassy for 7 billion years for them to process it.

  3. Row says

    Hey Nikki

    Oh yes! and of course you have time contraints.5…..4…..3…..2…..1……

  4. Row says

    Chica! I haven’t seen it. I am afraid I will be overwhelmed by the beauty of Bale. I don’t get the Maggie Gyllenhal thing though – shes not sexy in the least. Hoops? Are you allowed that – the new rules are so strict :(