If you’re going to follow your dream to be a world traveler, you’re going to need a passport. We all dread getting our picture taken for our passport and just hope it’s not as bad as our drivers license photo. Here are five tips to get you that perfect picture.
First, hygiene and grooming is crucial. The day of the photo, take a shower and wash your hair. If you have frizz, put hair product on it. Never, ever take a picture with bed hair or wet hair. This is automatically going to be a bad photo. It may be wise to use skin cleanser in the shower as well. This is going to brighten your skin and make it appear less tired. Consider putting makeup on facial scars that you want to hide. This makes some people self-conscious and you don’t want to look at that photo for a decade if it makes you uncomfortable.
On the same note, wear your hair comfortably. Don’t style it in a ponytail or bun. In your photo, it may appear as if you have short hair. Rather, wear your hair down over your shoulders. If you wear a hat to get the photo taken, make sure you take the hat off. The hat can add shadows to your face which never look good on a photo. And, it may be a good idea to get a haircut before you go in for the photo. Many of us only get one or two haircuts a year. If this is the case, make sure you arrange yours prior to your session. You don’t want your hair having a mind of its own.
What to Wear
You may also want to wear a common shirt. Don’t dress up for your passport photo. Get it taken in jeans and a t-shirt. And, make sure that the shirt is flattering to your skin tone. If you have pale skin, for instance, you don’t want to wear a shirt that is white or a pale yellow. Again, if you have scars on your arms, perhaps you would feel comfortable in a shirt that has longer sleeves. Try a shirt that is button-down or has a v-neck to it. Try to avoid white or black shirts. This usually doesn’t turn out well on film.
It might be wise to invest in make-up for the photo. While you may not normally wear it, this is an occasion where extra color to your skin could be beneficial. Your skin is likely to appear more hydrated and less dried out. Apply lip liner and foundation. Use eye liner and eye shadows that are flattering to your skin tone but don’t make it seem as if you’re a club dancer. You also want to target problem areas. These might be wrinkles or age spots that have inched their way into your face without you noticing. Make up can make all the difference between a horrible picture and an excellent one.
Strike a Pose
Finally, practice your pose before you go into the photographer. Passport photographs need to show people looking straight forward with a neutral expression. Sit up straight and roll your shoulders back. Relax and take a breath. You can smile gently but don’t give the photographer an over-eager smile. If you worry about a double chin, be cautious not to tip your chin downwards.
There’s no concrete formula to taking passport photos but these tips are certain to help. Remember that you might be stuck with your passport photo for up to 10 years, so you want to look your best!