Make-up tips for a stunning passport photo

Travel season is almost upon us again which means it’s nearly time to dig out that passport with the photo you’d probably rather not look at! It’s fairly common knowledge that people tend not to look their most attractive in their passport photos. When the time to renew your passport finally comes around, you can spend ages preening yourself to look your best, yet somehow still find the results are less than satisfactory. So why is it that we tend to look so different in the mirror than we do in the photo?

A very harsh flash

The main reason is that the standard ID photo booths tend to have a very harsh flash. It’s extremely bright and therefore highlights even the slightest shadows and imperfections and can almost make pale skin look green. For this reason, if you want a decent looking passport photo, make up is a good idea.

Try a corrective primer or foundation

Even if you don’t normally use it, try a corrective primer or foundation. You want to give yourself some colour. For paler skin an apricot tone under the eyes will counteract any purple discolouration. Add extra make up to those ‘bags’ or dark circles and you should achieve a healthier effect. You can use concealer on any spots or blemishes and it’s a good idea to put powder on top of the foundation. Ideally, you want a matt finish as the harsh flash picks up on the slightest bit of shine and amplifies it.

Define your lips

Use a liner on the lips to define them. You can add deep colour to lips if you wish or keep them more natural looking, but as long as they look healthy and not dry or cracked you should be ok. Don’t use lip gloss and again aim for a matt finish.

Another area to focus on is the laughter lines around your nose. They tend to protrude and stand out even more in the harsh light, so use some make-up to soften this area. You may find you look fairly different in the mirror, but hopefully you’ll find this works wonders for the photo. Good Luck!

Tips to keep your new passport safe until you go abroad

You may think that the hard part is over once you’ve got your brand-new passport in your hands. However, disaster could strike at any moment if it were to be lost or misplaced before you even get an opportunity to use it. If you’re set to jet off abroad, it’s important that you make every effort to keep your passport safe from the moment it’s in your possession. With this in mind, here are just a few tricks that could help.

Don’t use it as ID

If you’re lucky enough to look under 18, you can use your passport for ID. If you do, though, you run the risk of losing it or having it stolen. This wouldn’t just be inconvenient and expensive, it could even prevent you from going abroad.

Don’t flaunt it unnecessarily

You may be quite proud after taking the perfect passport photo and having it approved, but you should resist the urge to flaunt your passport unnecessarily to friends and family. Instead, just keep it in a safe spot, usually a memorable place where only you can get to until it’s time to head off on holiday.

Buy a bright cover

The current passport is a burgundy colour. Admittedly, it’s already a rather distinctive shade, but you could take it one step further by putting it in a brightly coloured cover. This should make it more detectable should it become buried under documents.

Make a note of the information

Your passport will contain important information such as a number and expiry date. You may need to quote these if you’re booking a flight or applying for a visa. Therefore, make a note of these details when you first receive your passport. This should mean that you’re not constantly removing it from its safe space in the run-up to going away.

Better safe than sorry

These measures could make the difference between jetting off into the sunset and being forced to stay at home or apply for an emergency replacement. From the moment you apply for your new passport and take the perfect passport photo, you should be thinking about how to keep your documents safe.

Photo: love is the key by alonis licensed under Creative commons 2

When is the optimum time to take your passport photo?

Getting a passport photo right is imperative to having your passport application processed with success. Whether you need it in a hurry for an upcoming holiday, or simply want to get it right first time, it’s important to follow the rules. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t also want to look your best in your passport photo, after all, you are going to have it for the next ten years.

Not in a rush

Avoid having your passport photo taken in a rush. This may happen if you do it at a train station on your way to or from work, or during a busy shopping trip in town. However and wherever you get it done, be sure you have plenty of time in order to choose the best possible photo of yourself before printing.

Be comfortable

It’s important to feel comfortable. A train station is not the most comfortable of places, especially if there is a lot of noise and a queue for the booth. The most comfortable place is, of course, your own home, and thanks to online passport photo approval services, it is now possible to have your photo taken in the comfort of your own home and checked online.

Not too early, not too late

First thing in the morning and last thing at night are likely to be the two worst times to have your picture taken as either way you’ll likely look tired. Think about when you feel like you look your best and feel most relaxed in the day and aim to have the picture taken around then.

Considering hair and clothes

Accessories such as glasses, hats and scarves are not allowed in passport photos; however, a small part of your clothing may well be visible. If you work in a shop and wear an unflattering colour uniform, consider changing into your own clothes for the picture. Your hair will certainly be visible, however, so do take the time to brush and style your hair (down is usually recommended) as unruly hair will be the first thing you notice every time you see your passport photo.

Getting the photo right in terms of having the application passed is your number one priority, but making sure you like the look of your passport photo is still important. If you decide to take your picture in the relaxed surrounds of your home, why not use Paspic to ensure it meets all the criteria so that you don’t suffer any unexpected delays.

Photo: Holding olympus by Нugо licensed under Creative commons 2

Passport photo fails and how to avoid them

If you’re looking for a new passport photo for an abroad trip or as a form of general identity, there are a few things you need to know before you make those dreaded passport photo fails. Here are a few things you need to know to ensure that your photos are taken correctly.

1. Too light

The problem with many passport photos is that the lighting is too bright, therefore facial features can appear unnoticeable or very faint. Camera flashes are one of the causes of this and often too much direct sunlight. Problems such as these can cause light to bounce off the facial features, especially the eyes. To ensure that your photos are taken correctly, always turn the flash off or visit a professional passport photography company to take suitable photos for you with the correct lighting.

2. Shadows

Another issue with passport photos is that shadows can appear intrusive. If your face appears too dark due to overwhelming shadows, you may find that your photos are rejected when it comes to proving identity. It is essential that others can identify you by your photo, therefore any object or lighting issue which stands in the way will not legally be accepted.

3. Sizing issues

In order for your passport photo to pass all of the legal requirements, you must ensure that the sizing of your photo is appropriate. Most passport photos should have a 2×2 inch area – meaning the actual photo and not the white border surrounding it. In the majority of cases, the white border should actually be cut off, so bear this in mind when taking or ordering your passport photos.

4. Focus issues

Your passport photos should be extremely clear, again so that you can be identified without any doubt. Lack of focus may include smudges on the camera lens which obscures the viewing or blurring. You should take the photo at a suitable distance, capturing the head and shoulders only. A recommended distance would be three feet. If in any doubt, it would be best to go to a professional photographer.

If you’d like to know more about passport photos or the best methods for taking baby passport photos, please contact us today at

Photos for baby passports: the facts

Having a good baby passport photo taken for your baby is not easy, and since the UK Passport Agency changed the rules on baby passport photos, it’s even harder. Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting the right shot for your baby’s passport.

The facts

A baby now needs his or her own passport and cannot be listed on their mother’s or father’s passport. Even trickier, he or she now needs their own photo and cannot be photographed on the lap of a parent. This is as true for a one-day-old baby as it is for a 15-month-old baby. Just as with adult passports, babies require two, 45mm x 35mm sized photos and these need to countersigned by a person of ‘good standing’. For an adult passport, the signatory is expected to have known the person for more than 2 years; in the case of a child aged under 16, they need to have known the adult doing the application on behalf of the child, for two years. So who to ask? A good person would be your GP who will have met your baby from a very young age and can vouch for his or her identity as well as your own.

Getting the photo right

A baby who can sit upright, or partially upright, can be supported out of shot. For a young baby who cannot hold themselves at all, it’s a bit trickier. Parents are allowed to support the back of a baby’s head, but your arm and hand cannot be in the shot. Babies are not allowed to have a dummy in their mouth, be wearing glasses or hats or even be holding toys. A child over six years old is required to be looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression, but these rules are more relaxed for younger children and babies. A baby aged under one does not need to have their eyes open for the picture.

Due to the difficulty of getting a baby photo right, many parents choose to go through an online baby passport photo service, such as Paspic, rather than waste money at a booth.

Photo: Baby by .v1ctor Casale. licensed under Creative commons 2