Tips for getting a good baby passport photo

We all know that passport photos have to be at a certain standard. You have to be looking straight at the camera, no cheesy grins, and no silly faces. Try telling that to a six month old who just wants to play! Here are some hints and tips on how to get the best baby passport photo, and avoid it being a stressful experience.

Not too excited, not too tired

A tired baby may be too fretful to take a good photo of. If they are in need of a nap and are going to start crying or becoming stressed, put your photo off until another time. Likewise, just after nap time might not be the best time either. When your baby is super lively, they are not going to want to sit still for you while you take your best shot. You know your baby best. Find the time when they are most chilled, as you will be able to get them into the best position more easily. And be prepared to take a few shots!

Use a favourite toy, sound, or TV show

What makes your baby stop everything and just stare? Use it. Whether that’s your partner or a sibling waving a favourite toy over your shoulder, or a favourite cartoon projected on the ceiling, anything that keeps their attention for a few seconds while you take your shot is ideal. Baby sensory videos available for free online can be really useful for this.

Avoid a busy photo shop

Taking a baby to a busy shop where they’re expected to sit in a white room or against a white background and stay still is expecting too much. Babies can become easily overwhelmed by crowds in shops, or alternatively, they might just want to be super social and giggle at everything around them. Taking passport photos for babies at home is quicker, easier on baby and parent, and in most cases, much more cost effective.

Speak to us here at Paspic today to find out how we can help you take baby passport photos at home.

Photo: Baby by smbuckley23 licensed under Creative commons 4

How can I apply for my passport online?

The prospect of completing a passport application is often a daunting one. You may be reluctant to apply due to preconceptions of needing to complete an excessive amount of forms.

Introducing digital applications

The rise of the digital era has thankfully eased the burden on passport applications. You can now apply for your passport online via the government website, as well as being able to update, renew and replace your passport. Online passport application also enables you to easily track the status of your application.

Benefits of online applications

The main benefit of an online application is the elimination of inky mistakes. If you make an error, you can simply press delete and re-complete that section of the form without having to source a whole new document.

You also save money by applying online rather than by post. That £9.50 saving in your pocket can help contribute to your holiday fund!

Things you should know

You need a debit or credit card to pay for your passport online, so make sure this is something you have prior to starting an application, or else you will not be able to process it.

It will take approximately six weeks to receive your UK adult passport, but this process may take longer during busy periods like summer. All other types of application take around 3 weeks, but this duration may also be extended depending on demand and incorrect details in your application.

Online passport photos

Digital passport applications also enable you to upload a digital photo. However, please bear in mind that your digital passport photo must still meet the requirements that are set by Her Majesty’s Passport Office. Our passport photo service is the perfect way to help meet these strict requirements, as 95.5% of our passport photos are approved on first submission.

If you upload your photos with us, you will benefit from our BETA passport photo service that provides both physical and digital copies of your passport photo. Your digital photo can be seamlessly uploaded to your online passport application, making the process even easier.

Can I wear a hat or head covering in my passport photo?

Summer is just around the corner and you might be looking forward to your holiday abroad in the sunshine. In the rush to organise your flights, hotel, and swimsuit collection, however, you might find yourself suddenly realising that you – or a member of your family – need a sudden passport renewal. During this busy period for the Passport Office, it’s particularly important to meet all the photo requirements first time in order to ensure that your application is processed quickly and smoothly. One of the questions that many travellers have each year is: can I wear a hat or head covering in my passport photo? Follow our tips and explanations below to make sure you’re on the right track:

1. Skip the hats

It might be tempting to think about reusing a photo that you love in which you’re wearing a baseball cap or a winter hat. Even if the photo meets all of the other requirements, however, this will not be accepted by the Passport Office. Instead, if you are in need of a quick new photo, opt for our new BETA Digital Passport Service. In addition to a hard copy, you’ll receive a digital passport photo that you can use to complete your application online. You’ll be away on your holidays before you know it.

2. There’s no problem with medical headgear

It’s important to remember that you are perfectly entitled to wear items on your head if it is required for medical purposes. There’s no need to panic about not getting to your dream holiday abroad because of medical equipment showing in your official passport photograph. If you have any concerns, you can always contact the Passport Office or your doctor for answers to any specific questions.

3. Religious head coverings are acceptable

Another exception to this general passport rule is religious attire that covers the head. If you are uncomfortable removing a head covering for a passport photo, there’s no reason to let this stop you travelling the world and enjoying a relaxing trip this summer. As long as other requirements about clarity and angles are all met, you can provide a passport photo that includes your religious garments.

For high-quality passport photos for the whole family, Paspic offers an efficient and reliable service with a revolutionary new digital option. Contact us today for more information or to take advantage of our 99.5% photo approval rate.

Photo: Picnic Hat by basykes licensed under Creative commons 4

How recent does your passport photo have to be?

Your passport application can’t be approved without first submitting a picture. This image will potentially stay with you for up to 10 years – so it’s understandable that you’ll want to look your best on it and be proud to flash it at the border. You might, of course, already have a few cherished pictures that you know would fit this bill and want to use one of these instead. The question is: how recent does your passport photo have to be? Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Can you use an old photo?

No. This might not be the news that you want to hear, but the guidelines are clear that the image ‘must be taken in the last month’. You’ll be breaking the rules if your image hasn’t been taken within this timeframe and this could cause delays for your passport application – which could be extremely detrimental if you’ve got a trip planned.

Could you try anyway?

It’s not recommended that you breach any of the rules. Aside from the fact that it could delay your application, you’ll also be putting your countersignature in an awkward position. This individual – who must have ‘good standing in the community’ – must vouch that the photo you submit is a true likeness of you. This is unlikely to be the case if the picture is old.

What’s the reason for it?

The point of your passport photo is that it must be a clear representation of your appearance for when you leave and enter different countries. You risk causing delays or arousing suspicion if your passport photo isn’t accurate. Don’t forget that adult passport photos can last for a decade, which is a rather generous timeframe. This means that an older picture will just further compromise how recognisable you’ll be from your passport photo in 10 years time.

It’s time to start fresh!

It’s more than possible to take a new passport picture that you just love – especially since you can now do so from your own home. You can now take your time to take a photo that you’re happy with before having it looked over by Paspic. This way you’ll know it meets all the guidelines before you submit it alongside your passport application.

Could smiling one day be allowed on passport photos?

Your go-to facial expression might be to flash a huge smile when someone whips out a camera. This is fine in your day to day life. You can’t, however, currently do this on your passport photo. This can be a real annoyance for some people, especially those who rarely pose for a picture without showing off their happiest face. The question is: could smiling soon be allowed on passport photos? Let’s look at what you need to know about the future of smiling on passport pictures.

What’s the current rule?

The guidelines state that you must have a ‘plain expression’ with ‘your mouth closed’ on your passport photo. This guideline first came into effect in 2005 in the UK and is arguably one of the most unpopular rules that people have to abide by when submitting their passport application.

Could it change?

It seems that an argument is being built to remove the rule. According to a new study conducted by the University of York in 2018, it would actually be easier for border officials to spot fraud and forgery if people were allowed to smile on their passport photo. Research leader Dr. Mileva explained: “Our research suggests that replacing the neutral expression we usually use when taking identification photographs with an open mouth smile can make face matching an easier decision.”

Have officials commented?

The Home Office have previously stood their ground against questions regarding the function of the ‘no smiling’ rule. In 2017, a spokesperson re-iterated that the guideline had been put into place as a result of the software now being used by e-gates at airports. The explanation read: “When the mouth is open it can make it difficult for facial recognition technology to work effectively.”

It’s picture time!

While you still can’t smile on your passport photo, it’s more than possible to take an image that you’re happy with – especially if you do so from the comfort of your own home. You can then send the image to the team at Paspic, who’ll confirm that the photo meets the guidelines before sending the hard copies back to you.

Photo: smile :) by gudka licensed under Creative commons 4