It’s all about the angles…

If you wear glasses then you’ll be familiar with the difficulties in obtaining passport photos that pass muster with the authorities.

The HM Passport Office in the UK is infamous when it comes to the number of hoops you have to jump through.

And, if you wear glasses, then its somewhat prescriptive “do’s and don’ts” list can go from merely being an irritation, to something that is tear-your-hair-out frustrating.

Yes, you can take off those specs for the photo, but it isn’t an accurate reflection of what you normally look like – and, arguably, undermines the whole point of an ID card. And the argument that, frankly, “it’s who I am, thank you very much,” holds plenty of merit for the stubborn among us who are unable, or unwilling, to use contacts.

Okay, so we aren’t Spartacus but if, like many others, you don’t want to remove your specs just to appease passport control, then fortunately there are a number of useful tips that you can employ to ensure that your pictures get the green light.

First up, make sure that the light is right when you get your passport photo taken. Glare on the lens is easily avoided if you angle the lenses slightly. Alternatively move your head ever-so-slightly to one side, but make sure you don’t fall foul of passport photo rules in the process.

Artificial lighting is also key. Try backlighting; this is less likely to lead to potential glare.

If photo retouching is needed, take care not to fall foul of passport guidelines – especially as some agencies expressly forbid it.

Also, one photo simply won’t cut it. Some agencies need two full-colour snapshots if your passport application is to prove successful.

Make sure they were taken against a cream or pale background too. And, finally, don’t forget your chosen photo must be the correct size. In the UK that means a picture measuring 45mm by 35mm – and one that isn’t a cut-down version of a larger image.

Stick to those guidelines and you’ll be jetting off to exotic climes sooner than you know.

Photo: Glasses by Katie@! licensed under Creative commons 2

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