Best time of day to take a baby passport photo

It’s probably no surprise that getting a good picture of an infant to use for a passport can be a challenging endeavor. Since babies can’t sit still at will or control their movements, and are prone to crying at any moment, it can end up taking quite a bit of time to get the perfect shot that will be acceptable to the U.S. Department of State. Most of the requirements that apply to adults also apply to children and infants when it comes to passport photos, but there are a couple of exceptions. If you decide to take your baby’s passport photo yourself, rather than spend the money to pay a professional, here are a few tips to make the task a bit easier:

Use your baby’s car seat

Since the baby should optimally be sitting up straight, you can avoid trying to find ways to prop your infant up by simply using your baby’s car seat. Simply drape a white cloth over the seat and then strap your baby in. Make sure to dress the baby in a contrasting color, so that they clearly stand out from the white background.

Best time of day to take a baby passport photo

You probably have some idea of your baby’s sleep patterns to some extent. Wait to take the passport photo at a time when he/she is most alert, such as when they are waking up from a nap or after they have eaten. Doing the photo shoot at these times will also make it more likely that the baby won’t be unpredictably fussy.

Don’t worry about trying to make your baby open their eyes

According to the official website for U.S. Passports and International Travel, babies don’t need to have their eyes fully open. So you can make an attempt to get the baby to open his/her eyes but don’t fret if he/she won’t open them or only partially opens them.

Remember that you don’t need perfection

Try not to expect the photos to be perfectly proportioned or posed. It’s okay if the baby is slouching a bit. As long as the photo clearly shows the baby’s face and there are no distortions or extraneous items in the picture, you should be fine.

Photo: Baby by Hernan Piñera licensed under Creative commons 2

Why glasses are forbidden in passport photos

Because of a policy change that took effect on November 1, 2016, applicants are now required to remove their glasses for passport photos when applying for or renewing passports. According to the US Department of State, they have had to reject over 200,000 passport applications because of the quality of the pictures submitted with them. The problems ranged from pictures taken from too far away or in dimly lit environments; however, the main reason for the rejections were glasses.

About the previous policy

Previously, there was a prohibition on the wearing of sunglasses or any other type of glasses with tinted lenses. This was because these glasses made it difficult to see the applicant’s eyes. In addition, any glare on the lenses of the applicant’s glasses would have to be dealt with before the photo was submitted. Glare is one of the main reasons for the change to the policy on glasses.

Glasses and biometric passports

Along with the issue of glare, another important reason for the prohibition on glasses in passport photos is the use of biometric data. This data includes measurements of your face in your passport photo. If you are wearing glasses in your photo, this makes it difficult to get accurate biometric data.

Current passport photos with glasses on

If you are wearing glasses in your current passport photo, this will not be a problem. You will not have to worry about it until you renew your passport. When that happens, you will be required to submit a passport photo with your glasses off.

How this change can help you

This change in the policy allows you to be more easily identifiable in your picture. The results that you should expect include faster processing of passport applications. Another benefit is that it should take less time to move through US ports of entry.

There are rare exceptions to the prohibition on glasses. These include cases where a person must wear their glasses in their photo due to a medical necessity. In these cases, glasses can be worn if the individual has a doctor’s note. It is important to note that the US is not the first country to forbid glasses. Both France and the United Kingdom have a similar ban.

Photo: Glasses by 0xMatheus licensed under Creative commons 2

3 reasons to use a travel agent for your next trip

In these days of online accessibility, you might think that using a travel agent is outdated. However, there are many benefits of using a travel agent, which are outlined below.

1. Travel agents have access to special deals

Online booking websites boast that they can offer you special prices, but most of them are simply unsold rooms that hotels have discounted at the last minute. Travel agents, however, have access to special deals from destination resorts and hotel chains that offer much bigger savings. These package deals frequently include airfare, hotel, dining, guided tours, car rental, and even discounted passes to nearby attractions.

2. Travel agents are knowledgeable about destinations

When you point your finger at a map and decide to take your whole family on vacation there, you’re taking a risk. You might not know a lot about the destination, including things that have the possibility to ruin your vacation. On the contrary, travel agents are constantly kept informed about destinations, including hidden dangers, little-known tips for getting better accommodations, or where the best beaches are for families with young children. Travel agents pass on that information to their clients who travel, including which countries require passports or special visas.

3. Travel agents can help plan your entire trip

With a DIY vacation, you’re on your own. You book your flight and maybe a rental car online, but then it’s up to you to navigate through the rest of your trip, including arranging for your family’s passports and passport photos. No one is there to personally help you get through the day-to-day activities, or inform you about shuttle schedules, opening and closing times and the best sites to see. You have to do it all yourself, and it isn’t always easy to figure out the best way to see an attraction. For instance, visiting big attractions with long lines such as Disney with kids in tow can be daunting and stressful. A travel agent who specializes in Disney adventures, though, is full of tips and helpful ways to make your family Disney vacation enjoyable and stress-free. They can tell you about all the ways you can reduce waiting time, visit when it’s less crowded and much more. No matter where you’re going on vacation, a travel agent can help plan your whole stay, not just the flight that lands you there.

Using a travel agent is the big secret of people who travel frequently. Whether you have to travel for a living or simply enjoy traveling for pleasure, a travel agent can help you make the most of every trip. To make life even simpler, you can get your passport photos approved in a hurry at Paspic, helping avoid lengthy delays.

3 reasons you should take your small child’s passport photos yourself

Getting appropriate passport photos can be an ordeal. With several requirements that must be fulfilled, not including actual sizing and photo paper quality, this can be a challenge even for adults. Is your hair right? Is your head tilted? Is your smile natural? Now imagine the difficulty with children, especially toddlers and babies. What is the likelihood that your small child is going to cooperate in that photo booth or at that drugstore? Instead, consider digital passport photos for the following reasons:

1. You have the home team advantage

There’s no bundling and buckling baby up for a car ride when you take your own passport photos at home. A lot of small children tend to fall asleep in their car seats during rides, which means a cranky or sleepy baby when you finally arrive at your destination. The situation may be set up to fail before you even get out of the car. Maybe your toddler is uncomfortable in unfamiliar locations and needs a comfort object like a pacifier or blanket in order to feel safe. Unfortunately, these can’t be in the photo. Taking the photo at home, in a familiar environment, negates this potential need.

2. You are on your own time

How many times have you carefully planned an outing around your child’s nap schedule, only to have delays or unexpected circumstances throw the whole thing off course? Perhaps your baby was an angel all morning, but suddenly becomes irritable the moment you have to get something done? When you take the photos yourself, you can deal with these situations easily. As soon as baby is fed, changed, and happy, you can snap the photo without ever having to leave your home.

3. There’s no stranger danger

Do you have a baby that cries if a stranger even looks in their direction? While some children love attention from new people, many others feel threatened or frightened by unknown persons. The problem will only be amplified by the fact you cannot hold your baby for a passport photo. No strangers is another point in favor of taking the photos yourself.