Awful passport photos- what can I do?

posted 1 year ago in Beauty
Post # 2
2188 posts
Buzzing bee

I’ve never yet seen a passport photo that didn’t look like a mugshot.  Mine makes me look like a serial killer out of a really old film – you know the kind, where the killer is so obviously weird and creepy you can’t work out why no one spotted them long ago.

I was once told by a friend that security are highly suspicious of passport pictures that don’t look like mugshots since they think those ones might be fake!  I really wouldn’t worry – it’s not like you have to put your passport pic in a photoframe.

Post # 3
569 posts
Busy bee

I’ve never seen a good passport photo.  Sometimes it’s a competition for the worst.  Lol.  Sorry, I don’t have an tips but am curious if others do.

Post # 4
71 posts
Worker bee

Everyone’s passport photos look like mugshots, even babies’! laughing 

Okay, maybe you should change the place that takes photographs and look for another one? Usually the photographer is the one most responsible for the result: if the angle is wrong you will look bad. Other than that, you can take your own photo, get rid of all the eye circles or wrinkles or whatever in editors like Photodiva and then crop the photo according to the sizing rules and send it in. Just do the natural edits, the picture shouldn’t look like it has been Photoshopped hundred times.

Post # 5
5005 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
@cathybow12:  passport photos are always terrible for everyone. They’ve gotten even better at making you look terrible over the years by upping the contrast resolution so that every bit of uneven pigmentation really shows up for effect. You really cant do much other than  use a really thick foundation and concealor combo that blanks out everything and basically repaint your whole face in with contouring. It’s likely by doing that you’ll look shocking in real life but you’ll get a better passport photo out of it. Tbh, I’d just roll with your regular face. Nobody other than you, maybe your OH, security and the person stamping your passport at customs is going to see it.

Everyone looks like a troll in passport photos. I have a friend who worked as cabin crew and is an ex model who was the face of fashion week in my state. She’s beautiful and even she looks terrible in hers. Her husband jokes that the people at the airport look at his passport photo just once and go ‘yep this troll face matches with the real life troll face’ but he says with my friend they look up and down multiple times to determine how the passport troll face could ever match up with the vision of beauty infront of them. My point is that if my beautiful friend who knows how to paint her face for photos and knows how to position herself and her features for the best photo can’t get anything other than troll for passport photos, us regular people have no hope. Don’t even bother trying.

Post # 6
1587 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve heard that holding a mirror on your lap makes for a good photo. 

Post # 7
224 posts
Helper bee

Honestly, I feel like mine is one of my better pictures of myself (I don’t take pictures often) Lol. I was 17 at the time, and for some reason, they let me do a closed-mouth smile. I feel like that really helped!

My husband’s picture is like PPs tough. He happened to be wearing a sweatshirt when he went to get it taken, and it looks like he is about to go and rob a bank. 

My tips: smile as much as you can, wear a cute shirt, style your hair down, wear makeup, AND ask if you can review the picture before printing it. A lot of times, they will offer to retake it if you aren’t satisfied. 

Post # 8
224 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
@annet15:  “Okay, maybe you should change the place that takes photographs and look for another one?”

This is HUGE! My mom went to renew her passport a few years ago, and she ended up getting her picture done at 2 different locations:

Location 1 was a library. The lighting was wayyyy off, and it made her look sickly/like a starving ghost. My mom is attractive for her age, but this picture was awful. 

Location 2 was a drug store. She went to get the picture a week or so later after she saw how bad the one at the library turned out. She actually looked like herself; it was so much better. 

Could this be part of the issue?

Post # 9
30 posts

1- Let your hair down. 2- Sit/stand up straight. 3- Put your chin up. 4- Think of a positive thought when they are taking the photo. 5- Have someone taller than you take the photo

Post # 10
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

I have to concur with everyone that bad passport photos are just the way of life! Plus I figure when traveling I look over tired and like crap anyway, so at least I match my photo!

Post # 11
247 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Take your own! A lot of people don’t realize it is 100% legal to take your own passport photo, as long as it fits in with the requirements. I had my husband take mine, and am perfectly happy with it! I much prefer it to my driver’s license photo! 

You can find the requirements here:

Post # 12
8515 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I love taking bad passport/driver’s license pics. Because then when people compare it to me in real life, they’re pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed 🤣🤣

Post # 13
883 posts
Busy bee

The problem is, they don’t let you smile.  And many of us don’t have great “resting face” looks – trust me, it gets even worse as you get older!  
But, try this in a mirror (or take some selfies) before you go and see if it helps:  raise your chin just a little, then raise your eyebrows JUST a little….not to a mad scientist level, but just enough to pretend you’re smiling with your eyes.  You may find that the corners of your mouth move along with it, just enough to start a closed-mouth smile without actually doing it.  

Good luck.  And take comfort in the fact that the only ones who will see it are the people checking it at the airport and I’m going to guess they’re not smiling any more than you are! 

Post # 14
2740 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

The lady who took my passport photo recently was about 4’10” and held the camera close to my face at her eye level. I look like I’m half asleep and have a double chin from hell. Hopefully it will give me a good laugh to see the TSA agents try to reconcile the photo with my normal face. 

All passport photos are bad. Mine is reeeeally bad. Don’t worry so much about it. 

Post # 15
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I took mine myself… with my cell phone, mini ring light and topped it off with Facetune.
This way I could take as many pictures as I wanted (about what felt like 700 😂) while figuring out how to pose so I don’t look like I just ran from the Zombie apocalypse while getting all the requirements right… I didn’t overdo the tuning of my face, just little corrections to look fresh. Cropped it in the right size and printed it in the correct size. Voila. DYI for as little as the prints at Walmart cost me. 

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