How many chances for a good passport photo?

I’m in the process of applying for passports. My Australian passport is soon to expire and I am now eligible for a New Zealand passport so I’m applying for that too. But I hit a bit of a hurdle with the passport photos. The first one I got was dreadful. It was not even clear that it was me in the photo and I could easily have been mistaken for the troll in Ukiss‘ pic:


So I had to go and try again. The second one was better in that it was recognisably me, but oh my god, my hair was a disgrace. I really should have washed it first. And brushed it for that matter. Can I possibly tolerate bird’s nest hair in a passport photograph for the next ten years? No way.

So I went back a third time and finally, I’m happy. I know what you’re thinking: I’m pathetic and vain and you’re absolutely right. But a girl just wants to look her best.

22 thoughts on “How many chances for a good passport photo?

  1. do they even look at the photo nowadays? I thought they just swipe the bar code to see if you’re on some database of undesirables, and messy hair maybe something you need to get used to anyway if you’re moving to Aberdeen as it’s a fair old wind that comes off the North Sea up there…

    1. It’s more for my benefit than for the person at immigration and they do look at the photo.

      Yes, I’ve felt the wind off the North Sea. I think I can handle wind swept hair.

      1. Shame passport photos have to be so specific and not just a crop of a good picture. We all look terrible in ours – it’s the not smiling thing, completely changes the shape of someone’s face.

  2. I agree about the ‘not smiling thing’. I was also told to remove my glasses and push all my hair off my face. It’s a very ugly photo. And yes, they do look at the photos but does it matter? When Annabel and I went through customs at Bangkok airport, we were processed at the same time but by two different custom’s officers. Both stared at our photos and at us and we were both cleared. As we walked away, Annabel handed me ‘her’ passport for safekeeping and then I realised she had mine and I had hers! We had a good laugh – Annabel is blonde, beautiful and 37 years younger! Maybe they think we all look the same.

  3. Vanity rules for me when it comes to passport and licence photos. If I’d been you, I would definitely have washed my hair and made it look as sensational as humanly possible. Crazy really. I half suspect you’re exaggerating when you say you looked like the troll. For a start, he has no hair. 🙂 Am I being mean?

  4. Passport photo, driving license photo, both awful. I’m embarrassed for anyone to look at them. I can’t wait until I get to renew my passport photo in 2 years’ time – how vain is that? I’m totally with you on this one Rachel 😉

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