If you really hate how your passport and driver's license photos look don't worry, you are not alone. We all hate them. And why do we always explain to sales clerks why it is not a good photo? "Oh, the lighting was terrible" or "They just snapped the photo before giving me any warning" or "I was in a hurry". It is rare that we actually like those photos, but I have heard rumors that it is possible to get a good one. I have even seen a couple. Here are few helpful tips that you can try the next time you have to go experience that hit to your self confidence and turn it around in your favor.
Timing - Go get that photo done when you feel your best, perhaps after you have been more active and have a little more natural color to your skin and highlights in your hair. Not when you are just recovering from that nasty cold or when you have not seen the light of day for weeks.
Clothing - Wear a solid color, flattering and fitted top (no bulky sweaters) and no busy patterns. Bring a sweater or jacket of an opposite tone. In other words, a light shirt and a dark jacket. So, while you are standing in line to get your photo taken you can take a peek at the background. If the background is light, leave your dark jacket on, if it is dark, take your jacket off quickly (or vice versa). Then, you will stand out in the photo rather than disappearing into the background.
Hair - Style your hair in advance, and wear it down, pulling it back makes you look too severe in that light. If you can’t stand to have your hair down at the very least wear half of it down and half of it up, or pull your pony tail around to the front of your shoulder. Fluff your hair to get a fuller look, and bring the ends forward. If you have short hair, try to give a little more lift to it than usual with hairspray.
Makeup - Use a little bit more make up than you usually wear, because your features will look better. Blush, mascara and light eyeliner. No smoky eyes or heavy liner, this tends to close your eyes. Avoid dark, sparkly or bright shadow colors. Use foundation without sunscreen which can make your face look chalky. Keep your makeup natural, or professional looking. Use blotting papers or powder to minimize shine. Check your look in the mirror before you get in line.
Posture - Keep your face forward, but twist your body away from the camera, try to elongate your neck to avoid double chins and neck wrinkles. Push your chin out just slightly and touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth and open up your eyes slightly. Try not to laugh, that makes your eyes look squnity, but do try to be happy.
Wear long earrings and let them show through your hair to get some sparkle in your picture, but avoid flashy jewelry.
Relax, and think of something that makes you very happy and your eyes will look happier. Don’t blink! And finally, relax, really, this photo is not going to show up on websites or anywhere else unless you are a criminal. :)
Brenda Colwell is a Family Portrait Photographer creating memories and treasured heirlooms for your family and something beautiful for your home. Book your own unique experience.