Thursday, May 15, 2014

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille

Just hold still and look "neutral"!
State Department has very specific parameters of what can be submitted as a passport photo.  In fact, they require it be:
  • In color
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
So it only took us about 100 photos, plus a lot of recropping and retouching (though we were not able to edit out her baby acne). Here are some shots from day 2 of trying. Q is a pretty alert baby so surprisingly getting her with her eyes open wasn't too tough. Turns out her head in the frame was huge. Also, she's showing some male pattern baldness in these photos that she may not appreciate in the future...

Anyway, we got the photos snapped but then getting the passport application was a bit of a longer pain. The folks at GW had mispelled her birth certificate. So I had to make the fun field trip of going up to DC to get an amended version from the Department of Vital Records. Not fun in the rain. Next, almost all Arlington Passport Acceptance facilities are post offices which require appointments. None of the Post Offices pick up their phones so we drove to 3 post offices to make appointments which didn't have availability until early June, which would force us to expedite the application. The only place in DC that allows walk-ins is the Brentwood Office in NE, near Noma/Union Market area. So we had to truck her into the city to get it processed. Luckily, the line was short that day - we waited hours with Derek it seemed - and she slept through the whole thing. 

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