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{17/10/2012}   The trauma of passport photos

During my mini meltdown day last Friday, I also had to have a recent passport photo taken.  Having sorted through some old photos a couple of weeks previously, I found lots of my passport photos, but it was apparent that none of them could pass for less than six months old, and I’m not just referring to the drastically shorter hair styles because neither would I want to have to use them again (see above photo montage)!  So I decided to economise and get Chris to take photos of me, knowing that I had a programme on my PC that did passport photos … or at least it was there when Chris had needed passport photos for a visa application three years ago!

The photography did not go well.  For starters, it was late in the afternoon and the only rooms with cream walls (others are bright pink, red, blue/grey – that sounds dreadful!!) did not have as much light as I felt was necessary.  The best wall is only about 1.5 metres high before it slopes so there I was squatting on the ground, Chris with his dicky knees trying to take the photo and me in foul mood and not loving the moment!  As Chris was precariously balanced, most photos were blurred and there was some dreadful shadowing on one side of my face.  Plus, worst of all, even by passport photo standards, the pictures were sullen, unflattering mug shots that did nothing to better my mood!

In the end, I decided, despite it only being a visa photo, that I would apply a bit of make up in an attempt to look less grey and miserable.  By this stage, we were on about round six and my photographer was getting tetchy about having to kneel or crouch to take photos and my legs were starting to shake from the effort of trying to keep still while crouching.  However, there was one photo that was in focus and which had repairable shadowing.  So I opened it in Photoshop with a view to making it look better, magazine miracle style!  I spent almost an hour fiddling with it but it was the aligning of the background colour that made it all go horribly wrong for I used the magic wand to lassoo areas.  I ended up looking marginally better but, on close inspection, looking very much like I’d been ham-handedly cut out and stuck on a sort of cream-coloured background.  It was the hair that looked strange.  But I was still willing to put it to use, in the name of economising, etc.  Could I find the passport photo template thing?  Could I heck!  Could my already stroppy printer have managed to print a photo without daubing the photo with its gibberish?  Could it heck!

So in a veritable flounce, I announced we would be walking to collect my disgraced car via the photo booth in Boots.  As you can see, the photo booth photo is also fairly bad, in keeping with the dreadfulness of passport photos, but despite the distress of seeing my shoulders look so broad and my fringe in such disarray (seriously, that was by far the best of the three attempts I was allowed in the booth), I don’t look quite as pissed off as I did in the ones Chris took.  Plus, there is something a little flattering about the harsh light, ie my “character lines” were a lot less defined in the photo booth photo.  As for the other passport photos above, I have no idea when they were taken but they are all terrible.  Now I know why so many of my photo ID things have the same photo on them: I once managed to get a decent passport photo so used them all!

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