Back when we got Liam’s first passport, when he was about 18 months old, there were still lots of those little photography shops around, where you went to get your film developed. Camera films, remember those? Anyway, that’s also where you’d go to get your passport photo taken, and the staff pretty well knew what they were doing.
Getting a passport photo for a baby or toddler is tricky (at least in Australia – I have no idea what it’s like anywhere else), because they are supposed to be:
- Looking at the camera
- Mouth closed
- No hands in the photo (and no other part of the parent or anyone else in the photo)
- Head not tilted
These days you get your passport photo done at the post office, by whichever postal worker happens to be available.
It wasn’t until after I’d paid for photos for all three kids that I discovered they don’t have a seat or even a stool that Eliane could sit or stand on. They were able to fetch a stool that lifted Mikaela up to the right height, but for Elli I had to crouch down, out of sight of the camera, and hold her up above me, with no part of me visible to the camera. Easier said than done, especially as I had to hold her there for quite a few minutes while they tried to get a shot where she was at least looking straight at the camera. They didn’t manage to get one where her mouth was closed, but hopefully that will be alright for a toddler. The postal worker seemed to think so, but then she was probably just happy to be done.
I don’t know how you’d go getting a real baby passport photo (ie for a baby not yet sitting up, or worse, able to hold their head up). I’m glad I don’t have to do that, anyway.