Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY passport mugshots

DON'T try this at home..

My husband says "just sit her on a stool with the white wall behind and take her photo".. yeah right!

We have a trip to India planned for the new year, but for some reason, being allowed to holiday in a third world country involves more paperwork than your average mortgage application and ID checks that would do the FBI proud.

(There must more illegal immigrants from Australia than I imagined) So despite our good current Aussie passports, we apparently need some heavy duty visas and that means more photos.

I was actually hoping to avoid the whole passport photo thing for another year, when Lucie’s passport needs renewing. I imagine her being more of an age then, where I might be able to ask her to sit still for a nanosecond and have her oblige.

The first time around for passport photos I was given some pretty tough instructions:
Show the baby awake, looking straight at the camera, both edges of the face clearly visible, with a neutral expression, mouth closed, and no pacifier.  

I thought “but she doesn’t have head control yet and you want me to tell her to keep a neutral expression? Are you insane?”  I was also told her neck had to be visible, which sent me into a complete tail-spin, but fortunately that wasn’t correct.

But a very helpful photographer gave me a tip that worked out fine; ‘Lie her on a white rug on the floor, put a rolled hand-towel under the rug under her neck then take the photos from above her’.  Good tip – saved my life.

Young as she was, Lucie did have a considerable repertoire of ‘other’ facial expressions that apparently needed to be expressed first, but in the end after about 30 mug-shots, she tired of face pulling and I achieved that elusive ‘neutral expression’.

Nowadays Lucie is about as helpful as the dog in front of the camera. (He’s like a canine version of George Clooney but wont sit still for a heartbeat – it’s a total waste of a gorgeous face)

Ok so Lucie’s not a supermodel. She is however, still very partial to pulling faces. To make matters worse (for me) having a warped sense of humour (where did she get that I wonder?) she also enjoys my frustration to the point where she cracks up laughing at me the more stressed I get and the more begging I do.

Again, after a lot of shutter clicking, I emailed one borderline-acceptable-photo ot the travel agent, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s up to India’s Secret Service’s standards.

If they reject this one, I am going to bite the bullet - fight the chaotic Christmas traffic, the parking pandemonium and hand her over to a professional passport photographer. Let them deal with her antics before mummy develops Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from pressing the shutter button.


  1. I was going to say something like "[Supermodel's name] eat your heart out!" but then I realised all supermodels are anorexic bitches and I don't want to compare my cousin to any of them :P

    These photos are great, though! I love the 6th from the right :)

    I'll call you on the morrow xxx

  2. Still posted by popular demand – the story of our recent visit to see Santa which brought back uncomfortable memories of my last store-Santa visit with a guy sleazy enough to rival Billy bob Thornton’s portrayal of “Bad Santa”. Lucie is still getting mileage out of the retelling of her 'I did a poot on Santa and it was reeeealy loud' story'..

    Last weekend we bought a Christmas tree and decorated it together…Then Lucie undecorated it;. Baubles go up; baubles come down; baubles go up; baubles come down eventually she got bored thank God. I have to mention the Advent Calendar pictured below. another year has come and gone and still I haven’t found time to make any sort of Advent Calendar, but luckily I found this seriously cute one in IKEA for under $15. It’s a hard cardboard box shaped like Santa and made up of tiny little dated boxes for lollies.

    We’re getting ready for our post Christmas holiday to India, and this involves a phonebook-fat wad of paperwork - delegated to the man of the house. But apart from all the horrible medicines we have to take we also need new passport photos for Visas! Who would have thought they would put you through so many ID checks to travel to a third world coutnry? – maybe they have a lot of illegal immigrants from Australia, I don’t know. But we really didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition and I didn’t expect to try to get Lucie to sit still for a passport photo until her old one expired.
    Twelve shots later and I still don’t have one I can use. Its not lie whne she was a baby and I could lay her on a rug, stand over her and shoot…We’ll they’re at least good for a laugh…