Login | Register | Subscribe to the GG RSS Feed

Looking Like Your Passport Isn't a Good Thing

A better passport photo isn't magic, but it does take effort

Passport HorrorPassport HorrorErma Bombeck once wrote, "when you start to look like your passport photo, it's time to go home."

In my last driver's license photo, I looked a little like Charles Manson with a Dorothy Hamill bob. Well, maybe not that bad, but I cringed every time someone asked for it. "Is that really you???"

It is possible to get a decent passport photo though.

  • Even though you'll be asked to wipe all the joy from your face.
  • Even if you're smiling because you're going on a vacation.
  • Even though you haven't stopped smiling since you booked your vacation.

Want to know how to get a passport photo that doesn't look like a mug shot? Try these suggestions:

  1. Go for simplicity: Stay away from tops that have a bold pattern. Stick with a color you know you look good in - even if you opt for a black and white shot.

  2. Choose a style that looks good on you: A turtleneck will hide that tricky spot under your chin, but a crewneck can give your neck length.

  3. Close your mouth: Toothy smiles are prohibited anyway. Combat the joyless expression by opening your eyes as wide as possible and keeping your chin up (which makes you look thinner).

  4. Wear makeup: It may sound like a no-brainer but wearing makeup will make you look younger, healthier and less like a criminal. It's all about definition, baby.

  • Define your lips with a natural lip color, but pass on the gloss.
  • Wear eyeliner (heavier at the outside of your eyes) to make your eyes look bigger.
  • Swipe on some blush. Even if you don't normally wear any.
  • Use a matte base to cut down on the wash-out effect.

Voila. No more cringing when you hand over your passport to security.

Do you have any passport photo tips? Share them with us!

Related Stories

Rate This post


All good advice. <p> I would further add: some of the places that advertise that they provide Passport Photo services are better than others. After you've been handed your photos, if they look bad, ask them to try again! <p> Biggest problems to avoid: a background that is not white; a bleached-out face (for Caucasians) that is similar in color to the background; a yellow cast to the picture; shiny pink or white spots on the face. We have a really hard time fixing any of these. Also, you can submit your own digital photo prints but they must be high resolution - if you can see the dots when you look closely a your print, that isn't going to come out as well. <p> The better a photo that you submit, the better your chances. Sometimes even a good photo will come out rather poorly though - sorry! We have to process a lot of applications every day and each time we judge an image to be too bad a likeness, and stop to rescan the photo, it takes an extra minute; multiplied by hundreds of instances, well, we have to say "good enough" to a lot of images.

Nice! Wish I'd seen this advice before I had my driver's license renewed!

Post new comment

GoGirlfriend Recommendations

Connect With Us



Membership is free and with it you can set up a profile, vote on stories and post your opinions.

Already a member?

Not a member? Join!

Most Recent Comments

  • On Lesbian Adventure Travel, ELLA Travel said "Thanks for the great article!! If you're travelling to Europe check the ELLA International Lesbian Festival (ellafestival.com) and ELLA Travel (ella-travel.com), organising lesbian events and trips! "
  • On 5 Nudist Resorts that Will Blow Your Mind, John Ruze said "Hi Julia, There is a brand new, very popular nudist resort you should think about reporting on in your next article about naturism. It is the New Terra Cotta Clothing Optional Resort and Spa in sunny Palm Springs, California.. The original Terra Cotta Inn was a fantastic nude resort. Repeat guests from around the world stayed there. TCI was sold in Nov 2015 and greatly missed. Well, this July 2017, it was revived at a new location in Palm Springs. The site is HotelTerraCotta.com. Guests are super happy. It's perfect for couples and girlfriend getaways. And Tom and Mary Clare from the original Terra Cotta Inn work with us, so it has the same relaxing, fun feel. "
  • On The Best Naturist Resorts in Ontario, Dennis Wilson said "Love the freedom feeling going nude . 1st time ever was at freedom fields ranch near Tamworth On,Hector & Eyvon are super hosts ,hope to visit this summer but want to learn of more places to visit."
  • On An Open Letter to Hotels Everywhere, Lynn said "I agree on the night light thing. Since hotels have none, I end up keeping the bathroom light on all night with the door ajar. Windows. I understand in the litigious US of A, hotels need to prevent folks from throwing themselves out the windows (or else the hotel could be sued?!!). Ok, fine. But for those of us who dislike A/C and only use it when absolutely necessary, can't we still have the option for some FRESH AIR? There ARE ways to allow windows to open up only so much, while at the same time preventing an entire body from throwing itself out the window. Bedskirts. Am I the only one who gets the skeevies when I see hotel beds with bedskirts that hit the floor? I always had images of food crumbs, bugs, and god only knows what...as being hidden behind that bedskirt. I'd much rather a bedskirt that's at least 2" above the (usually carpetted) floor. Towels. Can't we get nicer towels that don't feel like cardboard? Carpetting. Am I the only one who never walks barefoot in a hotel room ...esp when there's carpet? Blech. I'm sure those things are very rarely cleaned. "
  • On How to Choose a Cruise Ship Cabin on Your Next Cruise, Tinu said "Thank you for this post! I was dragging my feet about going on a cruise. Now that I know there's such a thing as a balcony cabin, I can't wait to book a trip!"

Blogs We Love

beautiful Vancouver, British ColumbiaCheck out our GoGirlfriend Facebook page to follow us as we seek new adventures and create memories in our own part of the world.