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Time to renew my passport... What "look" do I want on my new picture?

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posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 02:51 PM
Ten years have passed, and now it is time to get one of these new fangled passports. I'm a traveler, and I have no choice regarding the new measures being taken by our beloved country, so I getting one no matter what.

What I do have control over is my picture and my appearance on it. My concern being, what does my picture on my passport say about me, and how could it prejudice a foreign (or for that matter domestic) government official, and in worst case scenario if I ended up in the hands of a group that may wish to harm me, what would be least offensive or likely to single me out. I could end up just about anywhere in the world, so this has to extend beyond any specific region, or cultural bias.

So my options are, what type of shirt to wear, and should I wear a tie? I travel on business quite a bit, and I am usually dressed this way. What color should the shirt be, and if I wear a tie, what color should it be? I worked for a Japanese conglomerate in my formative years, and they forbid the wearing of yellow ties... So this is a legitimate issue.

Should I keep my facial hair? I have had a close cropped goatee for almost ten years (full beard before that, and that's what is on my current passport).

How should I style my hair? Normally it's a spiky flat top, but I could do just about anything.

And the last, and most common question... Should I smile? On my last passport, I have one of those "slight smile" looks (it hurt, because I was quite hung over... But that's another story) as this was considered "benign." I really don't like the straight face mug shot look because I think it dehumanizes, and a goofy grin can be annoying (and might be rejected).

I have light olive skin, and I can tan up quite a bit if I want to (I've got a pretty nice Kentucky Fried golden brown on my old passport), should I fake bake a little?

I don't wear any jewelry that would be visible in this photo.

If anyone can think of anything else, please chime in.

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 03:01 PM
Actually, you are losing control of your picture too...

My family is going to CHina in October for a month and we had to renew passports as well as get visas. What a pain. They told both my wife and I to not smile and she was advised when she called to wear no make-up.

I had just gotten my hair cut short and wore a dark colored t-shirt, no necklaces or earrings or such. We looked like convicts...

[edit on 15-8-2007 by esdad71]

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 03:12 PM
get those funny fake teeth and some dopey glasses without lenses and an outlandish wig (think rainbowhead) and go with that.

in all honesty, go how you would normally be travelling. you sound like my wife. I took the kids to get passport shots last year and she wanted me to take them over because the kids weren't dressed right in the pictures.

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 03:15 PM
Make sure you get really angry before you get the picture, that way they can
see you are not a terrorist!

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 03:22 PM
I'd go dressed as how I would be dressed as if going on a trip.
But the tie..... southpark or KISS
I have seen the our local weatherman wearing the same southpark tie I have
during his casting, made my day and had me stop thinking about the heat we were getting.


try for a toga.

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 03:22 PM
go all Vanilla Ice. nothing more comical than a white dude trying to look like some kind of gangsta rapper.

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 03:51 PM
Well, if it's anything like my DL picture you'll probably be put in an asylum for electro-shock therapy.


posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 05:12 PM
Well, if you are a citizen of the U.S. make sure you are not behind on child support. Of course I am not implying anything.

Section 51.70 (a) (8) of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations states, in part, that if you are certified to Passport Services by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to be in arrears of child support payments in excess of $2,500, you are ineligible to receive a U.S. passport . If this applies to you, Passport Services strongly recommends that you contact the appropriate State child support enforcement agency to make payment arrangements before applying for a passport.

Link Link to info

As for me when I got mine: I made an appointment at the local library and gots me picture taken by them but I left all my piercings in since the only place I really go is to Quebec to see my lady...

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 06:03 PM
I travel internationally, and domestically, quite often. The Best look, is your every day wear and a neutral look on your face. No Smile. You want to look as neutral as possible and actually mug shot type photos are prefered. This is not a fashion contest photo.

I did a fair bit of Air travel directly after 9/11 when every airport was crazy about security. I have traveled on a contract with the DEA and have been checked out by the FBI for a travel security clearance and I can assure you that being as normal and neutral as possible is in your best interest. A smile is to be avoided as it actually tends to distort your facial structure and makes identifying an individual more difficult. The same goes for clothing. A simple button down shirt, with no tie, is good. Neither too bright, nor too dark colors. A solid color shirt is best. Avoid stripes or prints. My passport and visa photos are in front of a neutral blue background with an olive drab shirt. You don't want to dress flashy or do anything unusual with your hair. If your hair is commonly spiky, then leave it that way in your photo. Making an unusual change is not a good idea. You wish to look like your every day self in a neutral mug shot sort of way.

The people who screen passports have no tolerance for nonsense and wish to see you as you are, not who you think you should be. Avoid anything that may call attention to you such as military clothing. Be polite and say 'good morning' to the screeners,(time relevant.) They wont make any special allowances for you, but treating them like people, and not like Nazi storm troopers, is in your best interest. Hand over your travel documents without further comment and be polite as possible, answering promptly and succinctly, to any questions they may ask. I have never had any problems with preflight security nor border crossings even when coming from a 'hot' country with an expired (overstayed) visa.

I will be headed to China in October and expect no difficulties but it is always best to be prepared.

posted on Aug, 15 2007 @ 07:55 PM
After further thought I'd like to add a few remarks.

If you are traveling internationally, keep your travel documents organized, so there is no last minute fumbling with papers at passport control. Travel light, and avoid large hand luggage.

Carry a spare Passport type photo or two, with you. They can be quite useful for additional visas, permits, and a variety of travel needs.

Contact AAA and get yourself an international drivers license. It is easy, cheap, and if you are going to be doing any driving overseas, it may be required. In any case, it will make things easier and adds one more ID that you can use.

Make a photocopy of your passports main page, and any visas it has. This will aid you considerably in the event of loss or theft. Getting a replacement can be extremely trying and having a good photocopy will help smooth out the hassle.

If you don't have one all ready, get a yellow World Health Card. Many nations require this document for entry. You can ask your DR about it and they can provide you with one. It is a record of your immunizations and if you have been to a country with a history of Yellow Fever, you are required to carry that proof of immunization before entering into another country, or returning to the US. Your DR can also inform you of any specific immunization recommendations for your travel destination.

If you are going outside of the US, you can check with the State Department for any travel bulletins specific to your destination. Often they have useful information.
Here are two other useful resources for foreign travel information.
Thorn Tree A good forum for specific destination advice and all travel queries.
WikiTravel Free world wide travel guides.

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