Fun upside of covid? A hotter passport photo

Let it never be said that I won’t degrade myself for a story.

Because right here, right now, I am about to share my passport photo with you. I have been living with it for 10 years. I can barely bring myself to show it to friends and family, and here I am, putting it on the World Wide Web.

It is one of the worst photos I have ever seen, of anybody, dead or alive. A border security officer openly laughed at it along with my travel companions last time I went overseas:

Gentlemen, please form an orderly queue.Source:Supplied

There is no hint of where my chin ends and my neck starts. I look like a thumb with eyes, and those eyes are ringed with way too much black eyeliner. A “friend” once commented that the photo makes me look like a cheap Russian assassin who has been stung by 20 bees.

The pressure when you’re having a passport photo taken can be intense. You know that snap is going to follow you around the globe for the next ten years and the photographer at Australia Post tends to be a humourless, snappy individual with zero time, or regard for aesthetics. You can’t smile. It feels unnatural. You get one go at looking decent. There are no do-overs.

That is some seriously unfortunate warping. Picture: RedditSource:Supplied

The good news for anybody with eyes is that I have done my ten years hard time with that particular passport, and it’s up for renewal. But on top of that, I have made a thrilling discovery, thanks to lockdown. You can do your own passport photos. In the comfort of your own home. Wearing pyjama pants if you like.

(Sorry to anybody who is thinking “Yeah, duh, you bloated blonde Soviet hit woman”, but this is news to me).

A service I discovered in Melbourne gives you instructions on how to take a passport pic at home. You then upload it and a nice person edits the pic so it fits passport requirements, prints it out to the correct dimensions on photo paper and drops it to your house at a time that suits you.

The beauty of this is you can take 890 pictures if you like, before selecting the one that makes you look least like a worn out gumboot. After six lockdowns that have aged you a decade in 18 months, this flexibility comes in super handy.

We feel you, buddy. Picture: Reddit.Source:Supplied

It must be said, getting a passport at the moment is a strange experience. Coughing up $300 odd dollars for a document and having no idea when you’ll actually be able to use it feels like a strange investment.

But I am doing it because as soon as international borders open, I want to be one of the first people on a plane. I want to make up for lost travel time. I want the thrill of treating myself to a new fragrance at duty free while I await the boarding announcement.

I want my ritual bloody mary upon takeoff. I want to land in a foreign city and be shocked by the heat as I take my first steps outdoors.

And this time I’ll do it comfortable in the knowledge that in my carry-on is a passport with 10 years of exciting travel potential … featuring a photo that won’t scare small children.

This article originally appeared on Escape and was reproduced with permission

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