Last week i was in the post office, and witnessed some parents suffering through trying to get their 2 year olds passport photo taken. It was a disaster. The child was tantruming up a storm, and the parents were turning red with embarrassment. I felt their pain, because i’ve been there before. Four years ago.
I also know there is a better way. So today i thought i’d share how we solved the problem of getting a passable passport photo for our non-cooperative toddler, incase it helps anyone else. It worked for us i promise.
Buddy was only just 2 years old when we decided to move back to Australia. We had to get passport photos in a hurry, and Buddy would not comply. Anyone who has met my Buddy will know that he is a gorgeous friendly kid – who happens to be completely freaked out by having his photo taken. Attempts to point a camera directly at him (especially at that age) do not end well. We tried multiple times and multiple methods at the photo point, all with him screaming, and crying, and ending up on the ground in a pile of tears. Me included.
Finally i remembered i owned a camera, and came up with my own DIY at home method. Here’s how:
1 // Buy yourself a roll of large format printer paper or a large piece of white card (A2 works well). Either drape the roll of paper over a chair, or tape the A2 card to the chair.
2 // Position your child in front of a window, facing the tv/computer/ipad, with the backdrop behind them. Be careful that they don’t cast a shadow on the backdrop, as that will in most cases result in the photo being rejected for passport purposes.
3 // Put on a movie they love, or better yet, one they have never seen before so they will be really really into it. For us it was Finding Nemo, it was his favourite at that age. We also gave a small snack, the lens cap and some crayons with more large format paper on the floor. Do what works people.
4 // Sit next to the tv, and every once in while make a little distracting noise, that causes them to look at you momentarily. Snap snap snap away!
5 // Take your image file to the print shop and get them to crop it to the correct size for your country (We had to take in exact dimensions as USA and Aust have different sizes)
It might sound like a lot of work, but believe me, totally worth it. In one afternoon we had a photo that worked, and without any crying! We have had so many comments on how good his passport photo is, and i’m so grateful that we actually managed to take one at all!
So if you too have to get a passport photo for a shy toddler, give it a try! This might just work for you too, and save you the screaming in the photo point / post office scenario.