Bon Voyage Baby

I find the fact that my newborn son needs a passport to be kind of hilarious.  Babies grow so quickly… how can this photo really be his form of international identification for the next half-decade?

Holding up the little guy in front of a camera at the post office seemed like it might take forever to get right. So we set off to get a shot at home. The trick is, the baby’s face has to have a “neutral” expression – closed mouth, full face view – and the background has to be plain white or off-white. [The above photo (and about 30 others) does not comply but is a very cute reminder of the experience.]

We set out on our photo shoot after a feeding, laying him on an off-white sheet on the nursery floor. Thankfully he’s a happy baby who’s inclined to ham it up for the camera. In the end, I had to do some painting of the background in Photoshop because my patience for ironing is one-tenth of zero. Then the photo had to be cropped to 2″x2″, with the length of his head being no less than 1″ and no more than 1-3/8″. (I have no advice on shortcuts for that.) I think we got it right. A family trip to a post office that accepts passport applications will tell. (Wish us luck!) We should have enough time to redo his photo – it looks like passports are taking 6 weeks these days.

You can see all of the requirements on the passport application form at the Department of State website. Just a side note… new passport forms will be available March 1, 2011.


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