Traveling Babies – Avoiding Passport Pandemonium
Your bags are packed, the tickets are booked, and now you need a passport for the little one.
Baby passports can be some of the trickiest to accomplish. If your little one does not feel like having a neutral expression, there’s often not much that can be done about it. However, when it comes time, here are three tricks and techniques you can do to ensure the best result.
1. Timing is Everything
There are quite a lot of rules in place for travel document photos. The most obvious is that both eyes have to be open. For adults, the only issue is blinking. For newborns and babies, this can be a much taller order.
When there are newborns around, theirs is the only schedule that matters. Set up your passport photo appointment at a time when the baby is most likely to be awake. If they doze off in the car on the way to the appointment, it will be easier and less stressful to wake them up.
If you have an appointment scheduled and the baby is napping longer than normal, do not rush. Call your photographer and let them know in advance. Waking up the baby for this will cause more stress in the long run. Let them sleep as much as possible. It’s helpful to call your photographer as you’re heading out the door, that way they can be ready and waiting for you.
2. Hands Free
With baby passports, sometimes having the little one’s hand in the photo can’t be helped. As long as their hands are not hiding their face in any way, this can usually be excused.
The same cannot be said for Mom and Dad’s hands. If there’s a hint of a hand showing, even a fingertip, the baby’s photo will be rejected.
One way around this is to ensure that the baby is wearing a two piece outfit. That way, one of the parents can put their hand up the shirt and brace the baby’s back without being in the photo.
3. Eyes on Me
In addition to the baby’s eyes being open, they also need to be looking at the camera. Like most things with little ones, this can be easier said than done. The baby’s first instinct is to look at the person who is sitting with them. Instead, we need to have them looking straight ahead.
The simplest thing to do is to have Mom or Dad, whoever isn’t sitting with the little one, standing right behind the photographer. This way, the parent can clap their hands, call the baby’s name or even wave a favorite toy to get their attention. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a stuffed animal bounced off my head in order to get a passport photo done right, but it’s always worth it in the end.
If you keep these tricks in mind, getting your baby’s passport photo will be, pardon the pun, a snap.
4. Double Check!
Before bundling up baby to go, make sure that the photographer will do baby passports. A lot of studios won’t take them, so it’s important to ask in advance.