This is why you never take “hot” passport photos

Jun 7, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

This is why you never take “hot” passport photos

Jun 7, 2023

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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I don’t think any of us is particularly happy with how we look in our passport pictures: pale, lifeless, and way too serious. You may have wished for a more flattering photo whenever you saw the mess you have in your passport. Instagram influencer Alisha Marie did, but it nearly got her barred from her flight! She shared her hilarious story in a video, and it’s a perfect example of why you should never look “hot” in your passport photos.

[Related reading: No more nude photos on driver’s licenses, pleads Georgia state government]

LA influencer shared a video on her Instagram and TikTok explaining what recently happened as she was trying to board a flight in Istanbul, Turkey. “They almost didn’t let me on my flight,” she explains in the video, and you can her friend behind the camera giggling, “because they said I don’t look like my passport.”

@alishamarie

ive never been SO HUMBLED IN MY LIFE 😭🛂🚫 #passportphoto #passport #traveltiktok #grwm

♬ original sound – alishamarie

“This is why you should never do hot photos for your passport, because I don’t look like this,” Alisha says, showing her passport photo and laughing. Indeed, the image looks quite different to a makeup-free person with messy hair, which all of us are while traveling.

On Instagram, one person asked Alisha to follow up with the airport staff’s reaction after discovering that she was the same person who was in the passport photo. “No cause I genuinely still don’t think they were convinced,” Alisha replied.

Although this turned out to be a light-hearted and funny story, it could have easily had a different ending. Alisha could have some serious problems if the airport security thought it was someone else in the passport photo.

Treat this as a reminder that your document photos don’t need to show the best-looking you. In fact, we are most likely to look our worst while traveling. Waking up early, waiting for transfers for an entire eternity, driving all day or night… It all shows on our faces – we look tired, and putting on makeup and doing hair is the last thing on our minds. So, don’t try to glam up your passport photos like some online tutorials suggest. Just look natural, wear minimum makeup, and have your hair and wardrobe casual… Just not this casual.

[via PetaPixel]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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6 responses to “This is why you never take “hot” passport photos”

  1. designwallah Avatar
    designwallah

    Instagram “influencers” don’t deserve even two seconds of my time. The fact that our passport photos should look like us is old news – a professional passport photographer will not make a glamour passport photo.

    1. Rikki Avatar
      Rikki

      There’s no such thing as a “glamour” passport photo. I’ve taken hundreds of passport photos. The photographer can only control how the customer stands and looks at the camera and their facial expression. Lighting is the same for everyone and per passport standards. I’ve told them to fold down their turtlenecks, wear (the photo store’s) business jacket to define neck and shoulder shape or cover skin, take off shiny head area jewelry or coverings (unless it’s for religious reasons), and would go as far giving them a tissue to blot oil to reduce reflection and hot areas/highlights on their skin. 99% of the time I don’t know these people and I don’t know how they look on a daily basis. No passport photographer I know have told a person “that’s too much makeup on you”. There are standards and photographers have to adhere to them. Just because a person has make up on doesn’t make it a “glamour” passport photo.

  2. Lis Thomsen Avatar
    Lis Thomsen

    Like the time my newish passport photo showed long straight blonde hair, and at the time of travelling it was short, curly and red. Drew a lot of attention from the border security, and a good laugh when I explained that my morning shower had been very hot (this was before 8/11, so everything was more relaxed then) 🙂

    1. designwallah Avatar
      designwallah

      What happened on 8/11?

  3. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    She just need to do a hell of make-up to look like her passport photo.

  4. Carter Tune Avatar
    Carter Tune

    Like this is new.