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Passport photo problems

(33 Posts)
OurKid1 Tue 14-May-19 14:44:13

I've just applied online for a new passport (not having noticed that my old one expired 6 months ago - oops!). All seemed straightforward until I checked on its progress to be told that I can't wear my specs for a photo - nothing to do with reflections etc., but that specs were banned without a medical certificate to say they should not be removed. Ok ... deep breath and got the OH to take a sans specs photo ... and another ... and another ... Despite adhering to the plain background, no reflections, no shadows, no facial expression etc..., each one has been rejected on the grounds that "the shape of your head is not clear." What! How can that be! It's clear to me. I've just opted to resubmit it anyway with an explanation that it's the umpteenth attempt. Fingers crossed it will be ok, but I was wondering has anyone else had the same experience? I phoned a professional photographer who said he has had the same experience and cannot understand what they mean. I know you can do a Post Office approved thingy, but apparently even then they can refuse a photo - often on the "no clear head" ground. ???? Meanwhile, I am hoping mine will be accepted, even though it looks nothing like me because of the lack of specs and I wouldn't let me in anywhere looking like that!

toscalily Tue 14-May-19 15:29:29

I had to renew mine last year so read all the instructions and sent it in and it was accepted first time. Mind you we did go all round the house looking for the best place to take a photo, light, bright, no shadows, clear background. I probably made OH take about 10 pictures on an iPhone (he was getting a bit fed up, which I ignored grin ) then chose the one we both thought would be most acceptable. They do seem to be very fussy about the photo now.

Oldbat1 Tue 14-May-19 15:51:21

We renewed ours last year. Husband loves photography so expected pic to be easy but always rejected. Ended up going to a photographer who told us the software used by passport office often rejected folks own photos. Long story short the shop did the photos which passed the requirements for the passport office so job done.

Charleygirl5 Tue 14-May-19 15:56:23

I also renewed my passport last year and I went to a local photographer, the photo was accepted although my personal feeling was that it was a good mugshot for prison but I am beyond caring.

M0nica Tue 14-May-19 16:04:30

I went to Timpsons to have mine done. Taken, adjusted to meet requirements and instantly submitted to the passport office, all for £7.99

Why consider any alternative. You have already spent the equivalent of£7.99 in blood sweat and tears getting it wrong.

Alima Tue 14-May-19 16:25:12

We must have been very lucky when DH took my passport pic on my iPad, in the conservatory with a beige roller blind as a backdrop. Right first time! If you live close enough OurKid I will send him round! (Apparently Jessops do passport photos quite reasonably too).

MiniMoon Tue 14-May-19 16:56:12

When we renewed our passports last year we went through the same rigmarole trying to take the photo ourselves. We tried all over the house. We have plain walls everywhere!
All were rejected. I'm the end, we went to the post office and had them taken there.

Happiyogi Tue 14-May-19 17:12:37

I went to a local, large Post Office a couple of months ago and paid a few quid more than the standard charge (£9 from memory) for the most amazing service!

I gave my info verbally to a chap who typed it in, and he took the photo. The service guarantees that the photograph and details won't be rejected. I had a confirmation text before even leaving the PO, and several updates over the next few days. New passport was delivered early one morning the following week! I thoroughly recommend the service, as I'd put off renewing because it has always been such a faff in the past.

GrandmaKT Tue 14-May-19 17:15:51

My sister (who has light pink hair) had the same problem, despite her DH being an experienced photographer. I think they eventually took one that was acceptable.
I had mine taken in Max Speilmans - they gave me a printed copy and also a code which I just pasted into the passport application.

Jane10 Tue 14-May-19 17:57:01

We had ours done at Timsons. They kept being rejected. Apparently DH's head wasn't clear enough and my mouth was open! However, when we fed the code into the online application site all was well and the new passports arrived very quickly. Lots of emails from the office to keep us fully informed of their progress.

BlueBelle Tue 14-May-19 18:12:09

Mine was also rejected when we took it at home although it was accepted at first but after I sent the passport off it was then rejected as the head wasn’t clear enough ( looked as clear as a bell to me) I went to Timpsons and it was so painless as they ping it over for you and it was accepted straight away as others have said arrived back very quickly with a number of emails along the way to tell me of the progress

OurKid1 Tue 14-May-19 18:22:33

Update - I resubmitted the original one (which apparently you can do), giving the reason as being that I had taken many which had been rejected on the same grounds. This one was accepted and my passport should be in the post in a few days!! So ... passport office - what on earth was all that about?
Should it not arrive, I shall definitely take myself and my unclear head off to Timpsons and try again.

tanith Tue 14-May-19 18:51:45

I did mine in Tesco’s they give you printed pics and a digital code it was so quick and easy and was accepted first time.

HootyMcOwlface Tue 14-May-19 18:59:07

Well I had to renew my driving licence and went to the Post Office to do it. It was last week, rainy windy day - no mirror in the photo booth, not even a vague reflection in the glass, so had no idea what my hair looked like. They took a photo and said they weren’t allowed to show it me, they just check your eyes are open and you’re not smiling. Then I had to sign on a pad, a bit like when a courier comes to deliver a parcel and you sign on a screen - well, the nib of the stylus kept bobbing in and out and my signature was a complete mess, nothing like my ‘real’ one! I was crying coming out, I’ve hidden my last licence for the last 10 years, the photo was so horrible, I was hoping this one would be less embarrassing! Don’t think so!

Maggiemaybe Tue 14-May-19 19:13:01

I renewed my passport when the option to submit your own photo online had just become available. I must have had 20 practically identical photos rejected on every possible ground, including "it appears that your head is too small" grin. By then it had become a mission and when DH got completely fed up and refused to take any more photos of me looking solemn against every pale coloured wall in the house, I snapped a quick selfie and submitted it. Success, hurrah (!), despite the fact that the guidance clearly stated that selfies were not acceptable. The odd thing was that when the passport arrived I found that the photo background had changed from the off-white of my landing wall to a bright blue. So far two passport officials have commented that it shouldn't have been accepted.....

Tangerine Tue 14-May-19 21:20:52

I think you might find going to a professional photographer is your best option. I get my photos for passports from photo-me booths and never have problems. Perhaps they are getting stricter.

Wheniwasyourage Tue 14-May-19 21:30:28

Well, you know what they say - if you look like your passport photo you're not well enough to travel.

Can't understand the thing about not wearing glasses, particularly if you're so short-sighted that you wouldn't see to get through security in a straight line and you never wear lenses.

Bopeep14 Tue 14-May-19 22:06:25

My son has just got his first passport, i was surprised to see your comment about no glasses to be worn, my son has his on in his photo and no letter needed. He had it all done at the post office.

Humbertbear Wed 15-May-19 06:55:38

I had my photos taken at a local store who do quick developing etc. The photographer was very careful about positioning my head but no glasses and hair behind the ears is not a good look!

sodapop Wed 15-May-19 08:55:11

How I agree Humbertbear I look hideous in my passport pic. I had a real problem in the French photo booth trying to read the instructions whilst whipping my glasses on and off.

etheltbags1 Wed 15-May-19 10:11:14

Renewed mine last year i had to send 4 lots of photos because of the signatures. They were either too near the edge or not clear. I got sick of going to the little booths so i went to a photrapher and they too wete sent back . Finally they were accepted. It took 9 months of to and fro. I will not be remewing it again.

HootyMcOwlface Wed 15-May-19 18:53:34

My new licence has come! I look like Shrek’s mother! shock grin

Moocow Wed 15-May-19 19:41:40

"Shrek's mother" grin

Jane10 Thu 16-May-19 06:44:42

I wish I looked like Shreks mother. I look like Shreks granny after a hard night and an unexpected boat trip!

GrannyIris5 Thu 16-May-19 07:31:56

I work in a local post office, if you’re going to need the IDP for driving abroad after Brexit you’ll need a ‘hard copy’ photo, if you have any spare keep them for this occasion. Need to renew some of them every year and others every 3 years. Not looking forward to issuing them from next week as they will take quite a while to process and people will be sighing and tutting in the queue. Another thing to learn at my age 😩