Being expatriates, our two sons had to get their own passport very early (4 weeks old) in order to also get a visa to be able to stay with us in Singapore (can help!). But taking the ID photo of a newborn (or almost) is kind of challenging. So here are 4 steps to take baby passport photograph in 20 minutes yourself if your country accepts that you submit your own baby photo for passport.
Eyes opened, neutral expression, 2 ears visible – even though we are talking about a baby ID photo, the list of criteria for official documents can be very long… and it could take hours to take THAT perfect photo.
With my method, you should not spend more than 20 minutes taking baby passport photograph and 10 extra minutes to to touch it up.
1. Red or green T-shirt
Suppose that you do not have a grey studio background – ask your assistant (dad, mom or your aunt Zoe) to wear a plain red, green t-shirt (or any other color that will be easy to select and crop with Photoshop or other photo editing softwares thereafter).
2. Human lounger
The assistant puts baby on his chest, facing the camera and he seats on the sofa, lying a bit (otherwise, the baby will fall, yes!). He basically makes a baby bouncing chair with his body…
3. Being ridiculous does not kill
And now the photographer’s job starts. An eye behind the camera and one hand waving a small toy on top of it (if possible a toy that makes some noise to attract baby to look in the camera’s direction). If your baby is very young, there is normally no chance he makes THE smile that disqualify the photo for official documents!. If it does not work, start singing or imitating the animals’ sounds – it takes what it takes. You should not need to take more than 20 photos to get a good one. Always better to shoot a bit wider and crop later.
4. Photo touch up
Then transfer all the photos taken on your computer. Choose the best one and open it with a photo editing software. First, resize it to your country ID photo standard size. Please note that the head height usually should not exceed a certain size. Check here for the US ID photo requirements and here for the UK.
Then, with the magic wand tool (selection), click on the background (red, green – the assistant tshirt!). As the colour really stands out, it should not be difficult to select. Erase the background and replace it by a light gray (or any other required background colour) background. See the before/after result below. Voila.
Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any question on this topic!