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When it comes to passport photos, I have a huge mental disconnect. Like a moth to a flame, if there is a way to immortalize myself on official government identification looking as hideous [read: chubby] as possible I am on it like a pig on truffles. 

I have had two passport photos taken in my life. Both times, I knew that I was about to have my photo taken for a long-lasting legal document that I would need multiple times in the immediate future. I assure you I did not awake from my slumber at 2:34 am, dance through a rain storm, eating enough fried chicken to add 10 pounds to my face and march into the photo-booth screaming “cheese”. In fact, I would venture as far as to say that I am considered, on superior days, quite photogenic. It has been hinted that I look even better in print than I do in person. For Moi to have a bad passport picture is something akin to blind person driving a public bus. It doesn’t make any sense. My photo shoots were planned. I had time to do my hair, eyebrows, make-up and find a decent ensemble – preferable something that brought out my eyes. And now I get to look at my passport and say to myself over and over, “This is the best you could do? Surely not?!” (I also sometimes glare at the photo and think, “Who’s the donkey who allowed you to wear orange foundation in public?” and start making a list of names…)

My passport expires in one year – April 2009. I have dedicated the next 12 months to mentally and physically preparing myself for this event. True, times have changed and the pictures are digital now – suggesting that God may be a She. Digital to me translates into short phrases such as, “Nah – let’s do it again” or “I look fat – can we do another?” or “Oh my god – no way!” and my personal favorite, “Do you even know how to work a friggin’ camera? WTF!” Overall, it’s a positive technological feature that I am so ready to embrace.

One of my favorite pieces of advice in regards to excellent passport pictures (beyond professional hair styling – duh!) is this: Always wear a piece of fabulous jewelry in the photo. Beg, borrow or steal, but diamond studs and a gorgeous antique pin will make a huge difference in your passport photo.

It also must be said that Superior people do try to protect their passport in some type of passport cover. The highly coveted Smythson U.S. Crest Passport Cover (pictured below) retails for about $180.00 – this is an investment piece, yes. But it really reiterates the statement, “I am superior to these other travelers”, in particular when your passport contains a picture of you wearing fabulous jewels.

Smythson Passport Holder