four shots of newborn making faces

Just some of the dozens photos I took trying to get the perfect baby passport photo

So you might have heard through the grapevine that I will no longer be traveling solo. My new travel companion is none other than my newborn daughter, Poppyseed or Bosslady if you’re nasty. Since both of us are so far away from my family I want to start a travel fund in the event of an emergency. Before I booked our first ticket I needed to get started on the process of getting her American passport and taking her first baby passport photo.

The task of getting a photograph that met all US passport photo regulations seemed herculean. The requirements for a baby passport photo for the United States are strict and as follows:

cute pictures of baby for baby passport photo

Clearly my daughter thought this was a photoshoot.

    1. Baby’s eye MUST be open newborns a lot
    2. Baby’s mouth must be closed so no crying?
    3. Baby’s chin must be visible what chin?
    4. Baby’s head should be straight on yes of course with my baby’s super neck strength
    5. No shadow on the baby’s face so I have to worry about the position of the sun, gotcha
    6. Baby’s ears should be visible my kid has massive cheeks that block her ears LOL
    7. Parent’s hands can not be in the photo I cant help my spaghetti necked kid hold up her head
    8. white or off-white background  off-white totally means it can have spit up on it

If you have any experience with babies you have an appreciation for how impossible this all sounds. Of course I could have gone to a photo shop and paid someone to take her baby passport photo but really, what would be the fun in that? I referred to a few online tutorials on the matter and asked local parents for advice on how to get this done. With Poppyseed fed, clean and in a good mood I set out to do the unthinkable.

Do it yourself baby passport photo

FINALLY, we got a keeper

Three and half hours, 2 naps, 1 feeding, a diaper change, 3 backdrops, 47 pictures and a few f-bombs later we finally captured the perfect passport photo. I found an online tool called Passport Photo For You where I could upload the picture and crop it to meet the dimension requirements. I printed it out for .75 Eur cents and attached it to her passport application. Poppyseed is finally ready for take off. Our first trip will be in August to Copenhagen!

Watch this space for our upcoming adventures together!

Have you ever tried taking your own passport photo? How did it work out?

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16 Responses to Mission Almost Impossible: The Baby Passport Photo

  1. You’re coming to Copenhagen in August?! Yay! And can I just say Poppyseed is such a cutie. Those cheeks!
    American Black Chick in Europe recently posted..A Stroll Around Copenhagen: Nørrebro and ChristianaMy Profile

  2. Elle says:

    She is adorableeeeeeee!!!!! I absolutely love your blog! I am also a black female and I am looking to cross the seas! (btw you’re my aunt in my head!)

  3. PhillyGirl says:

    WOW! I haven’t been on your blog in a LONG while…about 9 months. 🙂 My goodness. Poppyseed is absolutely adorable!!! Such a cutie, congratulations! Thanks also for the passport photo website, that was handy! Take care and keep us updated on your summer travels and of course, Poppyseed.
    PhillyGirl recently posted..30 DAYS AND COUNTINGMy Profile

  4. Gina says:

    Hey Nicole;

    I love your travel blog I just happened across it while investigating Iceland which is on my 50 things to do for my 50th birthday, I turned 50 this past November! I made a list 50 things that I want to do for my birthday and some big things some small, I am a out-of-the-box thinker and had to figure out how to make my Iceland adventure happened for economical reasons and logistics and such so I would like to enlist your opinion.

    My 16 yr old will be in Paris for 6 weeks next summer; I plan on meeting her in August. Then take the train from Paris to Amsterdam and book my flight from Amsterdam to Iceland via a travel agency in Holland for economical reasons; intercontinental flights are so expensive any suggestions?

    By the way I am a tv/film producer by trade and would like to do a show with you and your travel escapades I think it would be great show content for the global market.

  5. […] in Berlin can be. Snapped this at Alexanderplatz while waiting for the S-Bahn to visit my friend Nicole and meet her adorable new […]

  6. LaPita says:

    Oh joy…She is lovely. Congratulations…I am very happy to follow your page. East Coast American girl on her way to Koln Germany in a week. You are my hero. Had laugh out loud moments watching your videos on the tube. Great stuff.

  7. sunnie says:

    Yeah!!! You are finally back to blogging…sorry not really into twitter. Your little one is so adorable. I am a cheek squeezer so Poppyseed’s cheeks are just calling for a squeeze.
    I really enjoy your blog. I am one of those silent blog readers but this time I had to comment. I am looking forward to traveling overseas one day…after finishing my degree but I can at least travel through parts of Europe through you.
    Take care and keep blogging.


  8. Love this post Nicole! I can’t imagine having to get a baby photo to meet such criteria but you certainly rose to the challenge. Oh, and she is just too cute! Lovely collection of photos!
    Ad-lib Traveller recently posted..A luxury afternoon with cream tea at Beaufort Hotel, LondonMy Profile

  9. Leslie says:

    She’s adorable! I love the outtakes. And wow, that rule list for baby passport photos is intense. Good work! 🙂
    Leslie recently posted..Flashback: How I decided to move to China after graduating with a Latin American Studies degreeMy Profile

  10. She is epically cute!
    Samantha Sophia recently posted..Raising Boys: Easy or UnderestimatedMy Profile

  11. Alishia says:

    Hi Nicole, Can I ask why you decided to open a seperat account for travel?
    Alishia recently posted..Life happens Wednesdays: Kids are horrible get over itMy Profile

    • Nicole says:

      Since I live so far away from my side of the family a few people have given me cash gifts. I decided to put the money aside for future travel expenses.

  12. Shawn Blog says:

    Oh I hope this is the best news I’ve found all day… I’ve just been tasked with research on how to best do a baby passport photo for our daughter. If I’m understanding your account correctly here, I can “just” take a photo myself—it doesn’t have to be done at a passport photo place? I know this won’t be as simple as “just” taking a picture, but taking her to a place and putting her in front of a stranger and a camera would probably be traumatic or chaotic at best.

    So, am I correct? Can I just bring my own photo for getting her first passport?

    Thanks for your blog!
    Shawn Blog recently posted..PhotoMy Profile

  13. Tasha says:

    Great post!

  14. Melissa says:

    I know this post is old, but I could totally relate! I remember the struggle with my son. My friend said that when she applied for her daughter’s passport there was another person at the consulate who was actually trying to take their baby’s photo in one of those photo booth machines. I can’t even imagine how much that must have sucked.

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