I’ve apparently had my passport for 10 years!
I know this because I have an international trip coming up in February, and my passport was going to expire a week or so before that trip. Go figure.
Time to renew!
Ten years ago, getting a passport photo was a bit of a hassle. I didn’t want to take the photo myself – there are lots of nit-picky rules about getting those photos taken.
So I went to a Kinko’s to get it done, because they offered “passport photo services.”
Remember Kinko’s? They are now FedEx Office stores.
Anyway – my eyes are really light sensitive (I usually wear sunglasses outside), and the flash on the weird camera Kinko’s used to take passport photos was … well, it was really bright.
And I blinked a lot.
So what normally would have been a simple photo (i.e., “look here, click … and you’re done”) took a little longer than normal. Those few minutes were filled with the Kinko’s staff person saying things like “no, you blinked again” and “Can you keep your eyes open for the photo?” etc.
I’m sure it probably only took like 5 minutes, but I was embarrassed and it seemed like it took forever.
“Flash” forward 10 years, and I need another passport photo! This time, instead of having a business take the photo for me, I tried something different – I just used an app on my iPhone.
I did a bit of research, and found two passport-photo-taking apps that were recommended by travel bloggers:
I took photos with both apps – not sure which app I ended up using. But they both worked fine. Both apps have semi-transparent outlines that show where your head and shoulders should be in the photo, etc.
The hardest part? Finding a plain, neutral-colored wall in my house. My wife helped – she took the photos. Then I printed those out at a local Walgreens, mailed in my renewal forms … and now I have a new passport. Simple stuff!
In this case, mobile apps made my life a little easier. I’ll have to add Passport Photos to my list of useful things my smartphone has replaced.
Just a post reflecting our changing technology world!