Your baby's passport photo session can be a funny—and frustrating—experience. And the final headshot might be pretty comical as you'll see from the funny real-life photos we've used in this gallery!
First things first: You’ll need two 50 mm x 70 mm photos of your infant to submit with the passport application, and Passport Canada mandates that these be taken by a commercial photographer. (You might want to keep a few of the more hilarious outtakes as a memento for the fridge or your baby scrapbook.)
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Your baby’s eyes must be open in the photo. Try to coordinate your photoshoot with a time of day that your baby is normally awake and not fussing. Some parents recommend bringing a cold washcloth to keep your little one alert; favourite toys can work, too. Many infants will naturally open their eyes as a reflex if they are cradled and then quickly (but gently) held upright.
Passport Canada prefers neutral expressions (and does not allow an open-mouthed smile), but this can be hard if you have a happy baby who’s used to mugging for the camera, or an infant far too young to follow instructions. Fortunately, Passport Canada “recognizes the difficulty in obtaining a neutral expression of a newborn and will allow for some tolerance in this regard.” For babies only, they’ll accept shots showing an open mouth or hint of a smile. (They are not this lenient for adult passport photos, however.)
The photo must be straight on, showing the baby’s head and shoulders, squared to the camera. Both ears must be visible in the picture—no sideways glances. (If only one ear is visible, the image could be rejected by the passport agency.)
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Unlike this photo, a parent’s hands or arms cannot appear in the frame, which is problematic when a baby can’t sit up on her own. However, Passport Canada doesn’t mind if your baby is nestled in a bucket-style car seat or bouncer. The photographer can drape a white blanket or sheet over the car seat, behind the child’s head.
Some photographers might suggest spreading a white blanket or sheet on the floor underneath the baby, and taking the picture from overhead (if your baby has enough head and neck control). We’ve also heard of parents wearing white tube socks on their hands in order to hold a newborn’s head in place, while still blending into the white background. (Worth packing a pair in the diaper bag, just in case?)
Here’s another parent tip: If your infant needs a little assistance to sit up straight, an extra layer can save the day. You can prop her torso up by sliding your hands between her onesie and a sweatshirt or sweater over top, without your hands showing in the photo. These two lovely ladies are sisters, and their passport photos were taken several years apart. Their parents accidentally dressed them in the exact same (layered) outfit!
If your infant often has his hands up near his face, a swaddling blanket or wrap can help keep his hands down and out of the frame.
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Because the background of the photo must be white or a solid light colour, choose a bright, contrasting outfit.
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Hats and head coverings are not allowed, and photos with shadows, glare, or uneven lighting will also be rejected. These two little guys in matching outfits are fraternal twins who had to leave their sailor hats at home.
Fortunately, children under the age of 11 are not required to sign page three of the passport. Leave the signature area blank—parents are not allowed to forge their infant’s name.
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Kids fall asleep in the darndest positions>
We asked readers to submit photos of their kids’ strangest sleep positions. Check out the hilarious pics!
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