Application for a New Passport

My passport expires next month so it is high time for me to apply for a new one. I went to the U. S. State Department’s website where your can fill in and print the application.  All the instructions are there.

My passport
My passport

Since I have a passport in good condition I just need to send the application, my current passport, a check for $110, and a headshot photograph that adheres to the agency’s guidelines.

Here's my 10-year-old, professional photo. I think I can do better than this.
Here’s my 10-year-old, professional photo. I think I can do better than this.

In the past I have paid to have my photo taken but this time, with the help of a free photo tool on the State Department site, I’m going to try taking my own picture.

At first I tried using a white window shade as the background.
At first I tried using a white window shade as the background.
Unpainted drywall would also seem to work.
Unpainted drywall worked better for me than the window shade.

The background must be white or off-white so I hung a black-out shade in the window and used that as a background.  The subject must face forward with a neutral expression and NO digital improvements are acceptable. The first dozen photos didn’t work because I had not left enough photo below the shoulders. So back to the studio where I used a wall as background, lit the background more evenly, and tried not to smile.

This was a more difficult task than I thought -- having a helper would have been great, but who could have lasted that long?
This was a more difficult task than I thought — having a helper would have been great, but who could have lasted that long?

After loading the photo onto my computer I opened the photo tool and chose the photo I wanted to use, reduced its size to fit in the frame (click the “Help” button on the left side of the screen for detailed instructions), cropped then saved the photo.

The photo tool is easy to use but has very specific requirements.
The photo tool is easy to use but has very specific requirements.

The tool tells you just how big the actual head should be inside the frame.

Here's how I look inside the photo toll -- grim.
Here’s how I look inside the photo toll — grim.

All I need to do now is print the photo on photo paper (matte or glossy is acceptable), staple it to my application, put all the paperwork with attached photo, my current passport, and my check in a large envelope and mail it to the State Department address in Philadelphia.

After taking 34 pictures of myself, this is the best I could do. I hope they accept it.
After taking 34 pictures of myself, this is the best I could do. I hope they accept it.

I just need to plan a trip.

Where are your travel plans next taking you?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

5 thoughts on “Application for a New Passport”

    1. It can be white or off-white. I just read where the mail-in service is more lenient than using an in-person agent who can basically make it up as you go along. Jo

  1. Oh wait I was looking at the wrong photo lol. They also sent me my old passport back when I renewed. I like the new one much better. I got the one with extra pages just in case I become an international jet setter lol

    1. My old passport photo was horrible. I hope you use every page in your passport. I always thought it was funny that the people who stamp them just use any old page they want. Weird. Jo

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