It's about that time to check your passport's expiration date! See if it needs to be renewed for your summer travel plans. I know mine did!
Normal passport renewal processing takes about 6-8 weeks, however, you can expedite the process to 2-3 weeks for an extra $60. Make sure to plan ahead.
To even renewal your passport it costs a minimum $110, so I wanted to make sure to the picture I'm going to travel with for the next ten years is a good one! Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of this $110 picture.
1) Choose the right location- Although you can take your own picture, it is extremely risky, especially if you are in a time crunch. There are several rules and regulations that need to be followed as far as measurements go. You can go to the US post office, FedEx, CVS, Walgreens and several other locations. Go at a slower time of the day where the employees are not rushing to take your picture and let you take a couple tries. (Mine did not!) Also, make sure to go during the day time to get natural lighting, or else you may have to settle for floresant lighting.
2) Wear the right top- use a solid color top that is flattering to your skin tone. Make sure it has a V-neck line or scoop neck line, nothing too low though, considering the picture cuts off at the top of your chest.
3) Simple hair- wear your hair straight or with a slight wave. Keep it simple. You don't want the picture to feel cluttered so if you have long hair place it behind your shoulders if possible.
4) Focus on your skin- use your finishing powder before you take the picture on your forehead to keep your skin from looking oily.
5) Posture- push your shoulders back and down. Stick your chin out a inch forward to create a flattering angle.
6) Neutral expression- by request of the government they want you to give a neutral expression. Don't smile big, keep your lips together with a light smile. Smile with your eyes!
7) Prepare- Ask the photographer to count to three and blink on one. Your eyes will be fresh and naturally wide open when they take the picture on three.
Hope this helps! Happy travels!