Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Paperchase (1): Two Passports, One Baby

In this blog mini-series, I plan to explain the process of getting two passports for our little guy.

Part 1: Passport Photos
Part 2: The Dutch Passport
Part 3: The American Passport

Passport Photos for a Baby

Last week, we took our little guy to a local shopping center and their photo store.  


In the back corner is a photography studio with a huge photo printer, a stool, the necessary lighting umbrellas for camera flashes, and a gray backdrop.

How do you take a passport photo of a baby?

1.  Take him out of his carrier/car seat and hope that he's awake and looking around.
2.  Hold him on the stool with one hand on either side of him, supporting him so that he's sitting up.  But hope that your hands won't be visible. (This was dad R's job)
3.  Try to get him to look at the camera.  (This was my job, along with the employee.) Oh wait, he hasn't quite developed that attention span or focus yet...
3.  Take multiple photos when he's actually looking in the general direction of the camera...
4.  Hope against hope that one of them is the best, and will meet the Netherlands' requirements.
5.  Then, call in another employee to hold up the gray backdrop because America requires a white or off-white background.
6.  Repeat steps 2-4 because American passport photos need to be 2"x2" with specific requirements for positioning.
7.  Be nervous that the US consulate will not accept his photo since he's not looking directly at the camera.

Ask about pasfoto kosten (costs) beforehand!

At this store, they were ridiculous.  

For 6 Netherlands-standard photos on a 10x15 cm piece of photo paper, it cost €15.  Ok, fine, no problem.

However, on the same size paper, they could only fit 2 US photos because of the difference in dimensions.  We still had to pay €15 for those 2 photos - same price as for 6...And all they told us was, "sorry, that's just how [Brand Name of printer] works, just how it is in our system, we can't do anything about it."

So, word of advice - ask for the prices when you first go in, especially since international/foreign passport photos might cost more.

Ka-ching.  

Part 2: The Dutch Passport...coming soon!