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Old Jan 20, 2003, 2:53 PM   #11
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Exactly what another poster said. Passport photos are no longer the actual photo you mail in. Instead, they scan the pic, then print it out directly onto the passport ID page.
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Old Feb 4, 2003, 11:34 AM   #12
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I was just helping someone with a permanent residency form they had to fill in, and in that case you CAN'T submit an inkjet photo, or a photo you (or a friend) have taken of yourself:

• be produced from the same unretouched film or from the same file capturing the digital image or from two identical photos exposed simultaneously by a split-image or multi-lens camera;
• be original photos (not taken from any existing photo);
• be on photographic paper that has a backing which accepts and retains the date and the guarantor’s signature without smearing. Photos without this backing are not acceptable;
• be on prints that are well-fixed and washed to prevent fading and discolouration;

So you should check the instructions that come with the form first before you send in a photo that's unsuitable.
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Old Feb 4, 2003, 2:36 PM   #13
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So they're not going to notice if you retouched, then resized for a few on a 6X4 and printed at Walmart then? They'd come back with Fuji or Kodak on the back! In fact you could do the whole family and the neighbours for the cost of 3 or 4 prints, put those little machines out of biz.
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Old Feb 6, 2003, 3:53 PM   #14
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I've done passport photos digitally for people for several years and always printed them on Fuji Frontier technology which satisfies all passport requirements in the U.S.

But as has been noted, U.S. passports are now "copies" of the original, but I suspect the "originals" have been saved by the passport office for replacement purposes in the event of an emergency (remember you always send two).

Inkjet doesn't necessarily mean "fades quickly" - it all depends on the technology, ink and paper. A few years ago Epson introduced several new "archival" ink/paper combinations. Some appeared to work very well indeed, and some didn't. Presently the Epson 2000 series have archival pigment inks which are rated in excess of 75 years against UV fade. Actually, several professional photographers who sell their work in major art galleries are using this technology and swear by it.

The larger problem, I think, is whether or not the image might be subjected to excessive moisture and "run" or smear. Obviously, this is a non-issue for U.S. Passports, but still may be a concern for others who wish to do their own.

As for issues of "changes to original" - I don't think that is a major concern for any country as long as the photo indeed represents a reasonable likeness to the individual. After all, for anyone in the business, it's quite easy to "modify" a negative, and nobody tells the ladies that they can't wear "makeup" or change their natural hair color when having their passport photos made.

If I remove a "zit" or cold-sore for a customer's passport photo, I have no fear of that being considered an "altered" photo any more than if I applied makeup to the subject before shooting. After all, the purpose of a passport photo is to "identify" the subject, not to "embarrass" them. Unfortunately, some of the people offering passport photo services have no business taking photos at all - and their work speaks for itself!

Lin
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Old Feb 6, 2003, 5:05 PM   #15
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Well put! so there definitely could be a biz. opportunity for nice passport photos that clients will approve of and pay more for!
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Old Feb 6, 2003, 6:10 PM   #16
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I think there could be - but there are so many of the "polaroid" types around that one might have to do some heavy advertising and promotional work to get it off the ground.

I only do it for clients and friends who ask - (I shoot gallery art for a living), but all have been appreciative that I take the time to make them look their best - after all, at least here in the U.S., passports are good for 10 years and nobody wants to see a bad image of themselves every time they travel for the next decade!

Of course there is always the option of going to a portrait photographer, but even there it's often that one's choices are limited to the number of "proofs" taken, and there is little or no opportunity for the customer to tell the photographer to remove a blemish, or soften a wrinkle, etc. After all, who's going to look the same every day for the next 10 years - HA!

Lin
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