Tips for Taking the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo

I had planned on doing this post back when I got married and found I had to take another passport and license photo. I completely forgot about it until my recently married friend mentioned that she too just got her new license, and sans makeup or brushed hair found herself frantically taking her photo. She laughed about making the lady take her picture multiple times, but I can definitely relate as I did that too! Hey, it’s something you’ll have to live with for awhile, so why not treat it as a photoshoot? Here are a few quick tips on how to take the best license photo, school photo, or passport photo….or at least avoid looking like this.

Worst License Photo

Photo Source:

Cstophecklist DONT’S for the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo:

  1. Don’t wear crazy large patterns or stripes. They don’t tend to photograph well.
  2. Don’t wear something too trendy, meaning clothes, makeup, and hairstyle. You can have a passport for up to 10 years, and as we learned from the past, you may get sick of crimped hair and blue eyeshadow!
  3. Don’t wear anything too low cut or too high neck. Sometimes the photos are really close up and if you’re wearing something with a high neck (let’s just stay away from turtlenecks in general, k?), you’ll look like you literally have no neck. You also don’t want the “ladies” popping out….unless that’s your plan on getting out of a traffic ticket! Ha!
  4. Don’t wear statement jewelry. Sure, that ginormous chunky rhinestone necklace may be “adorbs,” but when thinking about these photos classy and understated is best. Simple stud earrings are usually my choice.
  5. Don’t wear something without sleeves. Trust me, even the tiniest of girls may not photograph as well if wearing spaghetti straps, sleeveless, and definitely not a tube top (you’ll look naked!). This mainly goes back to how the photo is cropped, so it’s more flattering if you have sleeves…even short sleeves.
Style Trials how to take a good license photo

Example of my license photo following the tips below!

checkmarkChecklist DO’S for the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo:

  1.  Do think about what kind of top you’re wearing. Some photos you won’t see it, others you will (I’ve had license photos where you can and can’t see it, and my passport and school photos you can see it). I usually go with a solid color, either bright but not neon bright (think cherry red) or neutral. I think a color like navy or cherry red makes the picture less boring, but you can’t go wrong with neutral.
  2. Do put on makeup. And when you put it on, make sure you actually put more makeup on than you normally would in real life. From my days of professional dance teams and modeling, I learned that eyeliner, lots of mascara (or false eyelashes if you’re going to the extreme with stage makeup – not necessary for this), more blush than you normally would, and some kind of color on your lips is best. The lighting on these pics will not be great, and this will prevent you from looking washed out.
  3. Do wear your hair like you normally would. Don’t do some crazy style or go to the extra effort for beauty pageant hair, you still want to look like your everyday self. Remember, people will be looking at your i.d. to identify YOU. I usually just wear mine straight and down and pull it in front on both sides. If you pull it back or wear it up, you may end up looking like you have no hair.
  4. Do ask to retake the picture if you see it and really just can’t live with it. Of course do this at your digression as it may not make sense if you have a line behind you, but I purposely get these pictures done at times that I know it will not be as busy. It’s not a weird request, just don’t ask them to do it more than 2 or 3 times max.
  5. Do SMILE! Now is not the time to throw the camera your best pouty face. Keep your eyes open and bright, and smile big. 🙂

Do you have any other Do’s or Dont’s to add to this list, or a funny experience you had when taking one of these photos? Let me know in a comment below!

Sketching with the BIC ®-4 Color Pen

This post brought to you by BIC 4-Color pen. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hello sketch style trials with bic penBeing an artist and creative thinker, I also tend to be a multi-tasker. That’s why I was excited to review and play around with the BIC ®-4 Color Pen! It reminded me of a pen I used to have when I was a little girl, where you pushed down and several colors were conveniently right there. This doesn’t have my elementary school colors of bubble gum pinks and cotton candy blues, but rather 4 Inseparable Colors in 1 Pen: Green, Black, Red, and Blue. I would rate this as a fun all-in-one pen that’s office or student appropriate, which is great for organizing or even doodling.

I just watched The Great Gatsby movie (I know, where have I been?!), and loved the era and flapper style. I guess that was on my mind, because this is what I ended up drawing during lunch with my BIC ®-4 Color Pen. I started with the eye, then nose, lips, face structure, hair and flower.

portrait girl bic pen sketch style trialsNails:  Zoya Purity | Bracelet: Murano glass from Murano in Italy

It’s also an easy way to outline writing or organize thoughts through color coding.

to do list bic 4 color pen style trials

Colors give off different meaning and can be a fun expression of your mood, so I thought it was really creative how BIC® gave each color a distinct personality. For example, Blue is definitely the boss, Green is the jealous type, Red likes it when everything is correct, and Black, well, he just doesn’t get it. I would say I resonate with Red the most, but checkout these videos to see what I mean!

You can get one of these awesome pens at Amazon or your local Staples, and they’re less than $6 for a 3-pack! Also, if you’d like to follow more of Red, Blue, Green, and Black’s shenanigans, make sure to follow BIC ®-4 Color Pen on Facebook and Twitter.

What color fits your personality best and why? What do you like to sketch/doodle with?

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Decoupage DIY Clipboard with Astrobrights Paper!

This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s been awhile since my last project, and my artsy side has been itching to come out. So it was perfect when I got the challenge to create something out of my new favorite craft paper, AstroBrights!

There are so many things I can do with this paper, so I started brainstorming. As I was thinking, my eyes wandered over to the ugly, drab clipboard sitting on my desk, and I knew this was a much needed project. A DIY clipboard makeover of course – PERFECT! Something you can personalize, use at work or school, and is definitely pin worthy. 🙂 Here’s the main tools I started with:

  • A plain clipboard
  • AstroBrights Paper
  • Paper ModPodge
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Acrylic Paint (a small tube of your preferred color)
  • Cardboard or cardstock (to make a template)

AstroBrights comes in 23 awesomely bright colors, so I knew any AstroBrights design for this clipboard would liven it right up. However, I’ve been really partial to the chevron zigzag print lately, so I wanted to start there as my base.

First, I used the ruler to measure out and draw a chevron print on the cardboard.

I cut it out to create my chevron pattern template. I used the template to cut out several of the same zigzag strips on different color paper.

Next, I painted the entire front of the clipboard and just the top and bottom of the back of the clipboard (the middle will be covered with paper). I used a pretty teal paint. Let that dry before moving to the next step.

Then I laid out the chevron paper strips across the back of the clipboard, leaving the painted top and bottom areas showing. I used ModPodge and a paint brush on the back of the paper to glue the strips down. If you haven’t heard of ModPodge, it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. It’s a glue and sealer with a glossy finish, and you use it to decoupage things.

Once that was dry, I flipped it over and used an x-acto knife to cut the excess paper from the edges.

I could’ve just left it like that, because it already looked SO much better! But I was still feeling crafty and wanted to add some girly touches. For the back, I used more AstroBrights paper to cut out shapes for an Owl figure. I glued them together with ModPodge. I also cut out two little branches.

I arranged them on the back, and once again glued down with ModPodge.

Since the back looked so cute, I couldn’t leave the front hanging. I decided to add my initial in pretty paper on the front. I cut a “K” out of paper, mounted it on another color, then trimmed the edges. I glued that down on the front of the clipboard which definitely gave it more oomph!

Once everything dried, the last step was coating the entire clipboard, front and back, with a thin layer of ModPodge. Don’t worry, it dries crystal clear with a glossy finish. I also added a pretty ribbon.

Checkout the finished results!

Ta Dah!!! Do you love it?

Astrobrights on Facebook has a lot of cool things going on  you should checkout. Make sure to enter their “Give a Brighter Year” sweepstakes where every “Like” enters you for a chance to win $30,000 in supplies for an elementary school of your choice! They’ll also have bi-weekly challenges with more prize opportunities.

What would you make with AstroBrights paper?

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