In preparing for my imminent trip to the USA, I have found all of our passports and, although he does not need one immediately, I see that Joshua’s expires in September this year and so it would be wise to renew it soon. He now looks nothing like the young 10 year old in the photograph, so that makes sense. It is the passport photograph, rather than the application form, that has created problems in the past :
We took Joshua on the ferry across to Holland when he was a couple of months old, with his pram laden down with powdered milk and nappies, as they clearly would not sell these things in the Netherlands! Back then they lay my baby on a white bean bag to take his photograph and he looked amusingly like a bald convict, in his stripey baby-gro. The photograph really could have been any new baby but the authorities were happy with it. So that was as easy as falling off a piece of cake, when Joshua could not move or exert his free will, it got progressively more difficult.
I have never used one of those temperamental photo booths for his passport photo, as that is hard enough to get right for yourself, let alone with a wriggly child who would refuse to look at a camera. I can recall getting really anxious about his 10 year old photograph but he posed beautifully and it looked like our freckly Joshua. I was proud of the results, but The Passport Office were not happy with the fact that the handles from his wheelchair were in shot! I was insistent that it was a realistic image as that would be how he would be passing through any border control. There seemed to be no allowances for wheelchair users and I wonder how they tolerate other disabilities, where a photgraph is even more problematic.
So when I get back from the USA, we must return to the photographer and do our best to conform
.But now perhaps our new calmer teenager, who sits nicely to have his hair cut and even allowed a nurse to glue up his cut eyebrow on friday afternoon without flinching , might pose beautifully for a photographer. I am usually frustrated that he does not show the camera his twinkling smile until the photograph is taken, but in the case of a passport photograph, where no grinning is tolerated, that will be perfect.