Damian and Linda's Photography

Passport Sampler

Passport Samplers

(Images courtesy of the "Gravel Girls")

When I had my business I understood that getting someone to photograph you and the people nearest to you can be something of a gamble.

I also understood that getting a passport photograph to the ever-more exact standards required by the UK Passport Service can be surprisingly difficult, too, never mind Indian and Canadian and United States rules, all of which are available online.

My solution to both problems was the Passport Sampler.

A very brief photo session (typically less than 10 minutes) consisting entirely of head-and-shoulders shots and then 7 individual images on a 6" x 4" photo postcard, printed while-you-wait - typically within a further 15 minutes. You'll note that the 8th slot was filled with my contact details; my hope was that this would be something not immediately discarded.

Study the requirements beforehand and be familiar with them. Prepare a template in the software of your choice and quickly push the chosen pictures into it. For the UK, as well as the geometric requirements, there are some compositional rules, too:

Of course for a passport you only need two photographs, which left space for five more. You can't help but laugh when you're trying to keep a straight face for a passport and it was really easy to get good photographs very quickly.

I didn't charge for them because it was an easy way to get footfall into the studio. Having said that, I never had really compelling evidence that it was useful as a marketing tool, but it was excellent fun.