It looks like our awkward photo booth days are behind us as it has been officially announced that photos taken on our phones can now be used for passports.
‘A “selfie” photograph is not allowed in a passport application,’ a spokesperson explained. ‘Customer guidance clearly says that “selfies” are not permitted and that the photo needs to be taken from a distance of approximately 1.5m.’
And no, that does not mean that you can just use a selfie stick.
Although the change definitely has its advantages – making it easier for Brits to renew their passports and saving us all a dreaded trip to the post office photo booth, the public reaction has focused more on the negatives.
The main issue that people have with the new system is security. Taking an approved passport photo has always been notoriously difficult with a long list of rules from keeping a straight face to having the perfect background (strictly plain cream or light grey). Putting the responsibility in the hands of the public has sparked fears that the photos will therefore be less secure and could be easier to counterfeit.
The second issue that the public has brought to light is that this new change will mark the death of the iconic photo booth. Many have already started mourning the retro camera kiosk, with photo booth owners worrying for their jobs as they get most of their business from taking passport photos.
The good news is that it’s just an option and you can always continue to get your passport photo taken at a booth, but to be honest, with technological advances, mobile phone photo quality is now better than a lot of digital cameras out there.