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Take your own passport photos

If your passport is up for renewal, make sure you look your best by taking your own pictures. Check out the State Department's Guidelines for Producing High-Quality Photographs for U.S. Travel Documents. Though the document is aimed at professional photographers, there's no reason you can't do your own shots at home by following the directions. After all, you're going to be stuck with the mug shot for ten years, you want to make it good. I was wearing two long dangly earrings the day of my last passport photo, but due to a lighting fluke, only one appeared in the print. I've spent the last ten years travelling the world looking like a devotee of Cindy Lauper.

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