on and off

posted on: June 17, 2012



grey tee c/o gap canada // khaki green jacket, snakeskin clutch and necklace from plum // coral maxi skirt from modcloth // various bangles // old navy sandals // barefoot contessa sunglasses // striped tote c/o joe fresh



{photos by jen}

knocking "get passport photos" off my to-do list was supposed to be a simple errand.  googled where to get them done and found a spot on the way home with a 5 minute guarantee.  when i arrived at the photo lab area, the passport photog was trying to get a pic of a newborn baby.  this poor little thing is being held up by the back of his jumper by his mother, his little head rolling around, while this photographer tries desperately to capture a portrait.  i mean honestly, babies need passport photos?  what kind of ridiculous concept is that?  anyway, they finish up and it's my turn.  and i would like to think that it's just because culturally this woman speaks in a yell and not because she just wanted to embarrass me, but she immediately begins barking orders at me in a very robotic tone. in a section of the store full of people, and only a few feet away from me, my lovely photog is all stand square to me...noooo square!  snaps a pic and shakes her head yelling over to me "OH goodness, see how shiny your face is?  No, no, no, I need you to get a kleenex and wipe your face."  Because her announcing this to the entire store was going to help me sweat less.

onto round two, where she yells at me to get my hair out of my face, no don't smile, square, chin down.  takes another photo, and i swear she yells even louder this time "Yeah, so see how much glare is shining off your face?  LOOK at that!  I'm going to need you to powder your face with this powder I have here."  Now, this should have been my cue to leave.  I should have been assertive and walked out of there, letting her know what a ridiculous concept communal powder is just because their photo lighting was clearly hindered by the fluorescent lights within their store.  and yet, there i was standing in front of a small mirror taped to the wall, powdering my face in a shade that my pale english grandmother would have used.  picture three and she styles me up this time, moving my hair, tilting my head up and then down and then forwards.  we finally have a "winner".  

i wait my five minutes to pay $13.47 for the most hilarious photo of me that i've ever seen.  a perfectly powdered ghostly white t zone, limp hair, and a look of sheer terror.  these photos will be filed away in the photo box for a laugh, but i think i'll be getting my passport picture re-done today somewhere that doesn't make me feel like a grease ball.  although, sure would be a great topic of convo with those chatty customs officers...


  1. I enjoyed your passport taking story. :)
    But questions:
    1. Where is the "winner" photograph? Let's see it!
    2. Where are you off to?

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

    1. Haha I don't know if this photo should really be shared with the public :P And not off to anywhere, my passport expires soon and I've been putting off getting it renewed out of pure laziness. I'll think about scanning the photo, but no guarantees lol. Hope you're having a great weekend Natasha!

  2. Eeep, what a nightmare! I'm sad that my usual passport photo place is now closed, I seriously always got the best photos done there. Good luck today!

    xo, alison*elle

  3. Oh, the joys of passport photos... I have yet to have one taken that doesn't make me look like a terrorist threat. If you find somewhere with a polite photographer, do let me know. I've had both the, "you're too shiny" experience and the, "I'm a cool photographer who is above taking passport photos" experience. Still not sure which was worse.

  4. i love the detail on the waist of the skirt! so pretty!

  5. So funny :)

    I got mine done a couple of years ago at London Drugs on W Georgia and Granville. I'm not sure if they still do it. I think it was under $15 too. Have you tried Black's?


  6. Yikes, this sounds like a nightmare! You should get your photos taken close to Hotel Georgia, the place is called Superbest and it's on Howe and W Georgia. The guy is really nice, the price is decent and he keeps your picture on file so if you need more you can get them for $5 or so.

    xo Leonie

    New Post: Meet Muffin

  7. Ah passport photos are the worstttt. I had to take mine for study abroad about a month or so ago & was not pleased haha. They're tough.

    This skirt is so bright and lovely, by the way! I really like it!


  8. Hahaha oh gosh that's the funniest/worst story! I kinda wish someone had done that to me though when I went and got mine done - I look soooo shiny! Must be something about their lighting... :)

    Life Etc

  9. I love the relaxed look of this outfit.

    ps: that woman had no manners, I would have sent an anonymous letter to her manager explaining her lack of customer service experience.

  10. Hattitude Style Blog

    oooo my goodness alicia! what a nightmare. i hate re-doing my passport photo. it's the worst. such a process to get everything correctly signed etc.

    what a rude rude woman. next time post the photo so we all can see :) haha

    talk soon wild child
    Hattitude Style Blog

  11. love this entire outfit !!! you look amazing your smile is contagious!

  12. The color of that skirt is absolutely amazing. Such a great color for the season. And I hate taking passport photos. I don't like that the ears have to show...it's like "Hello, I did my hair for nothing..." Haha!

  13. omgosh! that woman is terrible! the worst is to get your passport taken at wal mart... Love that beautiful maxi and the pairing with your grey t-shirt! :)


  14. I had to hold back my snickering while reading this. The communal power can NOT be sanitary! smh. But ID photos are a nightmare for me always because I have very dark and often shiny skin, so in order to really see my features there needs to be great lighting or I have smile and obviously neither is often the case in snapping ID photos. I can definitely feel your pain lol.

  15. You really do tell the funniest stories! Hope your next passport photo experience is better than this one. And can I just say that I'm loving the maxi skirt? I've totally forgotten to check out the Joe Fresh one you had on last, I must get my butt in gear!


  16. you look so pretty! i adore your bright skirt!


  17. oh btw i was also wondering what lens do you use for your camera? you have really great photos!


  18. Gosh. ... What an aweful story alicia! Cant be that pics above were taken the same day... U look great! Love the color combo.... I love doing a grey or white tee with anything... Makes it look so effortless... Good luck with take two!

  19. That woman was probably extra harsh because she didn't want to risk the photos getting rejected. My passport photo taker kept making me rearrange my hair too.

    Happy Monday!

  20. Love the maxi skirt Alicia! Such a great outfit :)

  21. love that skirt!
    xo Cara

  22. Your skirt is such a stunning color!


  23. Omg, great outfit, really love your style!

  24. Hahah, oh my goodness - what a terrible (and hilarious) experience! Really love that coral maxi - so pretty :)

    The Other Side of Gray

  25. Stumbled onto your blog and just wanted to show you some blog luv! def enjoyed this post DEF A Super CUTE SKIRT! :) New follower via email


  26. I hate passport pics of myself. Yet to take one that I'm proud to flash around. If only one was allowed to use frontal shot, instagram'd shots ey? LOL

    LOVE your figure


  27. That skirt is in such a pretty color. ^.^

  28. The coral skirt looks amazing on you !

  29. literally the EXACT same thing happened with my family and I when we went for passport photos... As if being forced to have border-line mug shots taken isn't enough, they obvs have to be supaa ruude too.


AddThis Smart Layers