How To Live Better In 2013: Finally Take a Good Passport Photo

Blair Pfander

rachel bilson passport photo 16 How To Live Better In 2013: Finally Take a Good Passport PhotoNew year, new you. With that in mind follow along as we hit up experts in far ranging fields from fashion to hospitality to nutrition for their thoughts on How To Live Better In 2013.
The worst part of traveling is, beyond a doubt, the moment you hand the customs officer your passport, exposing the only remaining evidence of your formerly crooked teeth, or asymmetrical bangs, or splotchy skin before you figured out the right products to use or the haircut that was the most flattering. Hey, we can’t all look like Rachel Bilson (pictured above having her passport photo taken) all of the time and we don’t all have the resources to get a famed photographer like Mario Testino to take our passport photo like Vogue editor Anna Wintour reportedly did.
As the founder of Please magazine, photographer Olivia da Costa knows a thing or two about taking a good photo. Her pitch-perfect snaps of the world’s top models and tastemakers are marked by an easy, effortless cool. Granted, models don’t need tons of help in the photo taking department, but Da Costa is also a serious jet-setter (see her Ibiza travel diary here), which makes her an expert not only in photography, but specifically in taking passport snaps.
Here, Da Costa spills her top 5 tips for looking like your most glamorous self in your next passport photo, and less like a (choose all that apply): awkward teenager/serial killer/cat hoarder.
1. Look Sharp. “Keep your head straight and don’t lean on any sides,” instructs Da Costa. Otherwise, you may create unflattering angles.
2. Keep It Serious. “Never smile in a passport photo. Police or customs officers rarely have a sense of humor!”
3. Instant Slim. “Keep your chin angled down a little. Tilting the head forward always creates a thinner face and a smaller nose.”
4. Amorous Eyes. “Look at the camera as if it were your boyfriend,” Da Costa advises. “The intensity in your eyes will make you look intelligent and beautiful.”
5. Avoid Shadows. If you’re taking your own passport photo, “don’t forget the white compulsory background,” Da Costa cautions. “And stay close to the background to avoid big shadows.”
More How To Live Better In 2013: 
10 Pieces To Invest In This Year
Become a Regular at a Restaurant 

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