In May of last year my father asked me to take his passport photo. He wasn’t going abroad but needed to get a passport as an ID for work he was doing within the United States. At the time it dawned on me that this was the closest I had ever come to making a formal portrait of him.
He arrived dressed, pressed and ready but was a bit taken back that I had set up lights. “What’s with the lights? We don’t need those.”
It had been years since I shot a passport photo, last time was when I worked in a camera store in high school. So, prior to his arrival I double checked the photo spec’s and rules on the US State Department web site. Head position, lighting, image size, etc. I had printed out the information and showed it to him. “Eh, you didn’t have to set up lights.” Sure I did. The photo had to be up to my standards and to meet the regulations. When your father raises you to be prepared and to take such things into consideration – you don’t cut corners.
Jack Roemer, 1934-2008