I need to get a picture taken for my provisional driving licence. I had put off making my application because of having to have my photo taken, so had been surprised to find the process so easy online and that they could take the picture from my passport. Then a letter came into the post and said I needed to attach a photo.
I should have washed my hair. I didn't bother this morning. I have no brush with me. It’s convenient to do it today as it saves me a trip tomorrow. Do I look presentable? Should I change my top? I don't usually take much care over my appearance but this photo will be seen by a lot of people. Every time I get ID'd.
I go into selfie mode on my phone. I look so tired. Maybe I should skip the photo booth. But it's just convenient. I will see what I look like when I get to the booth. Though I will have to get out of the station at an earlier stop so if I go then I have to have it done otherwise I made it a longer walk home. Bouncers will look at my picture and laugh if it is bad, though my passport picture is horrible too. In my old provisional picture I look young but awake, mainly as I wore makeup as for a photo booth portrait I had taken not long before it I wore no wake up and looked tired so I wore makeup to look more awake but then I just looked weird.
I get to the machine and notice it's £6. I think I only have £5 but I check my purse. Okay exactly £6. Good job I checked. I get inside and notice that you can pay via contactless. I spend a minute trying to sort out my hair in the reflection. It's greasy but it doesn't look as bad as I had imagined and I look more awake now. I think this picture will be alright. I study the paperwork to see the specifications of the photograph. Okay. It says it will change the camera settings. Do my eyes fit between these lines? Maybe? I press 'lower'. Is my face supposed to fill the whole oval? My face seems tiny. I don't fill up the oval completely as I feel like I am sat too close already. These machines stress me out.
The last time I got my passport picture done I went to a shop where someone takes your photo. The two guys were watching Britain's Got Talent and I felt bad for them having to serve me instead of watching the video. I hated the picture but I hated the whole situation and I didn't want to appear fussy and it's not like other pictures would have been much different so I settled. I thought the picture would get rejected for being too light.
This time I press 'take a photo', it counts down from 3 and then there is a big gap between 1 and it actually taking the picture. I blink on 2 so that I don't feel the urge to do it at the time of the picture so I have to hold it. The picture is terrible. I faff with my hair a bit more. Take another photo. This time I blink on 1. It's terrible and pretty similar to the first. I don't need to take another one but I think it will look good for the project photo. The button to take another picture actually reads 'I take another photo' and I wonder which country the machine was made in. I take another photo and yes it looks similar to the others. I think I choose the second one. My face looks thinner in the third one but I think that's because I have taken it wrong so I choose the second one.
I feel awkward waiting for the photos and someone is standing closely. They print quick these days. I take it out through the thin gap in a way so that no one else can see it. The gap is small and it hurts my fingers. The picture looks dark and I look terrible. I hope they don't reject it as it was £6.
I get home and show it to my boyfriend. He laughs and says it looks nothing like me. 'How can you look like you do now and then look like this in the photo?' I tell him that I can't take a flattering photo booth photo. I ask him if I should get it redone. He says maybe. I can't be bothered, I don't want to waste money. He says that it's only going to be on my licence for ages. 'Yes so bouncers will laugh at me'. 'And policemen...' I'm so tired that I can’t seem to cut it out straight, so I cut a second one so that the person who processes it doesn't laugh at me. I already know they will laugh at my picture. I just hope they approve it so that I don't have to go through it all again…