Beyond the Frame of Passport Photos
August 19, 2019 9:31 AM   Subscribe

London artist Max Siedentopf shows us the surreal world happening just outside the frame of the humble and functional passport photo.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (31 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
As a parent who has had to take kids for multiple passport/visa photos before, I can relate. Pretty sure the passport we had to get for one of our newborns would have shown him diaper-less and peeing off frame.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:39 AM on August 19, 2019 [9 favorites]


Hey, mine too!
posted by biogeo at 9:40 AM on August 19, 2019


I love so many of those Twitter "Open for a surprise/cuteness/etc." photos, and these are the logical extension of that idea. Fun and silly and great.
posted by xingcat at 10:07 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


That toilet paper dress is awesome
posted by cynical pinnacle at 10:20 AM on August 19, 2019 [6 favorites]


I'm impressed by their ability to have things stuffed in their pants while simultaneously meeting the requirement that they not smile in their passport photos.

The reality is not necessarily less strange than this. One of my friends tells the story of how she had to hold her months old baby from under a sheet -- because no portion of the parent could be visible in the photo -- and convince the baby to neither laugh nor cry but also have her eyes open for the picture -- as if a 4 month old can be convinced of anything at all.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:26 AM on August 19, 2019 [7 favorites]


New job aspiration: Black market toast dealer
posted by aubilenon at 10:32 AM on August 19, 2019 [4 favorites]


I do hope they were careful with the guy duct taped to the wall - if you're not careful to support the subject, you can quite literally crucify them.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:38 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


I ain't ever seen anything like that at a Kinko's before
posted by NoMich at 11:00 AM on August 19, 2019 [5 favorites]


o henry!
posted by lalochezia at 11:05 AM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


Love these!

I have an official photo for an important role that shows me in a sports jacket, shirt and tie. You don't see the beach shorts and flipflops below (I stopped by for the photo on my way to a day at the beach).
posted by dowcrag at 11:06 AM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


inflatablekiwi - In my son's first photo I had to crouch outside the frame in order to hold his hand. It was the only way he was willing to stay still. :)
posted by machine at 11:46 AM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


"Anything to declare? Alcohol? Tobacco? Firearms? Invasive species?"

These are great.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:02 PM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


Love this kind of stuff!
posted by djrock3k at 12:30 PM on August 19, 2019


This is brilliant. Thanks!

(Well worth trying three browsers to find one that would display the whole thing without making my computer entirely unusuable. Genuinely worth it, without snark.)
posted by eotvos at 1:05 PM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


Good shit!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:05 PM on August 19, 2019


I'll admit I took a work video conference this morning in a nice shirt, while bare-footed and in shorts. I suspect that's pretty regular and they'd be a neat series on what the rest of the participants/room looks like for video conferences (made even funnier because it probably happens at all ends of the conference!).

I've lost count of how many times I've quickly de-cluttered one particular part of a hotel room/home office etc, or moved lamps around to take a video conference and make it look like I'm in a well-lit office or at least somewhere a bit more work like than the basement of a 2 star hotel.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:10 PM on August 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


New job aspiration: Black market toast dealer

I hear it's a crummy career, and investors frequently get burned.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:32 PM on August 19, 2019 [9 favorites]


New job aspiration: Black market toast dealer

I hear it's a crummy career, and investors frequently get burned.


Still, there's a lot of bread involved, and the product is hot.
posted by Four Ds at 1:59 PM on August 19, 2019 [9 favorites]


So sad they had to be cropped for the passport...
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:13 PM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


Still, there's a lot of bread involved, and the product is hot.

There's opportunities popping up all over the place.
posted by aubilenon at 2:23 PM on August 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


I've lost count of how many times I've quickly de-cluttered one particular part of a hotel room/home office
In the last few years, most of my telecons are in the middle of the day and happen at work. When I was living in the CET timezone and mostly talking to the US, I had a very specific position for the camera that showed nothing but a blank wall and a headshot. (The temptation to arrange strange and disturbing performance pieces behind me has always been intriguing, but never enough to actually do so.)

Someday conference software vendors will offer image processing that replaces the unwashed dishes in our tiny rooms with a panel of chalk boards filled with impressive and ambiguous material. Probably sooner than I'd guess.
posted by eotvos at 2:25 PM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


What's with the fish cursor thing?
posted by Scattercat at 2:40 PM on August 19, 2019


They probably just did that for the halibut.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:21 PM on August 19, 2019 [9 favorites]


The History of Passport Photos, From ‘Anything Goes’ to Today’s Mugshots, Natasha Frost, Atlas Obscura, September 8, 2017: “People have always hated how they look in them.”
posted by cenoxo at 4:37 PM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


These could be an amusing lead-in to an intro research methods lecture on sampling.
posted by eirias at 7:24 PM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'll admit I took a work video conference this morning in a nice shirt, while bare-footed and in shorts. I suspect that's pretty regular and they'd be a neat series on what the rest of the participants/room looks like for video conferences (made even funnier because it probablyad to happens at all ends of the conference!).

I've lost count of how many times I've quickly de-cluttered one particular part of a hotel room/home office etc, or moved lamps around to take a video conference and make it look like I'm in a well-lit office or at least somewhere a bit more work like than the basement of a 2 star hotel.


So much yes. I got channeled by ineluctable force from working for the national office of my organization to being invited to the international office. The people interviewing me across an ocean were three people I knew slightly, barely, and not all (respectively) so I had to look presentable for my interviews: business suit w/expensive tie from the waist up, cargo shorts and bare feet from the waist down. And I relocated my laptop from facing a bookshelf to the living room and drew open the curtains to show off the autumn foliage out the back to best and most picturesque advantage.

I like the idea that perhaps we were all similarly clad.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:28 PM on August 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


I used to work in the flagship downtown Portland Kinko’s. This is accurate.
posted by Skwirl at 10:56 PM on August 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


the requirement that they not smile in their passport photos.
Ahem. Friendly neighborhood passport specialist with a quote from Vol. 8 of the Foreign Affairs Manual regarding passport photos:

"The applicant’s expression should be natural. Normal, unexaggerated smiles are acceptable, but unusual expressions and squinting are not (ICAO 9303 3.9)."

So yeah, at least if you're getting a 'Murican passport, go ahead and say cheese.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 9:32 AM on August 20, 2019


The original post indicates the artist is working in the UK, where smiling in passport photos is not allowed. I live in Canada, where smiling in passport photos is also not allowed.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:34 AM on August 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


unusual expressions and squinting are not

“Stop making that face!”

“But this is my usual face!”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:24 PM on August 20, 2019


As I’m presently breastfeeding a baby, the one with the guys nipples attached to a set of vacuum cleaners is A++ on point. Thanks for posting!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:42 AM on August 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


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