I started out this morning with the realization that Iâm not ready to go to China. A visa for China requires 6 months time remaining on your passport. Mine is due to expire in a few months. So, I need to renew my passport, transfer my UK visa to the new passport, and apply for a China visa. This is going to time-consuming and expensive.
One thing I really needed was some passport photos. The London U.S. Embassy site puts the fear of God into you about not having the right type of photos: âDonât get them from a machine.â âMake sure they comply with standards.â âAny problems with the photos and your application will be REJECTED!â So, I decided to use one of the photographers they recommended.
I went to a tiny place at Charing Cross called The ID Photo Shop (http://idphotoshop.co.uk ). Itâs a nice little hard-to-find place in the Charing Cross underground station. Itâs not a chain, but they have a nice informative website.
The shop is hard to find. On entering it looks like a sandwich shopâI think the business shares the location with another shop. I actually walked into the place and asked the sandwich guy to take my picture. He directed me around the corner to talk to the guy who runs the other id photo place.
It is run by a guy named Samir. He knew all about the photos I needed for my US Passport and for the Chinese visa application.
In addition to passport photos, the shop also advertised âprofessional photosâ. I asked what this was (Iâm ever the hayseed sometimes) and he told me that this is what people use to put on CVs and media types use it for press releases etc.
I have been having a hard time finding a new photo for this blog and other places like Facebook, etc. It was a big self-indulgence, but I asked if he could make a professional photo for me. After he took the passport photos (no smileânot even a smirk!), he took about a dozen photos for my professional picture. He talked me through various poses and let me choose one I like afterwards. The price for this picture? Same as the passport photos: Â£4.95. Itâs much better than anything I could have done on my own and I think about as well as any portrait studio could have done for much more money.
So, hereâs the new look as compared to my old pic. Iâm not used to looking at pictures of myself, but I think Samir did a great job.
|Old picture (taken by me)||
Yeah. Iâm getting older.
This place is hard to find, but well worth the visit if if you need a âprofessionalâ picture.
It was a nice find and I highly recommend it.