passport-photo1. Select a photo studio that is relatively calm (not in the middle of a big box store).

2. If possible, call ahead and make an appointment. Make sure you explain the situation so they understand that it make take some extra time and patience to get the photo taken.

3. Give yourself a lot of time to get it done. Rushing to submit passport photos that are needed to take a trip on short notice puts unnecessary stress on you and your child.

4. Take your child to the studio beforehand so he can see someone (even you or a sibling) get their photo taken. If possible, video the process so you can review it with your child later.

5. On the day the photo will be taken, tell your child that you are going to the photo studio before you go. That gives him time to mentally prepare for what is coming.

6. Select comfortable clothes for your child to wear to avoid fussing with collars or itchy sweaters. Border guards don’t care if your child is wearing a t-shirt in his passport photo.

7. Offer a reward for sitting and having the photo taken (and be sure to make good on that promise afterwards).

8. Bring someone with you that your child likes. Preferably this would be a respite worker or someone who knows how to help your child through stressful situations.

9. Bring your child’s favourite toy or object that comforts him. He should be able to hold onto it when the photo is being taken (as long as it isn’t too big).

10. Be prepared that you may not be successful getting the photo taken the first time around and that it make take a few tries.