A money-savvy mum reduced the cost of getting new passport photos by £45 just by using her fridge. She’s now shared the tip so others can do the same.
Louise Warren was exasperated when the government’s passport website repeatedly rejected snaps of her youngest daughter Lyza Beau Ellis, six, because of the lighting and shadows in her home.
After 30 minutes and 10 failed attempts which had cost her £45, the 41-year-old remembered her old, white fridge was on the street ready for collection, so she rushed Lyza Beau outside.
A hilarious image, shot at 8.45pm on Monday, shows the school girl kneeling on the pavement, frowning at Louise as she took the photo with a perfectly white background. The image was rated ‘good’ by the passport portal and was accepted immediately, so relieved Louise was able to rush Lyza Beau and sister Lola Blu Ellis, eight, to school ‘just before the gates shut’.
The hilarious post has been shared more than 4,000 times, with users hailing the improvised photo shoot ‘genius’, while some mums even claimed they’d give it a go themselves. The mum-of-three was rushing to renew Lyza Beau, Lola Blu and 18-year-old Lilybelle Welch’s passports ahead of their summer holiday to Egypt, but wanted to dodge the £45 cost and time it would take to use a photo booth.
A hilarious image, shot at 8.45pm on Monday, shows the school girl kneeling on the pavement, frowning at Louise as she took the photo with a perfectly white background (Image: Kennedy)
Luckily her other kids’ photos were accepted before their old fridge was needed, but she jokes she could ‘put the photo booth industry out of business’ if her ‘hack’ catches on. Louise, from Islington, Central London, said: “It’s a really clever mum hack.
“Doing it myself saved the kids being dragged to a photo booth and saved me £45. It was definitely worth it. When we tried inside we were getting told there were shadows on Lyza Beau’s face and the background was too dark. I tried about 10 times inside but the system kept rejecting it.
“I thought that we needed natural daylight, but I couldn’t think of anything for them to stand in front of, so I pulled our old fridge forward on the front. Lyza Beau was saying ‘mum, please, no more photos’, but I just told her to sit on the floor. She was absolutely p**ed off and fed up by that time.
Louise, who manages the Hornsey Arms pub, Haringey, said she’s relieved the kids will all have renewed passports ready for their holiday (Image: Kennedy News and Media)
“She asked if I had to say cheese, but I just told her to put her hair behind her ears and not move. It got approved straight away. It was perfect conditions but to be quite honest I’d have sat her down in the rain as well on a plastic bag. I’d have done anything just to get it approved.
“I didn’t even think about going to the photo booth, I wanted to find a way to save time. I could put photo booths out of business with this. It’s expensive anyway Sometimes it’s just about initiative, you don’t have to pay £15 for a photo. If you need a white background, find one. It’s as simple as that. I was rushing out of the door to get the kids to school so I thought on my feet. I’m just glad the fridge wasn’t collected earlier.”
Louise’s daughter with her passport (Image: Kennedy)
Louise, who manages the Hornsey Arms pub, Haringey, said she’s relieved the kids will all have renewed passports ready for their holiday. Her Facebook post reads: ‘When your kid needs a passport photo’, has earned more than 4,500 comments, with users complimenting the bonkers hack.
One commented: “F****** genius. Shame that ours is black.” Another said: “We should have done this.” A third added: “If it works it ain’t stupid.”