As a Rights of Passage youth worker, I often go with youth into the neighbourhood for things like shopping, going to the bank or simply for coffee and a chat. I truly enjoy this part of my job, especially when doing something so ordinary that can result in a memorable shared experience. This was the case with Mike a few months ago when we had to get his passport pictures done. What started as a simple task of going to London Drugs to take passport pictures turned into a very funny and memorable time for Mike, myself and Kate, another Rights of Passage resident who came along with us.
This was Mike’s first passport picture taking experience. We were greeted by the photo department clerk who proceeded to get Mike posed and ready for a smileless official picture. This would be easier said than done. For the first two pictures, Mike was clearly struggling with not smiling and had the giggles. It did not help that Kate and myself were watching Mike behind the photo taker directly in Mike’s sightline. Once the giggles became contagious with us as well and after the two takes Kate and I had to hide in the store isles so that Mike could focus on his serious pose and not see us in the background. After the fourth take, Mike was relieved that the picture taking was done and so were we.
As we all proceeded to leave the store with the giggles, the clerk comes after us to inform Mike that the camera had not been set properly and that the pictures had to be taken all over again. Mike couldn’t believe that he had to go back into the serious pose again.
Three more takes later, including one by the photo lab technician who had to come assist the clerk due to some camera technical difficulties, Mike had his perfect serious pose photos. We were all relieved and couldn’t stop laughing about the whole ordeal. This was indeed a first experience for Mike, and a memorable one for all of us. Who would have thought that getting a simple passport picture taken at Rights of Passage would be something to smile about?