Saturday, June 18, 2011

Extreme photo-shopping

After the dual citizenship ceremony, the next steps of becoming a dual citizen were turning in a pledge to only use your Korean citizenship while in Korea (goodbye casinos... not like I ever went anyway.)

I turned in the pledge, and a few weeks later got a text message that my paperwork was processed and I could come back to the office to pick up my pledge confirmation.

After that, I was free to apply for my citizen ID number (kinda like the social security number in the US), a citizen ID card, and a Korean passport!

For the ID card and passport, I needed to get some official passport photos taken. I went to a local photo shop and assumed it would be in and out. Nooo... this guy took his job seriously! He took a ton of shots, and was very picky about the way I held my head, if my shoulders looked relaxed enough...

Korea seems to have more rules about passport photos than the US. For example, you can't smile showing your teeth, you need to show your ears, and you can't wear a white or light blue shirt.

But then, what this photo guy did next totally shocked me. He proceeded to take the picture I chose and photo-shopped the crap out of it! He removed freckles, and even changed the shape of my head to make my face appear more heart shaped! Pretty sure that would be highly illegal in the United States.

I asked some Korean friends about this, and they all said that's pretty standard. Guess that explains why everyone looks so much different than their government ID. Guessing they'd hate how awful we all look on our driver's licenses...

Anyway, here was the final result... I think I look sort of plastic.

So then I took this photo to the local citizen office (which happens to be SO much more convenient and well-run than the immigration office), and applied for my citizen ID card. This involved a very drawn out fingerprinting session. But I should get my card in about 3 weeks! Next step, passport....


Mica said...

So exciting! I love following along with you through this process. Once grad school is over (Um...whenever that is...), I hope I can look into this as well.

This post explains SO much. I couldn't figure out why Koreans looked so weird in their ID photos!

Jane said...

Hey Kim and Mark,

Thanks for the follow =]
I find your blog interesting especially the posts about Kim's reunion with her birth mother.

How long has this photoshopping thing been going on in Korea? Because whenever I see old student photos of my parents it looks photoshopped!