Why do some countries insist that you DON'T smile in your passport photo?
As far as I know that makes it easier for automated software to recognize your face.
I was a "professional" photographer for a few years. I worked for both Walmart and Sears Portrait studios, respectfully. We often took passport photos and we were instructed to tell the clients not to smile. When I asked why, I was told that there are a couple reasons.
First, a passport photo is a serious thing-it is your proof of identity on officially recognized paper, accepted throughout the world. Second, the main reason that you can't smile (or wear a hat, etc.) was because the photo is supposed to look like you for identity purposes; smiles and coverings distort the face. Maybe they are secretly using facial recognition software...who knows?
May be it will make your photo doesn't look like you....
But I have seen funny poses on passports as well as Resumes. The funniest one was a guy was with sun shades and a big grin on his resume pic.
From what I have been told it is to avoid facial (specifically eye) distortion. A straight face can easily be repeated and changes easily noted - a smile on the other hand can change a lot about the space especially if the person smiling is intentionally trying to get away with something like squinting their eyes etc.
Personally I think it will change a person's face feature and now in airport, it is using face recognition software based on our face's features. So it might be hard for the software to analyze the change between the real person's face and the one in the passport.
Because by the time you've managed to get into the airport, through the hordes of people and luggage, being cut off by luggage trolleys and finally managing to reach customs they know you won't be smiling! ....
Maybe its for the recognition computers, but maybe you are asked not to smile so you will look mean and nasty. I sure look that way on my passport photo.
Is just to have the real photograph of you. Smiling might make you look like someone else.
If they want you not to smile, because of facial distortions, why then some countries insist that you DO smile? I guess the main reason is that they just think it's better that way and like to keep everything uniformed.
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