I am writing this as a precautionary step. You see, I am traveling overseas soon with my dearest and we had our passport pictures taken at your facilities. While, the process of having our pictures taken was simple we did have one issue. The photographer (I will use that term loosely.) did not allow us to smile. In fact, a young boy was in line ahead of me and she told him, "No smiling." I thought it was a ploy to get him to smile, reverse psychology if you will. When my turn came I plopped down on the seat with a huge smile. She told me, "No smiling."
As you can see from my picture I look horrible when I don't smile.
Being the vain person that I am, I questioned her about the no smiling policy. She fed me a line about it changing the shape of the face, smile wrinkles, etc. I believed her. I certainly didn't want to not make it through customs because I was smiling in my picture. I assumed she was an authority on passport pictures. Turns out she isn't.
I told this story to a friend who recently had her passport renewed. She was allowed to smile for her picture. I started asking around and everyone else was allowed to smile in their pictures.
This is a precautionary letter in case we aren't allowed to leave or enter the good ol' U.S. of A, because we look like criminals.
I want to have written documentation of why I have a mug shot and not a pretty, picture perfect passport photo.