Can you smile in a UK Passport Photo?

Can you smile in a British UK Passport Photo

The answer is, No.
We called ourselves ‘Don’t Smile Passport Photos’ for the very reason that in the vast majority of countries around the world you are not allowed to smile in your passport photo. One exception being the United States and even then the mouth has to be closed.

So remember Don’t Smile – but be happy! And avoid a rejected expensive passport application.

The answer is, Yes.
For babies and infants the photo requirements are more relaxed. Children under 6 do not have to be looking directly at the camera or have a plain expression and Children under one do not have to have their eyes open.

Can you smile in a British UK Passport Photo

All Passports now use facial biometrics to measure facial features that are stored on the chip in your passport. A smile would distort your facial features making it difficult for facial recognition software used at borders to match your face to your passport.

As mentioned most countries ask that you do not smile in your Passport Photo and also that you should have a neutral facial expression – and here there are differences in what you should or should not do … as an example in the UK you are not allowed to frown or have raised eyebrows? And in Greece “hot spots” of reflected light on the face are not allowed.

To summarise: To have a neutral expression on a UK Passport Photo you must face towards the camera, have both eyes open, have a closed mouth and at the same time show no emotion – Let’s be honest here, It’s hardly surprising that most people dislike their own passport photo!

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