Smizing in passport photos
There's a camera specialist near my home that also does passport photos. Pricing is almost the same at several businesses in the city, so it's a wise (and easy) choice to go to a place that knows photography instead of a random storefront.
Catching the eye of a CSR, I inquire about the pics and she takes me to the centre of the store to help me out. There's a small set-up with a while background, a stool (with kiddie booster seat) and a professional flash. She directs me to sit up straight on the stool, picks up a large DSLR camera, pulls it up to her eye level and looks into the view finder. I look right at her.
"Stop smizing," she says behind the camera.
She's right in saying that I am. Ever since Tyra Banks taught the world the term (to smile with your eyes without smiling with your mouth - not as easy as it sounds) on America's Next Top Model, it's been my go-to when taking pictures.
I try again.
"You're still smizing."
"Really?" I drop my shoulders.
"Relax your face. You're doing that smirk thing with your eyes."
I laugh a little to relieve the tension and let my face relax to the point that I'm actually trying to pull my facial muscles down in an attempt to semi-frown without looking angry (again, much more difficult than it sounds).
"Chin up... up... up," and I hear a click of the shutter. "Here, come look at the photo. What do you think?" She plugs in the camera to an iPad and shows it to me.
"It's hard not to look at the camera without looking angry," I say. The photo looks alright. A little paler, a little less smize-y, but ok.
"Yeah. They don't accept anyone smiling, but if you smize they might consider that a smile and the photos won't be accepted."
True. I'd rather comply than having to run back and forth and get another set of photos. I want my passport done quickly and don't want to wait around for the - approx. - 20 days it takes to get a new one.
And if I don't really love it, I only have to bite my tongue for five years until it expires.