September 07, 2005

The photobooth owes much of its longevity (and perhaps more of its economic viability) to the various passport photo requirements throughout the world. We learned from a recent CBC news story that Canada’s photobooth boom was a direct result of the photo requirement to gain entry into Montreal’s World’s Fair in 1967. We are also aware of the frequent use of photobooths to procure international passports, driver’s licenses, gun licenses, and the like.

In a saddening announcement, the UK government issued new guidelines that prohibit smiling in your passport photos. Apparently this was done to aid security systems in their attempt at face recognition. (I can’t decide whether to be impressed or frightened)

All of that to say.… it is a sad day for the photobooth.

The same story has shown up in a few different sources:

Guardian Travel

Guardian Unlimited


  1. 1

    I guess we should still be happy that the UK even allows photobooth photos to be used in passports. The U.S. State Department does not allow them for use in U.S. passports; I tried the last time around and was informed I couldn’t.

  2. 2
    post m 

    bet that will be used by tons of britons because of the new regulation 🙂