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Scowl for the camera

Don’t smile for the camera if you’re getting a driver’s license photo in one of the four states that ban grins from such pictures, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star.

The states are Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia.

The report mentions that the states’ identification software works better if people are lacking expression in the photos. But we think otherwise.

It’s probably because most people aren’t smiling when they get pulled over. Perhaps folks should be asked to scowl for the camera when getting their driver’s license photos taken.

scowl1Other photos in which people should not be smiling:

• Mug shots

• Photos taken at funeral homes*

• Tragic scenes of car crashes, drownings, fires

• Shots depicting murder or mayhem (unless the one smiling is the psychotic killer)

• Anything at airports unless the shot includes long lost lovers, friends or family members being reunited

*I learned the funeral home lesson the hard way when I profiled a pet funeral home in Brooklyn, All Pets Go To Heaven, and came back with a stack of photos of the owners standing around a dog casket grinning. There was no dog inside, but my editor chided me nonetheless for asking the funeral directors to smile. “Ryn, no one smiles at a funeral.”

Have you ever smiled, laughed or displayed inappropriate humor at an inappropriate time?

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