Can our identity be limited? 

“Don't mess around with your passport photos!”

This is the instruction in capital letters on the 6,000 photo booths approved by the Ministry of the Interior. "For the administrative validity of your photos, thank you for having a neutral expression", orders the European standard ISO/IEC 19794-5: 2005.

The aim of the series "smiling is not allowed" is to question this drastic framing of the passport photo, which, by forbidding the subject to be himself in order to have the most neutral expression possible, denies his own identity, his humanity. A paradox for a passport photo... 

By recreating the atmosphere of an approved photo booth, this series compares neutral passport photos with passport photos that the administration now considers to be non-compliant.

(Text Laurène Champalle)