I had to take the kids in to get passport photos done today, since we’ll be travelling with them outside of Canada. I found a local place with experience in taking photos for different countries (Canada and New Zealand); the requirements are different. For example, Canada wants a white background for the photos, while New Zealand wants a light but not white background. Both countries expect photos with eyes open and mouth closed and no visible hands, so the photographer put a cloth over the hand holding the front of the baby. She kept turning to look at me, or smiling at the photographer, but eventually we were done. Fortunately there is an intersection set of who’s allowed to sign the back of the photos to say this is really the child in the photo (our family doctor); New Zealand will allow any New Zealander or one of a number of professions to be a witness (guarantor of identity), while Canada insists on the professions (doctor, accountant, etc). One could wonder why people who engage in other professions aren’t considered good enough to verify your identity in Canada. Why not your employer, for example? And why is geoscientist on the list, but not physicist or computer scientist?