Can You Spot the Future Americans?

A mosaic of immigrant ID photos.
Can You Spot the Future Americans?

[Click here to read a related Mother Jones article about stressed-out immigration judges.]

Photographer Matt Slaby has snapped more than 100 passport-style pics to accompany US citizenship applications. Writes Slaby of the passport picture-taking process:

You know before you even touch the shutter that they're going to hate the picture. All the tricks that photographers use to make a photograph flattering are pulled out from under you by the procedures set forth by the United States Department of State 'Composition Checklist' for making what they call a "successful photo." No hats, no glasses, no outrageous jewelry, neutral expression, flat light—it all culminates in a photograph that is hard to be proud of and even harder to hand to someone without apologizing.

The faces shown here are those of immigrants attending citizenship drives—administrative workshops where hopeful Americans-to-be can discuss bureaucratic details with lawyers and specialists. Displayed in composite form, what emerges is the face of immigration in the early 21st century.