How to Get Your Mug Shot Photo

Written by michael roennevig Google
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How to Get Your Mug Shot Photo
Look suitably chastened when posing for your mug shot. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you're keen to having a police mug shot of yourself to serve as a talking point when friends or family are around to visit but don't fancy going through the rigmarole of getting yourself arrested, it's easy to make a mocked-up version with a digital camera and some basic desktop publishing software. To add to the authenticity of your shot, you could also consider using make-up and clothing to add weight to the story behind your fictional crime.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Make-up
  • Clothing
  • Digital camera
  • Friend
  • Computer
  • Desktop publishing program
  • Photo paper
  • Printer

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  1. 1

    Decide upon what crime you've supposedly been arrested for. If it's a drink or drug offence, try to look suitably dishevelled or wide-eyed, respectively. If you've been involved in some sort of violent scuffle, mess up your hair or consider applying some make-up to give the impression of a black eye or bruises.

  2. 2

    Stand against a plain white wall and have a friend take a series of photos. Use harsh lighting and make sure you're shot from the chest up. Look guilty, embarrassed, scared or spaced-out, depending upon your fictional offence. Think about the sort of emotions you'd be feeling if arrested for your supposed crime.

  3. 3

    Import your pictures to a computer and select the one that looks the most convincing. Put vanity aside, as it's unlikely to be the most flattering shot.

  4. 4

    Open your desktop publishing program and import your selected image. Try not to touch it up too much; you want it to look as raw as possible. If anything, try to make it brighter to enhance any imperfections in your skin or bags under your eyes.

  5. 5

    Use your desktop publishing program to make a mug shot board with the date of your arrest, your name, age, height, weight and name of the police department that picked you up. This should run along the bottom of the photo. The method for creating the mug shot board will depend on the computer program you're using. You can also make a mugshot board by writing these details in white on a black piece of card, which you can hold up to the camera while having your mug shot taken.

  6. 6

    Load photo paper into the printer and print a few copies of your creation. You could leave one lying conspicuously around your house to attract the attention of visitors or have one framed and put on your wall as a memento of your one, albeit fictional, brush with the law.

Tips and warnings

  • Produce a mocked-up local newspaper article reporting on your crime using your desktop publishing program. Include your mug shot at the top of the story. You can download newspaper templates for most desktop publishing programs from sites like or if you're a beginner.

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