December 2013. I was on a photography trip to Bikaner, in the deserts of Rajasthan, India. Near the busy train station, I saw a man I wanted to photograph. I hesitated. The look in his eye and his stony, stern look intimidated me. It's always that moment of hesitation that kills a shot! I ended up avoiding him and photographing other subjects until I heard his jovial voice, "Take my picture too!".


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Camera lens focused, my finger poised to fire. 'Smile', I called out. And he was transformed. His face radiated warmth, his eyes sparkled with a humor I had completely missed. Even his posture softened. I knew then what my next project would be. So I asked them to smile was born. I wanted to document the effect of the human smile on a strangers face.

In the days, months and years that followed, I asked random people on my photography adventures (mostly on the streets of India) to pose unsmiling and with a smile. These images are the heart of my project. Its goal is to recreate the mindset from which we view a stranger, and then witness as our assumptions transform with their smile.

So there are no names. No occupations. No confirmed religions or ethnicity. No intriguing life lessons or heart strumming anecdotes. Just one human face. Without, and with a smile.

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#3 Tyrna Village, Meghalaya, India

Tyrna Village, Meghalaya, India

Jay Weinstein Report

Lisa Casavant 1 year ago

Proof that a smile brightens the world!

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#4 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Jay Weinstein Report

Stacey Weaver 1 year ago

He wears his smile in his eyes, even in the first picture... that's a joy filled man.

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#5 Danda Village Jetty, Mumbai, India

Danda Village Jetty, Mumbai, India

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Yvonne Bernal 1 year ago

Those eyes remind me of the old Margaret Keane paintings! WOW!

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#6 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Jay Weinstein Report

Wendy 1 year ago

What a lovely smile - especially in his eyes - beautiful ♥

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