The Dalai Lama said, "A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others." Smiles have the ability to change one's whole day, and not only to the one that's smiling, but also to those who see a smile. It's just a simple expression, and yet it may be the most powerful, as it's the most positive one.

Jay Weinstein tests this idea in his project "so I asked them to smile" with an extremely diverse group of people, and the answer behind each and every one of his pictures is that a smile changes everything—not only the mood, but even the whole picture. His pictures also show that a smile is unique to every individual and that it's sometimes hard to know how beautiful they look when they smile until they do.

More info: Instagram | Facebook | soiaskedthemtosmile.com

#1

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"He was wandering home one evening with his friend, walking along the stone wall-lined lanes that cut through the lush fields of Hundar, in the starkly stunning Nubra Valley of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India...so I asked him to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

Miruku_Spilt
Community Member
10 months ago

This one made me smile

Cici Qiu
Community Member
9 months ago

Your comment about the smiling made me smile.

Load More Replies...
NamiKoa
Community Member
10 months ago

Amazing, how a smile brings so much warmth to the eyes. And all these photos of smiling people are contagious, my mood is drastically improved, thank you!

Haleema
Community Member
9 months ago

His whole face just completely changes.

Deborah Gladys
Community Member
10 months ago

He has such beautiful eyes

Wyndmere
Community Member
9 months ago

Goes from. "I wouldn't want to meet up with him in a dark alley - at night. " to "Hey uncle, Wassup?"

Rainbow Panda
Community Member
10 months ago

:)

Petey Pete
Community Member
10 months ago

Is it just me or does this look like Guy Pearce?

Verena Heisenberg
Community Member
10 months ago

wow beautiful.. amazing expression! LOVE it - love him!

Red Hair Blue Soul
Community Member
10 months ago

Very striking eyes in both photos

R L
Community Member
10 months ago

Even in the not smiling one his mouth is slightly turned up. This one make me want to smile more.

Islam Jaghama
Community Member
4 months ago

it is good good job

Dorothy Cloud
Community Member
9 months ago

Even his eyes are smiling.....what a difference!

TomiSmith
Community Member
9 months ago

Nice looking man made even more so when smiling.

𝓴𝓪𝔀𝓪𝓲𝓲_𝓐𝓾𝓭𝓻𝓮𝔂 💖
9 months ago

He has an AMAZING smile :)

Barbara Gunton
Community Member
9 months ago

What deeply soulful eyes that sparkle with a smile... so handsome.

CincyReds
Community Member
10 months ago

What a difference that beautiful smile makes. Very handsome man, but that smile can light up anything.

Fieke Engelen
Community Member
10 months ago

It seems to me he had laughter lines anyway. He might be used to smile, this was an unexpected request

Susmita Barua
Community Member
10 months ago

Smile makes one happy and kind!

Judy Jones
Community Member
10 months ago

How can anyone see our smile when we are wearing a mask? I usually tell people I’m smiling. Lol

danielw
Community Member
10 months ago

it's in your eyes. Seriously. Also, your voice changes when your smiling.

Load More Replies...
Debi-Nikita Rentzke
Community Member
10 months ago

He has a lovely face and a great smile too.

Marvin HoG
Community Member
10 months ago

What a beautiful man. Resting bitch face is superb and broody. And that smile just slays.

Todd Hollfelder
Community Member
10 months ago

Looks like he's satisfied with a long day of working hard!!

Tracy Surace-Quesenberry
Community Member
10 months ago

Beautiful in both picture!

Lynne Stankard
Community Member
10 months ago

Wonderful x

Reginald Joseph
Community Member
10 months ago

very handsome before, and so sweet and approachable after

AMANDA SERRANO-MORALES
Community Member
10 months ago

I love that people smile because it makes me smile too

Susi Moffitt
Community Member
10 months ago

Attractive when smiling; scary when not

Hans Struhar
Community Member
10 months ago

very handsome

Elga Konietzny
Community Member
10 months ago

awesome,,the difference,,,something to think about

Mike Rodrick
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

WOW! WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Many people should smile more, including myself.

Marie deHeryng
Community Member
10 months ago

He is just lovely! Beautiful smile and beautiful eyes! Makes the man revive!

Cathy Shepherd
Community Member
10 months ago

His eyes light up. He looks so much stress free in his smile. Lovely picture him smiling

George Hudacko
Community Member
10 months ago

A smile can change the world!

Rose Brien Harrington
Community Member
10 months ago

He has a lovely smile, those eyes!

Cat DeAngelis
Community Member
10 months ago

Wow!

Amber Sanders Amlie
Community Member
10 months ago

Beautiful

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
10 months ago

It went all the way to his eyes. Beautiful.

Linda Smith
Community Member
10 months ago

I like the not smiling one much more..it’s serious and commanding...the smile is kind of dorky...

Catlady6000
Community Member
10 months ago

I like that both of them seem to give such clear insight into his personality. He looks like he'd be a great dad, firm loving and fun

Load More Replies...
View More Replies...
View more comments

The author shared his passion for the project with Bored Panda: "What I love most about this photography project is that it forces me to face my fears and approach people I don’t know. It forces me to challenge whatever preconceptions I have of them and learn again and again how inaccurate my assumptions are. Most of all, at this time of division, 'so I asked them to smile' stands as a profound and loving reminder of how much we all truly have in common."

#2

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"She was playing with her mom on a dirt lane off the main road as I explored the the vibrant and colorful shops and homes on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya...so I asked her to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

glowworm2
Community Member
10 months ago

She's so cute!

View More Replies...
View more comments

The diverse range of smiles that Jay brings is truly fascinating. From kids to the elderly, from east to west, and many different countries and cultures in between. The author seemingly scoured the globe to get as many unique smiles as he did. The diverse range of smiles that Jay brings is truly fascinating. From kids to the elderly, from east to west, and many different countries and cultures in-between. The author seemingly scoured the globe to get as much unique smiles as he did. He has started in 2013, and has been doing it for 7 years now. "I have spent most of my life, and much of most years, in India. I lead small group tours, photograph and explore this stunningly beautiful, complex, and multifaceted culture. Thus most of my images are from India. I have also brought this project to China, Singapore, Australia, Kenya, and Nepal. The dream is to one day take 'so I asked them to smile' to every country on earth. Let’s see what my time, finances, and the post-COVID-19 world look like!"

#3

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"She was playing outside her home in the village of Kakhsar, Gujarat, India...so I asked her to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

tilly kate
Community Member
10 months ago

she is sooo adorable

View more comments

When asked about his favorite trip and who smiled the most, Jay was equally generous to each and every one of the places that he's been in: "That is a truly impossible question to answer! What is truly memorable for me is how sweet, kind, and friendly 99% of the people I meet are, in every country I visit, once I make the effort of talking to them. [In terms of who smiles the most] If forced to guess an answer, I would say India. I would also add that almost everyone I have approached, in every country, has smiled easily and with so much joy that it humbles me to share in that moment."

#4

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"She was walking with her friends one evening as I photographed a donkey enclosure in the beautiful and isolated plateau village of Turtuk, Ladakh, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India…so I asked her to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

Vivi
Community Member
10 months ago

She is beautiful.

View More Replies...
View more comments

The author adds a little extra in his Instagram stories as he embeds them with a story of how he got the photo, what those people were like, where they were taken. Some say the eyes are the mirror of one's soul, and while we agree, a smile reflects the beauty of one's soul just as well. Make sure you check them out on his Instagram page because it's a great charge of positive energy for the entire day.

#5

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"He was hunched over the remains of a fire and empty pot of tea as I approached his house one afternoon in Muthatari, near Embu, in the Eastern Province of Kenya...so I asked him to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

Julie
Community Member
10 months ago

Handsome.

View More Replies...
View more comments

The author wrapped it up beautifully himself, saying that "The project has no overt message to convey, though it has plenty to say. What I hear from 'so i asked them to smile' is that we all have far more in common than we are told. I see a simple human smile speaking through whatever barriers class, economic status, ethnicity, sex, religion, or geographic location create."

#6

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"She was playing on the streets with her friends one evening as I wandered around the old town of Leh, in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India...so I asked her to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

narmadha weerasinghe
Community Member
10 months ago

Beautiful ❤️

View More Replies...
View more comments

And with this, we leave you to enjoy some beautiful smiles from beautiful people from far and wide. Smile more—it may not only change someone's day, but their entire outlook towards life. Show your support for this wholesome message by following the Instagram page! What about you? How do these images inspire you? Share in the comments!

#7

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"He was waiting in line at 7 AM outside the post office opening at 11 AM, that exchanges invalidated 500 and 1000 rupee notes for newly printed currency, in Jojowar, Rajasthan, India...so I asked him to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

Roos Dillema
Community Member
10 months ago

I love all of them. All. How beautiful people can look when they are smiling. Love it

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"He was playing with his brothers in the family compound, having just returned from school and discarding his uniform one humid afternoon in Nirdoi, a sleepy village on the banks of the river Ganges, in West Bengal, India...so i asked him to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

Julie
Community Member
10 months ago

His entire body smiles.😊

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"He was playing with friends and family one afternoon in the web of narrow lanes that make up the old part of the ancient city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India...so i asked him to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

Matthew Stark
Community Member
10 months ago

What a fantastic pictorial!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#10

Photographer For 7 Years Shows How A Smile Can Transform A Person

"She was exploring the stunningly restored, 1300-year-old Kaiyuan temple complex one evening in Quanzhou, Fujian, China...so I asked her to smile."

soiaskedthemtosmile Report

Claudia
Community Member
10 months ago

sweet smile

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda