When someone greets you with a smile, you get positive energy from them. A simple can make a huge difference to your day. So, photographer Jay Weinstein traveled the world to meet different people from diverse cultures to just ask them to smile. He captures people smiling and made them realize that how beautiful they look with a smile on their faces.
Hiptoro reached out to the author to know more about his passion for the project. He said,”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.”
He further told us that he started his journey in 2013 to capture as many beautiful smiles as he could. “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!”
When asked which was his favorite trip out of all, the photographer replied, “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.”
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.”