Have you seen Jay Weinstein’s work? He is an Australian photographer who loves to travel. He has been living and traveling around India since he was just three years old.

As he has spent a major part of his life in India, in 2013, he started a project. It was titled so I asked them to smile where he travels the world and photographs strangers before and after asking them to smile.

After his work went viral, he was interviewed by several people. There he revealed that “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 has also visited countries like China, Singapore, 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!” says Jay.

See some of Jay’s beautiful portraits in the gallery below!


“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.”


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


“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.”


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


“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.”


“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.”


“He was hunched over the remains of a fire and an 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.”


“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.”


“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.”


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