Maybe, just maybe, you’ll look at people differently after viewing these 29 photos.
It was around this time in December back in 2013, when one man stumbled up the photographic journey of a lifetime. Jay Weinstein is a photographer who was traveling through the deserts of Rajasthan, India, to Bikaner, when he noticed an interesting-looking man. Of course, as an artist, Weinstein’s first desire was to take the man’s photo. But he had a look on his face that made the photographer feel intimidated, and Weinstein hesitated.
He avoided the stern-looking man and moved on to taking photos of other, less intimidating, subjects.
Only a few snaps of the shutter later, the man Weinstein had been purposely avoiding called out, “Take my picture too!”
“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.”
We often overlook so much about others and automatically assume within seconds whether or not they are a good, decent person. And so often, we are wrong. Someone might not be emitting warm rays of happiness when you first look at them, but you can change that. You can be the one that brings a smile to their face.
“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.”
Here are 29 photos from Weinstein that show what a difference a smile can make:
#1 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
#2 Hampi, Karnataka, India
#3 Juhu, Mumbai, India
#4 Tyrna Village, Meghalaya, India
#5 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
#6 Kakhsar Village, Gujarat, India
#7 Bandra, Mumbai, India
#8 Danda Village Jetty, Mumbai, India
#9 Bagru Village, Rajasthan, India
#10 Kakhsar Village, Gujarat, India
#11 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
#12 Latikynsew Village, Meghalaya, North East India
#13 Jagannath Puri, Odisha, India
#14 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
#15 Khonoma, Nagaland, North-east India
#16 Ral Village, Uttar Pradesh, India
#17 Outside St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India
#18 Kakhsar Village, Gujarat, India
#19 Jagannath Puri, Odisha, India
#20 Danda Village Jetty, Mumbai, India
#21 Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India
#22 Pune, Maharashtra, India
#23 Barsana, Uttar Pradesh, India
#24 Tyrna Village, Meghalaya, India
#25 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
#26 Kohima, Nagaland, North-east India
#27 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
#28 Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India
#29 Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India
You can learn more about the photographer by visiting his Facebook page.
By Raven Fon