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10 Portraits Of People Before And After The Photographer Asked Them To Smile

Published 1 year ago

Jay Weinstein is an Australian photographer who has been living and traveling around India since he was just three years old. Back in 2013, he started a project titled so I asked them to smile where he travels the world and photographs strangers before and after asking them to smile.

In a recent interview with Bored Panda, Jay said that what he loves most about photography is the fact that if forces him to face his fears and approach people he doesn’t know. “It forces me to challenge whatever preconceptions I have of them and learn again and again how inaccurate my assumptions are,” says the photographer. “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.”

Having spent most of his life in India, Jay knows the country pretty well and organizes small group tours where people can explore its unique culture. Most of the photos in the series were shot in India but the photographer 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!

More info: Instagram | Facebook | soiaskedthemtosmile.com

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#1

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#2

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#3

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#4

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

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

#5

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#6

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#7

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#8

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#9

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

“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.”

#10

Image source: soiaskedthemtosmile

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

Aušrys Uptas

One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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Jay Weinstein, people, photography, so I asked them to smile
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