Jay Weinstein is a Mumbai based Australian photographer who has started a beautiful photo project called ‘So I Asked Them To Smile’. For this project, he travels around different cities meeting strangers and takes two photos of each of them – one with their regular expression and one after he asks them to smile. Needless to say, the results are beautiful and it’s quite amazing to see how a simple smile can change the entire appearance of a person and makes them look more approachable, friendly and relatable.
It was in December 2013 when Weisntein was on a photography trip to Rajasthan in India where he saw a man he wanted to photograph. But he hesitated taking his photograph and instead, started taking pictures of other subjects around him when he heard the man say, “Take my picture too”, and gave him a beautiful smile. That was the very moment when the photographer came to know what he really wanted to do and hence, ‘So I asked them to smile’ was born.
Apart from Australia and India, he has traveled to various parts of Nepal doing what he does the best — making people smile. Here are some of his photographs from Nepal with the captions he wrote.
“He was kind enough to let me into his courtyard in the scenic village of Marpha, in the district of Mustang, Nepal…so I asked him to smile.”
“He was selling herbs and ointments, sitting on the steps in front of a shuttered shop in the back lanes of Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal…so I asked him to smile.”
“She was playing among the Nepali New Year butter-lamp sellers in Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal…so I asked her to smile.”
“He was walking around the base of the Swayambhunath Stupa hill in Kathmandu, Nepal…so I asked him to smile.”
“He was walking, with his family, through the ancient maze like alleys and doorways of Panauti, in the Kavre District of Nepal…so I asked him to smile.”
Such a beautiful work this photographer is doing. We wish there were more people like him who made people smile.