Your perception of strangers will change after seeing these pictures.

January 2014. I traveled to Bikaner, located in Rajasthan, India, on a photographic trip. I noticed a man I wanted to capture close to the crowded railway station. I was uneasy. I felt scared by his hard, austere demeanor and the gleam in his eye. The split second of indecision always ends a shot! I eventually avoided him and took pictures of other objects until I overheard his cheery voice saying, “Take my picture too!”

My finger was prepared to press the shutter while the camera lens was focussed. I yelled, “Smile.” And then he changed. He had a kind demeanor, and his eyes gleamed with a sense of humor I had totally missed. Even his stance relaxed. Then, I knew what my upcoming photo series would be. So, the phrase “I begged them to grin” was formed. I wanted to document the effect of the human smile on a stranger’s face.

On my vacation photography experiences (mainly in the streets of India) in the days, months, and years that followed, I randomly approached strangers and requested them to pose both grinning and without smiling. The center of my project is these exquisite photographs. It aims to mimic the frame of mind in which we perceive a stranger before watching as our presumptions are altered by their grin.

Since names are absent, There are no jobs. No acknowledged ethnicities or faiths. There are no heartwarming tales or insightful life lessons. one face only, human. Prior to and following both without and while grinning.

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1. Kakhsar Village, Gujarat, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

2. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

3. Tyrna Village, Meghalaya, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

4. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

5. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

6. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

7. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

8. Juhu, Mumbai, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

9. Hampi, Karnataka, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

10. Kisama, Nagaland, North-east India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

11. Bandra, Mumbai, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

12. Kakhsar Village, Gujarat, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

13. Ral Village, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

14. Near Almora, Uttarakhand, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

15. Bagru Village, Rajasthan, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

16. Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

17. Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

18. Khonoma, Nagaland, North-east India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

19. Danda Village Jetty, Mumbai, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

20. Pune, Maharashtra, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

21. Kisama, Nagaland, North-east, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

22. Jagannath Puri, Odisha, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

23. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

24. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

25. Tyrna Village, Meghalaya, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

26. Barsana, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

27. Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

28. Outside St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

29. Ral Village, Uttar Pradesh, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

30. Pune, Maharasthra, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

31. Jagannath Puri, Odisha, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

32. Kakhsar Village, Gujarat, India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

33. Kohima, Nagaland, North-east India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

34. Latikynsew Village, Meghalaya, North East India

Image Source: Jay Weinstein

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