Jay Weinstein is a photographer and travel guide based in India and Australia. On a photography trip to Bikaner in Rajasthan, Weinstein came across a stern-looking man whom he wanted to photograph but hesitated and decided not to. He moved on to other subjects when the man called him and asked him to click his picture too.
When Weinstein set up his camera and asked the man to smile, the transformation of the man's stern features to a sunny smile struck Weinstein like epiphany. He had found his next project.
"I wanted to document the effect of the human smile on a strangers face," Weinstein told HuffPost India. So, he came up with a plan and in the following months he asked people, mostly on the street, across India, to smile for the camera. The results were mesmerising.
Weinstein wants to make one thing clear: "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."
Unlike what the pictures might suggest, the project, called ...So I Asked Them To Smile, does not feature just Indians. Weinstein shoots wherever he is travelling and at the moment that is mostly in India. The project, however, covers Nepal and Australia as well.