Happy Wednesday Friends.
I am so excited to introduce you to my sweet friend, April.
April and her husband Denny are also teaching in Qingdao
and are currently spending winter vacation traveling through South East Asia.
I can't wait to check out all their pictures when they get back!
You can check them out too, on her blog, as well as, tons of Travel Posts & most importantly updates from her 10, 000 Smiles Project.
April is seeking to take 10, 000 smile pictures in 2013. She has captured some of the most beautiful smiles and I am pretty positive at the end of this project she will have a fantastic coffee table book published, that I will for sure buy.
Without further ado, I give you the precious, April.
Counting this post I have taken 1,000 pictures
One month down and eleven more to go for the 10,000 Smiles Project. I have consistently gone out and taken pictures. Congrats to me and my fellow viewers for participating in the voting process. The project has already made results. I have make it a habit to carry my large DSLR camera with me wherever I go. I have achieved getting genuine smiles, because I have taken so many pictures. To boot, I have met over 1,000 people in the month of January. Below I explain the types of people I have encountered directly dealing with their responses to having their picture taken.
Please let me know how this project specifically has impacted you so far in the comment box below. I would love to hear from my viewers!
Off to the side of St. Michael's Cathedral, in Qingdao, China I found this man doing Tai Chi. He radiated joy!
The 8 Types of People I have met:
Get lost annoying tourist: Some people give me a flat out "NO". They either shake their hand or put their hand in front of their face so the annoying white girl doesn't capture their soul. Who knows? My picture taking is an innocent project.
People blind to their value: Some people say, "No" and later follow with a comment, "I am not beautiful". When this happens I stress to them they are beautiful. (Read more on what I think about peoples' beauty here.) I love that this project allows me space and time to love on others. We need to speak truth into others lives.
A lost sales pitch: I receive a "No" after having a 10-30 minute conversation with the person. When this occurs it's usually me explaining the project and them asking me questions because I am a foreigner. I hope they feel loved with having someone listen to them.
Made you look: I ask for them to smile and I get a fake, forced smile. I'll take it because I have 10,000 smiles to take but thank God there are real smiles out there that brightens everyones day. Or...sometimes I take the picture of a person and then somehow magically after the picture that is when they smile. It's usually an 80% chance I won't catch that real smile but with practice of this project I will get better.
Polite and appreciative: Some people say "Yes" and then I get smiles from near-by people and a thank you. I love it when I hear a "thank you". When I hear that it warms my soul and brings a smile to my face too. In this "yes" subgroup I sometimes get asked "Where are you from?" and I of course respond “Mei(3)guo(2)”. Some of these "yes" also have conversations that carry for 5-30 minutes.
I am awesome: This type of person brightens my day. A person sees or hears about my project and personally comes up to me to ask for their picture to be taken. This type of person has only happened a hand full of times but I love it.
For New or Old Viewers to the Project
A person commented to me that the project I am tackling is easy because of the population in China. Yes, it's true China is crowded and there are a lot of people but that doesn't make my project easier. I get a lot of people who turn me down. I also have to travel out-of-my-way to crowded places in order to make the picture taking easier. Which is not necessarily what I want to do on a cold winter's day in China. This 10,000 Smiles project takes a lot of work and time on my part. I devote several hours a week to it. I take the time to ask strangers if I can take their picture and explain to people what I am doing, which all takes time. It takes a bold person to take so many rejections. While taking pictures I aim for genuine smiles but that requires sometimes a few shots of one person. Besides just taking the pictures I devote many hours to deleting, labeling each photo with a number, downloading and other techie stuff. This project is work, but a fun goal altogether. The time I invest has made this project like a part time job for me. I hope you can value and appreciate the project by leaving a comment or placing a vote on your favorite smile of the day. Thank you for stopping by 10,000 Smiles. I pray the smiles brought some joy to your day!
Go show April some love friends!
To see all 1,000 of April's Smiles click here and vote for your favorite smiles!