A few weeks ago, while looking at some of the images that I captured in Siem Reap's rural areas - I had an idea....
I was struck by the degree of kindness and warm welcomes that I received as I cruised along on my bicycle. From two ladies bathing in the cool water they pumped from a well, to little kids who showered me with their enthusiastic and heartwarming hellos...these communities, I was again reminded, are home to some truly beautiful people!
While looking at these images back at home, I was also reminded of a family I met in Morocco. A family that had invited me in - a simple, solo roaming stranger and foreigner, to join them for some homemade pastries and mint tea. We sat together, ate and chatted for at least two hours... Equipped with my camera, we then took a few group and family photos. Noticing that they had none, I hoped to get them printed and delivered to them. Years have passed since that beautiful encounter...and the fact that I never executed my plan, continues to weigh heavily on my soul.
I will not let that happen again!
Not to forget the opportunity that I missed a few years ago, combined with the beautiful encounters that I am fortunate enough to keep having, I am officially launching the SMILE PROJECT: PRINTED PHOTO SURPRISE; a self-imposed mission that I hope will, yes you guessed it - hopefully put a smile on someone's face.
Thanks to the support of a few friends and their families, I've printed off my first set of images that are being and will be delivered to their rightful owners in the coming days. Here's a brief video of those first moments; that although didn't go exactly as planned, have fuelled my urge to keep rolling...
I invite you to join me if you'd like to become a part of this journey!
~ A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED THIS PROJECT THUS FAR ~
Yan, Chantal & Pierre, Loic, Eric, DPI Printing and the DLS Crew