PLEASE NOTE: APOLOGIES- THIS PAGE IS STILL IN THE WORKS/A DRAFT/NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY - YET;)

SMILE

PROJECT:

Photo Surprise

Capturing and sharing some of those

beautiful moments in life...because sometimes it's the simple little things (that make us smile)...

The "Smile Project: Photo Surprise" is inspired by all the wonderful people I meet throughout my travels, and the opportunity to commemorate life's beautiful little moments

through the gift of a print. 

THE CONCEPT

I MAY NOT BE THE GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHER ON THE PLANET BUT I TAKE PHOTOS, A LOT OF THEM WHEN I TRAVEL...

MANY OF WHICH I LOVE! I THEN REALIZED, THAT IF I ENJOY THEM THIS MUCH, PERHAPS THEIR RIGHTFUL OWNERS WILL TOO... 

 
SISTERS & FRIENDS

Mondul 3 Villliage, Siem Reap, CAMBODIA

These beautiful little ladies are the friend (future freedom fighter on the left) and daughters of Mr. Sovann; an incredibly kind, warm and extremely welcoming tuk-tuk driver living in the Mondul 3 Village on the outskirts of Siem Reap's majestic temples. 

I met Mr. Sovann and these beautiful ladies during my first trip to their village while pursuing a story. This image is one of the first photos that launched the Smile Project.    

(Meet Mr. Sovann in the pic to the right.)

 DELIVERED

PHOTO/PRINT

YAN D.

THANK YOU!!!

MR. SOVANn & his girls

Mondul 3 Villliage, Siem Reap, CAMBODIA

I met Mr. Sovann during a quick pitstop while riding my bicycle through his village under a scorching Cambodian sun. He offered me a coconut to quench my thirst and told me about his life and the work he is truly passionate about. Mr. Sovann is a tuk-tuk driver and guide near and around the Angkor Wat heritage site. 

His kindness, warmth, openness, and willingness to answer all of my many questions made him an instant friend. It was huge pleasure to meet you and your beautiful family Mr. Sovann!

YAN & TRACY

THANK YOU!!!

 DELIVERED

PHOTO/PRINT

 
MS. NITA & FRIEND

Mondul 3 Villliage, Siem Reap, CAMBODIA

Ahhhhh Ms. Nita....that smile of yours is beyond contagious!

As some of you who have passed through Cambodia may recall, warm and enthusiastic "hellos" are common here - especially from the little ones. Ms. Nita was so enthusiastic when we met that we ended up communicating through smiles and laughter for a very long while. She pointed at my camera and kneeled down next to her buddy. I snapped this picture and delivered it to her...(see it for yourself in the video section below ;) 

CHANTAL & PIERRE

THANK YOU!!!

 DELIVERED

PHOTO/PRINT

A TRIP TO THE BARBERSHOP

Mondul 3 Villliage, Siem Reap, CAMBODIA

There was something very special about this boy and his barber. Rarely have I seen a young boy sit so calmy, mesmerized by the clippers masterfully shaping a new do...  

He was so focused in fact, that he barely bat an eyelash when I asked him and his barber whether I could snap a photo of the couple...

Perhaps you had to be there - but I truly love this photo.

ALAN W.

THANK YOU!!!

 DELIVERED

PHOTO/PRINT

HOLDING DOWN THE FORT

Mondul 3 Villliage, Siem Reap, CAMBODIA

Usually presided over by their mothers, these young boys where caring for their shop during their absence. 

They were funnnnnnny - greeting me with the warmest and kindest hellos, while getting a kick out of practicing the English words they've been learning (and my sad attempts at the few words I've learned in the Khmer language).  

This was truly a fun moment!

LOIC D.

THANK YOU!!!

 DELIVERED

PHOTO/PRINT

WHO'S NEXT? (more SMILES to COME!)

Wherever my camera takes me to next...

Would you like to sponsor a photo? 

Millions of people around the world have none or very few family albums or printed images of themselves, their friends, or those precious little moments in life. Surprise them with the gift of a print! I may not be the greatest photographer on the planet, but I do take pictures - lots of them! Let's create those smiles together! Please click the button below for more info and/or to become a 

part of this smile-inducing journey!

~  UPCOMING PRINT SPONSORS  ~

JAY B. / ANGNIESZKA M. / MAREKETTA A. / JOHN B.

(Your prints are coming up next ;)

the evidence

 

~ Where so much of the fun happens! ~

 

A bit of the backstory...

A few years ago, I was welcomed into the home of a beautiful family by a little girl that I happened to meet as I was strolling along, solo, somewhere along a dirt road in a small town near Morocco's breathtaking

coastline. "Please come over for a visit and a cup of tea with my sisters and my mom" she said. 

 

Pleasantly surprised that this little lady would extend such a kind and generous invitation to a complete stranger from a distant town, I replied "Thank you so very much!"..."but are you sure your mother would approve?" I asked. "Of course!" replied the twelve year old, "my mom would be very happy to meet you!" 

 

The next few hours that followed now have a very special place among some of my most cherished memories...the kindness, generosity, and that genuine openness and willingness to just be - together, chatting, eating freshly baked pastries and sipping mint tea while sharing stories, chuckles and smiles...

 

That day, is one that I'll never forget. 

Sadly, however, I am also left with a heavy heart... 

As I often do during my adventures, I was traveling with my camera; a camera that we pulled out of my backpack just moments before my departure to capture a few groupshots and family portraits to commemorate our special day together.

 

Unable to print the images in the village, I told the family that I would try to send them copies of those photos as soon as I could - especially their family portraits given that they had none. I never did send those photos. Years have now passed since that beautiful day, and I continue to be haunted by profound regret.

I no longer have those pictures..or the family's address.

 

In honour of that beautiful little girl, her family and their willingness to welcome a total stranger into their home, and those special moments that we shared, I say - I will not make that mistake again...  

In a time when so much unnecessary division plagues our global community,

this project aims to highlight and celebrate our unity, those beautiful and purely human little moments in life that bring us together...something which  I am so very fortunate to witness and experience daily! 

ON BEHALF OF MYSELF, AND ALL THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE I MEET ALONG THIS JOURNEY, I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND CONTRIBUTIONS! 

Initially set up as something that I began doing on my own during my solo bicycle adventures here in Cambodia, the Smile Project: Photo Surprise has now evolved into something much bigger! 

 

Thanks to some old friends (a huge THANK YOU to you my dear DLSers!!!!), who stumbled upon my project,  reached out, and took the initiative to ask whether they could somehow contribute and get involved,  this is a project that is now being done on behalf of us all!