Upon first thought, a smile seems pretty straightforward. It is easy to picture friendly “hellos” and rooms of laughter. The range of emotions that came with building this edit was wider than I would have imagined. Some smiles were subtle and showed a deeply complex happiness; like that of a man hugging his first daughter after having thirteen sons. Some were purely silly; three cousins ready for a snorkel adventure in a bathtub. I’d like to start the story with this image by Giang- a quintessential smile. This is a smile you cannot look at without returning.
I noticed pretty quickly that the edit had many more photos of children than I expected. As I looked into why this might be, I learned that children tend to smile more than adults. In fact, over ten times more than adults do each day, on average.
For me, this story truly brought the expression “smiling is universal” to life. As the images travel across many countries and ages, we travel through lives and moments that everyone can understand and enjoy.