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  1. World Smile Day | Storygathering and photography

    A lady wearing an orange headscarf with a huge smile, Uganda.

    It’s Friday, the sun is shining and it’s World Smile Day, what more reason do we need to smile. Well maybe England could beat Australia in the Rugby World Cup tomorrow, that would certainly bring a big smile to my face!

    In all seriousness a smile is international, and really helps me communicate with people in the places I find myself in as a photographer. It might be that I don’t speak the same language, or that I’m too far away to be heard, or a conversation would ruin the moment and so a quick smile lets me know if someone is happy to have their photograph taken.

    I also find a smile helps when we are meeting a large group of people and I’m trying to work out who might be willing to share their story. Some people will look away, others will stare straight back at you and a few will reciprocate with a big beaming smile. This usually means they will be happy to talk to us and and have their photo taken.

    Obviously you don’t necessarily want everyone to smile in every photo and certainly not if it doesn’t fit with the story, but on the whole a smile can be a really helpful technique, even before you press the shutter button.

    These people have all got something to smile about from various story gathering trips around the world. The captions underneath tell you more.

    a young girl smiling in Brazil

    Above: Diully Stefane Zanoni smiling in the new community library that has just been built in her village, Porte Alegre, Brazil.

    A Kenya lady with lots of beaded necklaces

    Above: A lady outside Lokichar District Hospital, Turkana, northern Kenya.

    Women come to meet together at Lokichar District Hospital, Turkana, northern Kenya.

    Above: Ratsebe Serabele is a member of a Send a Cow group called Ha Moshati in the south of Lesotho.

    A lady lying down with her baby and smiling at the camera

    Above: Harriet Massamula and her newly born baby on the ward at Kitovu Hospital, Uganda.

    A midwife smiling, Uganda

    Above: Joseline Tusharbiirwe is a midwife working at Kashare Level 3 Health Centre, Uganda.

    A lady laughing, Zanzibar, Africa

    Above: Sada Juma is a crab farmer in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

    A lady smiling on graduation day, Uganda, Africa

    Above: Beatrice celebrates at her Send a Cow graduation ceremony in Uganda.

    A lady wearing a pink headscarf smiling in front of a paddy field, Indonesia

    Above: Iin Hartini started and now runs her own business selling Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Indonesia.

    A shopkeeper smiling at the camera whilst leaning on crates of soda.

    Above: Ojiugi Ogbuji started her business with door to door sales of baby items. She later expanded into the unit next door and started selling soft drinks, Nigeria.

    Below: It doesn’t always work mind you! Happy World Smile Day!

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    Please visit our growing photo library to browse more photographs and do get in touch if you would like to commission some story gathering of your own.

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