A person’s smile works like magic. It can really light up the room and for photographer Jay Weinstein, that room is the world. Weinstein was on a photography trip to Bikaner, a city in northern India, when he realized this, he wrote on an official Facebook page. While at a train station, he noticed a man with a “stony, stern face” and wanted to photograph him, but hesitated. Photographers know that this moment of hesitation is critical. It can ruin the opportunity for a perfect shot. He moved on and photographed other subjects, but then something miraculous happened. The man asked him to take his picture, too. When Weinstein instructed the participant to smile, he was “transformed.” “His face radiated warmth, his eyes sparkled with a humor I had completely missed,” the photographer wrote. “Even his posture softened. I knew then what my next project would be.” ‘So I asked them to smile’ is a gallery of strangers, each of which are shown with and without a smile. The lack of details is what gives the photos heart, because there’s an undeniable connection between the photographer and subject despite being strangers. Scroll below to check out a few portraits from Weinstein’s heartfelt project.