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'Say Cheese' is considered cheesy in India.
Although my rather simple camera was a focus of attention and made many people proud being featured on it's LCD screen, smiles.... that's another thing. most smiles and laughs came from viewing their own image staring at them on playback but there was nothing too funny about a camera as it snapped one's photo. After all, a joy of friends meeting or a welcoming shop keeper greeting a client are not a source for ear to ear smiles.
I used to print those photos for them at the local or nearby photoshop. It was an easy, personal and affordable gift for me, one I didn't need to stock-up or carry. For them, I felt, it was source of innovation, pride and a friendship souvenir. They didn't seem to mind or see anything odd about being quite expression-less on the photos. Me, the 'hyper active' westerner, was tempted to pop out my camera as natural laughter or smiles came on scene. Sometimes I staged a photo to stir up some energy - like this one... often, playfully, ego-less and selfless they happily let it be.
Read more about my experiences in remote rural Indian villages on My India: Where every village is home - Experience !
In the story Lucky being lost.
Also by Etan Doronne
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