The power to cheer people up is in words.
There is a fine line between genuine praise and teasing: sometimes the same words can be used, but the way they are pronounced and the intention makes all the difference.
But a compliment doesn’t always have an agenda disguised as interest, and Turkish photographer Mehmet Genç , who travels the world taking pictures of people, had the sensibility of giving praise to create inspiring situations: capturing women of all cultures and ages smiling naturally , shows that beauty is everywhere and in the simplest moments. Here are a few:
1. Vasi Joaki, Brazil.
Vasi Joaki is an indigenous woman from the Marubo people of the Amazon region of Brazil. Mehmet praised her in her own language.
2. Fidelina, El Salvador
Fidelina is from El Salvador. As always, the photographer took some photos and praised the beauty of the woman.
3. Street vendor, Ecuador.
Mehmet found this street vendor in Otavalo, Ecuador. The photographer asked permission to photograph her. Then she told him the exact words that made her smile.
4. Peanut seller, Guatemala.
In the town of Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala, Mehmet met a peanut vendor. She asked him to smile for the camera, but to no avail, she decided to say, “You’re so beautiful!” and she took his picture of her.
5. Zarekkim, Colombia.
Zarekkim is a woman originally from the Sierra Nevada mountainous region of Colombia. When she saw the camera, she looked very serious, but the photographer’s words worked like a charm. This time, he praised her in her own language and told her: “Ma du mikabani”, which means “you are very beautiful”, in Arhuaco.
6. Juliana, Colombia.
In Cabo de la Vela, Colombia, the weather is extremely hot. To protect herself from the sun, this woman, named Juliana, puts a mask on her skin. After taking a few photos, the photographer told her how beautiful she was of hers, and she responded with a big smile.
7. Maria Ignesia, Ecuador.
When the photographer asked if she could take some photos of her, Maria Ignesia, from Guamote, Ecuador, went to put on her new hat. The second image is the result of the words: “you are beautiful”.
8. Cosmita Gomes, Brazil.
Cosmita Gomes lives in the city of Atalaia do Norte, in Brazil. The effect of the magic words of the photographer was incredible.
9. Altena, Brazil.
Altena was 88 years old when these photos were taken. She lives in Atalaia do Norte, in the Amazon region of Brazil. The praise from the photographer made the difference.
10. Colombian girl.
In the town of Don Diego, in Colombia, Mehmet Genç managed to arouse the curiosity of a young woman. When she approached, the girl returned to her house. He asked permission to take a photo of her, but she didn’t respond. She then she said, “Please, you’re so beautiful.” The girl then partially opened the door and smiled at the camera.
11. Daisy, Ecuador.
Margarita was selling fruit at a street market in Otavalo, Ecuador. When he didn’t smile, Mehmet said, “You’re beautiful” and wiped a smile from his face.
12. Maria Dolores, Ecuador.
Maria Dolores was 70 years old when these photos were taken. She lives in Otavalo, Ecuador, and is a native Kichwa. The photographer couldn’t make her smile. Then, with the help of a translator, she conveyed her words that made her blossom.
13. Diomayda, Colombia.
In the mountainous region of Sierra Nevada, Colombia, the photographer met a shy native Arhuaco woman named Diomayda. While taking photos of her, he repeated her magic phrase that made her glow.
14. Mathilda, Guatemala.
When Mehmet asked permission to photograph her, she asked him not to make her laugh. She then said, “You are as beautiful as a girl” and recorded the moment.
15. Mimba, Brazil.
Mimba and her baby, Maya, are Indians from the Marubo tribe of the Brazilian Amazon. It was difficult to take a photo of her due to her shyness. But the photographer told her how beautiful she was and the young woman’s smile didn’t take long to appear.
16. Clothes seller, Mexico.
In San Cristóbal, Mexico, Mehmet met a woman who sold clothes. He bought her some things, but she didn’t allow him to take pictures of her because she was too embarrassed. She adjusted her braids for the photo, which were decorated with colorful ribbons, and said that she was even more beautiful in them. It was then that she was able to capture her shy smile.
17. Evangelina, Colombia.
In the city of Nazaré, Colombia, Mehmet Genç met Evangelina, a native of the Wayuu people. She was 100 years old at the time. She was embarrassed to look at the camera, but when the photographer praised her beauty, everything changed.
Mehmet Genc’s work has been recognized in many parts of the world for how sincere he is in making portraits. He shares his work with everyone so they can see how amazing sincere smiles can be.