A few days ago I was walking through the grocery store. I usually find food shopping pretty enjoyable — I like good food and I love to cook — but this was not one of those days. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I was having a grumpy, negative moment. Some days things are tougher than they need to be and on this day, small problems seemed insurmountable and the big ones, well the big ones were just weighing on my soul.
Let’s face it, moods are contagious. No one wants to be around you when you’re unhappy so my goal was to get in and get out and wallow in my crankiness alone in my office. I kept to myself and concentrated on what I needed to buy. But then I turned a corner and glanced up at the person coming toward me. She looked up too and smiled at me. It was not your typical — pass someone in the aisle and smile to be polite — it was a big, hearty, happy, beautifuly contagious smile. It was the kind of smile that made me wonder if I knew her (I didn’t). It was the kind of smile that made me want to know her. I turned around and watched her go by. I don’t have many “stop me in the my tracks” moments but this was one of them. I wanted to follow her and ask her what her secret was but I didn’t. Instead, I continued to shop, my mood changed for the better. My day wasn’t perfect but my attitude was much more positive and I can thank this person for helping to make that happen. All because of a simple smile.
So many photographers will tell you that they love a serious look on a child. Don’t get me wrong, I do too. But there is no replacement for the genuine, heartfelt and radiant smile. So this post is in praise of the smile — the happy, joyous,, authentic smile. The kind of smile that can turn your day around.