From Paris with laugh

LOL Project CheckYourParis

It all started when a colleague of mine came up with a gorgeous new Facebook picture. Her beautiful face, mid-laugh, eyes crinkled and head thrown back in hilarity, against a stark white background… and this inscription down the middle: LOL. It was a professional shot, and a great one at that: fun and completely solar, her personality shining straight through. (Hmm. What is this business. I want.)

Turns out it is the work of David Ken – a top fashion photographer who’s worked for Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar among others. (Are you jealous too? Read on, my friend). And he’s taking Paris by storm with his LOL Project. The goal is to snap pictures of 1000 people – of all genders, ages and backgrounds – simply cracking up. Eventually, the snapshots should be displayed in an exhibit around town. It’s not as simple as it seems; in fact it’s quite the challenge to capture a spontaneous giggle at every photo session! My coworker told me the secret behind all this laughter, but I’m not one to spoil a surprise… If you want to have your picture taken, too, now is the time to seize your chance: log onto the LOL Project Facebook page, become a fan, and sign up to participate in an upcoming shoot.

I suspect the idea works so well partly because Parisians are not exactly known for their LOL factor. (Parisians? Laughing? Huh?) Smiling is just not a part of Paris’ rather rigid orthodoxy of chic. Well, David Ken and his creative director William Lafarge are proving we’re not just that frowny, grumpy, snappy, snobby breed you’ve met in our Metro and our cafés. We can be softies, too! And our laughs are infectious. Just take a look at these portraits. Right now, being caught LOL-ing is chic indeed.

LOL Project CheckYourParis

LOL Project CheckYourParis

LOL Project CheckYourParis

(I know this is supposed to be about beautiful strangers, but who can resist Zinedine Zidane in a LOL moment?)

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