For this week’s challenge, point your camera at something or someone that puts a smile on our face (or just show a smiling face).

Photo of Takashi Murakami's Flowers, flowers, flowers, from 2010.

Maybe it’s because I’ve just spent several festive days among old friends and family. Maybe it’s the noticeably longer days here in the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere. Either way, I wanted this week’s Photo Challenge to elicit some measure of joy among our loyal Daily Post readers. And what’s a more universal signifier of good cheer than a smile?

Photo of Takashi Murakami’s Flowers, flowers, flowers, from 2010.

These smiling flowers are among the most recognizable creations of Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, whose work I recently viewed at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Murakami’s work is smart, rich, and thought-provoking for those who spend some time with it. But it doesn’t sneer at those who just want to clear their minds with a joyous splash of color — or several hundreds such splashes. I admire artists who manage to effortlessly bridge the gap between the cerebral and the viscerally satisfying, and tried to capture the vibrancy of this work in all its sublime flatness.

This week, show us a smile (yours or someone else’s), make us smile, or both. Share a photo of something that has brought a moment of joy into your life recently, or focus on the outcome of that joy. If you’re not feeling particularly cheerful at the moment — it’s still 2018, after all — no need to fake your way into the challenge, either. Smiles come in all shades and flavors, including the half-hearted, tired, bitter, and resigned (to name a few). So whether the emotions you channel in your photo are full of cheer or not, I can’t wait to see your take on this theme.

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  1. I can’t smile on cue, it’s a real problem when people try to take pictures with me. I always look miserable, but that’s just my face! If you want to see me smile, make me laugh. If you can’t make me laugh, you haven’t earned my smile (it’s not that hard, I have a pretty good sense of humor).

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