When was the last time you said something purely nice to someone you didn't know at all? If your answer is "never," you're not alone. Paying a complete stranger a simple compliment might not feel very natural, but that is the very premise of travel photographer Mehmet Genç's project, You Are So Beautiful.
While visiting countries in South America, including Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Colombia, Genç stopped to photograph local residents — and he made sure to tell them they were beautiful right before snapping their portraits. The results are truly heartwarming. Some people's faces break into goofy grins, some bashfully cover their faces, and others laugh out loud. Oftentimes, Genç also took a photo just prior to complimenting his subjects, thus illustrating the "before and after" effects of a little kindness.
On his blog, Genç goes by Rotasiz Seyyah, which roughly translates from Turkish to English as "nomad with no set path." As he continues to wander the globe, we can't wait to see where else he takes this project.
Click through to view a selection of Genç's You Are So Beautiful, and let the spontaneous big-heartedness wash over you.