a photographer's perspective on love

Since I began photographing people, I have observed humans in several different emotions.

My favorite thing to observe is two people in love.

First of all, I am no expert at photography, love, or anything at all really.

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I just love LOVE. And I love people. And photographing people in love brings me joy and also shown me some things.

When I have couples together in front of a lens, sometimes, they are not going to be themselves. I mean…who automatically acts completely themselves when someone is staring at them with a camera?

But when they DO, I get a glimpse of their love.

If we’re walking to a location, and my couple is in front of me, I get to watch them hold hands and walk, chat about random things, and laugh and make comments about what is about to happen during this session.

I always like to know how long a couple has been together. I like to get to know my couples while I’m shooting. I have photographed couples in many different stages of life, but the one thing I’ve noticed about ALL of them, no matter their age, dating for 2 years or married for 30, is that they’re friends. They are each other’s best friend.

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They laugh and talk and joke.

Love isn’t always grand gestures. Sometimes it is, like an elaborate proposal.

But every day, lifetime, kind of love is just being someone’s friend.

Friends want each other happy. Friends tell each other things they’ve never told anyone else. Friends know what the other is thinking without having to say anything. Friends know how to cheer each other up. Friends have the same priorities and value the same things in life.

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Having someone to love is just having a friend for life.

I like to observe my couples when they don’t think I’m paying attention. When I’m checking the lighting, reviewing their shots, or walking to a location. That’s when I get to see their friendship. That’s when they joke and talk about their lives and plans and where they’re going to eat after the session. That’s what I like to see – two people who simply like each other. They enjoy being around each other and have a genuine, meaningful connection.

I’ve learned SO many things from my own relationship. One of the biggest things is that, obviously, love is about more than having someone to joke with.

Hard things happen. That’s when real love goes deeper than friendship. But hopefully, those hardships only happen every once in a while.

But the love I see through my lens, everyday kind of love, is only, simply that – friendship.