Senami, Shambhala, New Zealand, 2012
Paul Graham is an English fine art and documentary photographer based in New York. was awardedDeutsche Börse Photo Prize 2009and in 2011 ÖParis Photo Prizefor the most important photo book of the last 15 yearsA look at the possibility
The woman in the photo is Senami, my partner for 18 years. It was recorded in a very basic room in 2012 while we were traveling around the South Island of New Zealand. We stayed in a hostel called Shambhala, a nice place on the north coast. I always get up early; Senami… no.
We're very different, Senami and I, but we found a way to make it work and now we have an adorable son together. As Harold Brodkey said, "Humans are a pretty nice collection of chemical fires, aren't they?"
I chose this photo because I like its simplicity. You don't have to be ornate and embellished to express your love, despite what Hallmark says. When photographing other people, it's important to take the Buddhist approach of projecting love onto everyone, no matter who, no matter where.KF
Walter holding newborn Bruno, 2014
Born in Birmingham,Richard BillinghamHe is best known for his award-winning photo albumLightning is a laugh(1996)It is inmovie 2018, both documenting the chaotic life of their parents in the Black Country. Helives in Waleswith hiswife and three childrenand is a professor of photographyGloucestershire und Middlesexuniversities
This photo was taken seven years ago. My wife had our third child and when the baby returned from the hospital with the other two children I wanted to take a photo that would capture the positive energy of bringing a newborn home. I knew from the other two that the energy is there for the first few days and then dissipates. Everyone is happy and happy, but it doesn't last. It's like a honeymoon time. You can never go back to that.
In the photo, Walter would be eight years old, Ramona about six, and the baby would probably only be one day old. There's still blood on it. There would be no bathroom. While the two older ones have showered and appear to be ready for bed. Walter is topless and has the baby skin to skin. I tried to take a picture capturing the three together for the first time. Screens have been around ever since: phones and iPads. This photo was taken just before there were screens in the house in addition to a television. Now [the three children] are more fragmented.
I have five brothers, but all but one I haven't seen them in many years. So I don't see the sibling dynamic here. I think a lot of the photos I've taken with my family in the past haven't been that positive.
Does love come up often in my work? empathy maybe. And even when I'm shooting in a rather gloomy environment, I'm looking for composition, beauty and harmony in it.
When I took all these photos of my parents many years ago, the camera brought us even closer. If I hadn't had the camera, I wouldn't have gone out so often to see her and take all those photos. A camera allows you to get closer.
When photographing, there can be an expression of love. In this photo, it's the arrangement, the way I positioned the camera, the way I put the three kids in the frame, the way I face them position. I've come down to her level, I'm not standing there with a phone looking at her. It's like being in their world with them and I like that.KF
True Love, from the Venus and Mercury series, 2020
viviana sasseis a Dutch photographer based in Amsterdam whose work spans fashion and art, often using human bodies for surreal effects. she won theRome Prize 2007miIn 2013 he exhibited at theVenice Biennale
I love how this work symbolizes the eternal desire to fully merge with each other; how two become one It's a romantic myth that's kind of lingered in my subconscious since I was a kid. My heart longed for such a collision of two bodies and souls; really merge with the lover. never to be alone Now that I'm older and wiser, I know there's no such thing, at least nothing definitive. Perhaps there are answers and solutions in alchemy, art, and death, but not in our daily lives.
This image shows a man and woman in stone sharing body parts; It reminds me of Pompeii, lovers who died in each other's arms. Classical sculptures that slowly decay over time, erosion of their bodies, symbols of decadence. But where their bodies meet there is a burst of colour, as if to say: We are alive, we are flowing, we are dancing. I like to think of two people making love, an orgasm frozen in time and space, and I hope you enjoy it forever.
The Ball, Manchester, 1958
Nation in Salford,Neil Libertis a photojournalist who has worked for the Observer, the Guardian, the New York Times and othersmany other publications since the 1950s, specializing in street photography and performing arts. In1999Nikon wonNewsphotographer fromyear and a World Press PhotoAward for his coverage of the attacks inor Admiral Duncan Pub, Soho
I was 20 when I did this, lived in Manchester for a few years after finishing art school and photographed for themManchester guardand local newspapers. I don't remember them hiring me for this or where the club was, it's been a long time. He was single, but he certainly wasn't there to dance. I was there alone with my camera, trying to capture moments between people.
This photo doesn't reveal much about the people involved, and I like that. No one can recognize themselves years later and get upset about it. But even if you can't see their faces, the picture has a tenderness that everyone can understand. I recently read that Picasso said that in every photographer there is an artist trying to get out, which made me laugh. There is some truth in that. I think this photo has a bit of color on it as I'm trying to capture a candid moment. It's really a bit whimsical, and it helps that I was always shooting in black and white back then.
Can a photo be an expression of love? Yes, I think so, especially with images that aren't staged or staged because they seem trivial; they are not my thing. Even after all these years, I can't stop seeing or photographing little moments of connection. I actually can't stop. I love that. Photography is still a form of pleasure.jr
Jakob Hugo, Nature's Valley, South Africa, 2020
Pieter Hugo, internationally renowned photographer specializing in portraits, has made a name for himself with his2008 photo book The Hyena and Other Men, and has meanwhile been selected for the Deutsche BörsePhoto Prize and the Pictetus Prize. Born in Johannesburg, lives in Cape Townwith his wife and two children
There is something inherent in love that comes at such a high cost. Love keeps you up at night. It comes with loneliness and discouragement. With children, it's a different kind of love than I've ever experienced before. I think it's more of an unconditional love and that comes with a lot of things to accept. The nature of what you love changes, becomes conscious, evolves. And even if you love someone desperately, you also have to be able to give them space, give them distance, let them grow on their own. You can't smother them.
This is my son after he had an accident during lockdown in South Africa. I was six years old. We had a strict and long lockdown so we were on the red list for a long time so I couldn't travel to work. It was torturous financially, but I spent so much time with my kids that I wouldn't normally do it. I started taking photos of my family and talking to them about it. It got cooperative.
We are lucky to have a house in the country, so we spend a lot of time in nature and by the sea and let the kids run around freely. You can also see another scar in the photo: it's from rubbing my son's wetsuit. The photo also has something allegorical for me: we all have scars. And love hurts! It's a cliche, but it's true.jr
Soho, London, November 2018
AScottishPhotographerbased in London,Niall McDiarmidspent much of his career roam through Great Britain and document its people and landscapes. His books includeCrossing,Ciudadto the cityand recentlyBreakfast
This photo is from a series I'm working onthe night falls, was taken near Old Compton Street in Soho in the early afternoon, around four-thirty. I don't know anything about the couple, but I suspect from their attire that they both work in restaurants. I get melancholic feelings and a certain despair from them. Gastronomy is difficult and they can be far from home. He's feeling a little down and she goes up to him and says he'll be fine, I'm here for you, we can get through this. The city is big, next night will be difficult, but together we can do it.
There is love in this photo. There's also the more surreal element of the dodo staring at him or maybe cheering him up a bit. Though it might not be the best creature to back you up. Don't end up like the dodo! Come together and witness, or we'll all be gone!
I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a street photographer, but street photography has a rich tradition of capturing aspects of love. The idea of showing affection has always been part of the genre. Who can resist a photo of people kissing in the street? It offers an element of hope, and when done right, draws people in. You have to be a little sensitive because people are intimate and I hope you don't capture anything illegal or false, but I think love is an important thing to capture in any type of photography.KF
Canal Road, from the Nalini series, 2017
Anot an artistbased in Eastbourne,Arpita ShahinhabitedIndia, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and Scotlandand her work explores the intersections of culture, identity, and heritage. Her practice spans photography, film, and found objects, and she has exhibited internationally
That iscanal path, from a long term project of mine calledNalini, named after my grandmother, whose name means "lotus flower" in Sanskrit. Examine my maternal lineage, our stories of migration, love and loss. This passport belonged to my great grandmother Narmada who ran a dairy farm in Nairobi in the 1920s and 1930s before returning to India during World War II which lasted 27 days at sea.
In 2017 I traveled to Kenya with my mother for the first time to connect with my family's past. Growing up I heard so many stories from my grandmother who was young when they left: it was like a family myth. I learned that Narmada was a small and very resilient woman, 1.50 m tall, 14 children, agricultural and business intern. But by the time my mother and I arrived in Nairobi, Canal Road, where my family's home used to be, was gone: the names of the streets had changed after Kenya gained independence.
I was trying to find old maps so luckily my mum spoke to a shop owner who knew someone who knew someone... and we were lucky they got us exactly where it used to be. There I picked the pink flower. When my grandmother talked about her childhood, she spoke of the bright pink flowers that grew there.
Flowers are a sacred gift in Hinduism, my family's cultural background. By collecting objects and making still lifes, I create shrine-like images steeped in stories that unite us in love.jr
Untitled #8, from the Languor series, 2020
Donavon Smallwood was born in 1994 and grew up in Harlem, not far from Central Park. Self-taught photographer, last year he published his first monograph,languor, miwon the openingbriefcaseprice and daylightPhotogrant
This photo was taken in Central Park in the summer of 2020. Because of the pandemic, I've been home alone for most of this year. Being with yourself and not with your partner, everything stands out as a picture of love, of what you don't have. I walked through a part of the park that shouldn't be walked through and saw a lot of cobwebs including this one. I thought of course I see a heart, further up!
I spent 30 minutes getting photos of her; I had to wait for the light to shine at a certain angle to see the entire web. The instability of the heart was really interesting. People always ask did you use Photoshop? No, it was literally like that. The fragility of the heart told me something about the fragility of love, of loving without love in return. And a spider web serves as a lure to catch prey. There's so much meaning in there.
Ideas of love come up a lot in my work, but they're not always obvious. Recently I've been taking portraits of people I've just met and I've found these experiences to be very intimate and even loving, even if they only last 10 minutes. When people are afraid of being photographed and comfortable with that, it reminds me of the transition from winter to summer and the idea of rosebuds growing under the snow. Everything seems dead, but underground everything is working at full speed.KF
Toni and Jaime, 2020
nation one1991London-based Sophie Green is a documentary photographer who celebrates British culture and its idiosyncrasies, with a particular focus on underrepresented communities and subcultures.
When the lockdown was eased in the summer of 2020, huge crowds of all classes, races and religions flocked to the beach. I started traveling to seaside towns in the UK to do portraits and met Toni and Jamie outside the arcades on the seafront at New Brighton in Merseyside. I've always found arcades to be exciting social spaces with crazy interiors and pounding machines...there's so much energy in there. When I met Toni and Jamie, there was something very intense in their faces, in their eyes. I wanted to photograph him immediately.
It was clear they were a couple. I asked permission to photograph them and they really agreed. It seemed necessary for Toni and Jamie to be in some sort of hugging or love pose to convey their couple bond. They were in a similar position when I found them so this was inspired by what I saw.
I love Jamie's protective attitude towards Toni, he wraps his arms around her. It's a very sweet gesture. I'm not sure how long they've been together, but there's something quite romantic and innocent about their body language. I always think of young love so innocent. We imagine that we will be with this person forever, but in most cases the relationship will fail. There are so many challenges to overcome in any type of relationship but especially when you are young and there is a lot to develop and learn.
Much of my work follows different subcultures and communities that come together through a shared way of life or identity, and I'm always on the lookout for positive stories. Our world is incredibly negative, so finding cases where people come together and find common ground is wonderful and necessary.KF
INDIA. Delhi. A love cake for Valentine's Day 2009
A chronicler of modern everyday life in Britain and abroad for theFor 50 years, Bristol-based Martin Parr has been internationally known for his shimmering, anarchic style.ColorsPhotojournalism exploring themes such as class and tourism. His main projects include The Last Resort and Common Sense.
I've been to India two or three times, and many times I've been there in February. On the eve of Valentine's Day, I found out that they bake a lot of cakes. I didn't expect to find this abundance of them, but I couldn't resist photographing them. They were bright, colorful and cheesy - everything I like in a good photo and cake.
Over the years I've made it a point to photograph them with my close-up lens and flash. This one was in Delhi, many of them were in Delhi. I would make sure to wander past some of the bakers on the 13th and have a few drinks - I would have to get permission and then get the cake out from behind the counter so it was a bit of a chore but most of the vendors were fine. We spoke in English but the bakers didn't tell me why they make them. Supply and demand, I guess... it's as simple as that.
I'm not sure why we don't see more cakes like these in the UK because I'm sure they would sell. I send a valentine every year, I'm very happily married, but I never bought a cake because I couldn't find one. I could make my own, yes, but unfortunately I'm not the cake maker type.jr