Lessons from Photographing Love

The simple, routine embrace of a mother to her little ones. A parent’s tear-filled glance down the aisle on wedding day. For some, capturing displays of love is known as another beautiful day on the job. For a better understanding of love’s undeniable influence, we sat down with three inspiring photographers for a look at what they’ve learned witnessing, documenting, and celebrating it during the years spent in their craft.


Seek Honesty

With James Moes

Images by James Moes

AU: Has observing and documenting couples around you changed the ways you approach love?

JM: When I started out, I thought that love photographed ought to be deeply affectionate and close. I wished for all my clients to demonstrate an intimate, touching tenderness. While the images that resulted from this way of thinking were typically beautiful, they weren’t necessarily honest. Now, I do my best to create a generous space for people to reveal their unique ways of interacting. I want to document people loving comfortably and confidently — not trying to perform to a perhaps uncomfortable stereotype.


Unconditional Love Is Real (And It's Called Parenthood)

With Posy Quarterman

Images by Posy Quarterman

AU: Has photographing love influenced how you perceive it yourself?

PQ: As cliche as it may be, becoming a mother completely overhauled my understanding of love and the heart’s capacity. The term “unconditional love” gets tossed about plenty, but becoming a parent really drives that one home too. Maybe love is just all the cliches.


Be Empowered to Grow

With Meghan Sadler

Images by Meghan Sadler

AU: How has your perception of love changed over the course of your profession?

MS: I think my perception of love has broadened. It really is so many things to so many different people – and that ebbs, flows, and evolves. In a lot of ways, love is permission and encouragement to grow, and that looks so differently to everyone.


Love Has Strength

With Posy Quarterman

Images by Posy Quarterman

AU: What has been your biggest lesson about family or relationships?

PQ: That in the end, all the drama and the hardships, it all washes away. When you lose a loved one, all you are left with is the love. I think that speaks pretty powerfully to the strength of the love itself.


Be Accepting of Change

With James Moes

Image by James Moes

AU: In your opinion, what are the main pillars that love is based on?

JM: This question scares me; I haven’t constructed any pillars. Love is a poetic mystery. Love asks questions. Love opens. Love expands. My wife Katherine and I will have celebrated ten years of marriage by the time this interview is published. We are very different people today then we were when we got married. So maybe I’d say love is based on embracing change! And having soft edges.


Have Love for Yourself

With Meghan Sadler

Images by Meghan Sadler

AU: What has been your biggest lesson about family and relationships?

MS: I think we can only offer another person the depth of intimacy that we have with ourselves. That means that love of yourself is very important, and that can seem selfish. But that depth and acceptance of yourself allows you to offer that to another person, in whatever type of relationship that ends up being.

Infinite thanks to our incredible contributors who opened up their thoughts to us. Follow along with their daily musings and and journeys through photography on Instagram:

James Moes / Posy Quarterman / Meghan Sadler

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