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© Esther Theaker

Ten Photographs of Love as You Might Not Expect to See It

AnOther’s contributing photographers share images from their archives which encapsulate love – in all its guises

Lead Image© Esther Theaker

When AnOther columnist Polly Brown sent us a Valentine – a photograph of a carved tree trunk bearing the initials of passing lovers in San Francisco (see no. 10) – we felt compelled to solicit more love materials. Here, ten contributors share their own images which encapsulate love, in ways both conventional, and not. Not at all.

1. Esther Theaker (above)

“This was taken in Naples, of my friend who had a chance encounter with a local gentlemen who wanted a little kiss in a hotel. The holiday was with three of my friends, and it stays in my memory as being the most beautiful trip – where I fell in love everyone and everything.”

2. Marie Déhé

“I took this picture of my boyfriend in our bathroom a few months ago in Paris. The most insignificant little gestures of the loved one have always aroused my eyes. I’m very interested in capturing intimate and everyday life moments. It’s very cheesy to say but love is also in small details :)”

3. Tereza Červeňová

“I took it a couple of years ago, by Lago di Garde in Italy. My parents resting after we arrived.”

4. Marion Berrin

“I took this picture in my parents’ garden, home, where I grew up in the south of France. This garden is a kind of map of our family: for each piece of good news, each celebration, each testimony of love from one to another, we give plants that we then put in the garden. We know for which occasion which plant was given, when... These oleanders for instance were offered by my dad to my mum for their wedding, and the birth of my brother and I. They are massive in the garden and I like the idea that when I do look at them, I look at our family history.”

5. Alexander Coggin

“I came across this couple last year on Valentine’s Day in Battersea Park. They told me that they were mates-for-life, although the wife’s first husband was killed a few years ago (eaten by a fox). They met at the fountain and had their first date near The Benches where a human woman was scattering sunflower seeds. They laid and raised four squabs and are now very much happy to be empty-nesters. This Valentine’s day, they’re going to enjoy a candlelit pecking and spend some quality time statue-perching.”

6. Emma Hartvig

“Taken in Paris, here is a photo of lovers, because I think the pure and raw intimacy of two people in love is more powerful than anything.”

7. David Luraschi

“It’s a photograph that my dad took of my sister, most likely in the early 80s here in Paris. My dad took a lot of pictures of my sister and I growing up, they are some of my favourite and a great source of inspiration. I love the idea of my family playing these dress up games.”

8. Giulio Ghirardi

“This image is significant for me for Valentine’s Day. A hug between the mother and her child.”

9. Federico Ferrari

“It’s ME with all my imperfections at the centre of the UNIVERSE again, now – for a while – but how long lasts a while? Truth is that I am how I am, can you see? Knowing yourself well and eventually being accepted, then. That is LOVE. Let me be ME, you may love it — or maybe not. Burp!”

10. Polly Brown

“My Valentines to you guys.”