Frames of love to rev up romance this Valentine’s Day

valentine's day love photographs

Loving is an art and so is photography and despite the vastly different dominions to which they claim belonginess- one as impossibly obscure as is the other manifesting as starkly tangible, there would then be something incredibly similar that would assert as binding on both. This envisioning of love in photographs or the corresponding consideration of photography as being an abode where love speaks the loudest even in its static image, delivered in ‘moving’ renditions of what occurs as heartwarming is then a case in the utmost fulfilment of a passion furthered by the very identity of what constitutes the living essence.

No wonder pictures constitute a mandatory part of every special occasion that we specifically indulge in along the entire length of celebrations that life itself is in all its basis being one encountered upon love in its many different forms and types. Special then would be the form that romance would assume in such occurrence that embodies the very charm of every Valentine’s Day happening.

For love to be a representative entity in pictures speak at once of a simplicity and a profoundness guiding the nature of the arts. And with one art finding completion within the embrace of another in cases like these, the affection would also be a definite representation in the nuances of its composition. Love then would be rendered perhaps the most eloquent of such narratives in which it finds true expression through this medium of the camera capturing it in a beauty of heartfelt deciphering.

couple-illustration love romance
Source: My Modern Met

All over the world, love abounds as a theme in photography and while it would be the entire nature of love around which images would weave tales of many magical realities, it still is the romantic exploration of passion that strikes as being resplendent, sometimes even jarring expositions in emotional essence. And why not indeed, for in transcending the borders of each identity, both romance and photography brings upon themselves such character that has them shine brighter in conjunction.

Sure, the everyday displays of couple love dispersed all through the galleried conjurings of social media pans out indeed a plethora of the passionate pursuance so intricately imbibed within the very realisation of love. In fact so adept might pictures be in relaying the love reality that strives to sum up life itself that they can serve as ‘agents’ holding quite a few secrets of your relationship. But dig deeper into the entrancing trenches of history and the symphony of stirring measure in which love unravels through this trail of an experience eternally exalted emerges in an image positing indeed the deepest desires of the heart.

What shines through in each of these attempts in holding the character of love as universally relevant is the sheer trueness of what permeates their capturing. That, even when some of these happen to be perfectly staged premises specifically for the camera to pan across to evoke the intense emotions that romance emerges in, irrespective of its prevailing as a calming realisation or one more arousing in reception, and the gravity of what makes love that prospect in capturing all attention is more than apparent.

Harken back then to the time of what constitutes the dated premise of supposedly the most romantic photograph ever taken and the ‘derepresentation’ instead of what is love only in its proclamation strikes at once as disappointing and dreamy. Disappointing indeed in something so fake to be so immaculately captured for it to not just pass off as love but in fact to determine as well the iconic some extents of that dwelling. But dreamy as well in what a mere glance upon this exuberant expression of the emotions deliver in their daze. For dazed indeed is a state of alluding to experiences happening on the love spectrum, as an extent of existence that makes reality worthy enough to live in its representative rosiness.

And yet, to account for all the love profusely flowing through this 20th century view rendered immortal by photographer Robert Doisneau makes for a realisation in the fancies that love pursues as part of its nature. So fancied indeed is the feel of love that the romantic chances of it are chased and desired and actively scouted out even when one is full aware of the reality that governs such circumstances of life. And hence years after the portrait ‘came to life’ in that moment of its capture- indeed in as much irony as what dictates the representation of a love that did not lead to that iconic image, this Kiss by the Hotel de Ville continues to be one of the most standout typification of what love arouses as part of the fancies in its perception.

Commissioned as part of the series ‘the lovers of Paris’ by Life Magazine, this 1950 capture upon the streets of the very City of Love would be real in the extent of the faces that manifested there as lovers indeed. The passion though leading to that particular kiss was a build up on what had preceded this capture, leading thus Doisneau to seek consent of the couple Françoise Delbart-Jacques Carteaud before going on to script history. History of greater make would be availed out of an earlier picture of more impromptus but less authentic basis, secured in the conduciveness of a situation leading the V-J Day in Times Square, New York to find recognition as ultimate representation in romancing.

Consider however the context in which this photograph was captured and the emotion as well in ruling this construction of the image wasn’t romantic love per se. The regard of it as a anpassionate embrace and kiss of love though does not waver a bit even in divulgence of such significant piece of information. And that’s perhaps the triumph of it, as a popular reality deriving once again upon an envisioning by Life magazine for whom photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt worked, delivering such realistic representation of love that never ceases to draw one into the depths of that emotional essaying.

The more representative elucidation of this encounter eternalised by photography occurs in much specificness when one demystifies the year of its arising. The era was one marking the end of the Second World War and the setting understandably favourable for emotions to rule large and run rampant in joy of this occurrence. And hence would American sailorman Glenn McDuffie court anonymous fame in his act of grabbing a then 27 year old nurse Edith Shain by the waist in such passionate lock that would not occur as anything less than lovers losing themselves to the luring lores of love.

Such sentiments of love palpably playing through these two pictures- one hinging on the existence of an emotion that though did not quite dictate that dreamy depiction of love with the other being devoid entirely of that expression in this specific sense of its showing, might make love occur as less accountable in this scheme of capturing. But the fact that they have been capturing the imagination of the human being forever drunk on every idea of the elixir that love and romance elicits expression in is what continues to accord them rousing reception in rosiness.

The 20th century though still holds particular place in preserving the poesy of which love is most eloquent in, portrayed in such captivating moments of the charm curating its character that cannot but be felt indeed in all its depicting of that intensely occurring emotion. Cue the unmissable sparks of love witnessed in Elliot Erwitt’s 1956 click California Kiss and love perhaps would not be felt anywhere more poignantly than what sums the narrative of this particular masterpiece of photography.

In the visuals of what it offers as an obviously in love couple sharing a very earnest kiss indeed, the resplendence of romance plays out brilliantly in the emotions of what compose up this image in its entirety. But it also is the ‘medium’ in which the kiss is shot, upon the side mirror of the car they are sitting in that renders this photograph a definition outstanding in every way of its being. So tenderly captured is this very personal moment of a yearned for intimacy that has the onlooker lose themselves indeed to the sheer beauty of what it holds. It occurs as celebratory then a focus upon the very thing that defines life- love indeed in all beauty of what it conveys, romantic or otherwise.

And yet even in this easy elaboration on love’s fancier flamboyance, such that arouses and soothes, inspires and calms, flutters and settles all at once, it still would be the romantic nature of this representation as characteristic of the art that love is, that makes its transitioning from the real but non visible spectrum of the emotions to the tangible but imaged assertion availed through artistic again an identity of the photographic, to assume such essence in expedience that the world constantly, compulsively, even continuously chases after in claiming for themselves the curation of the charms that love in all the reds of romance unfurls.