In the previous post, Project “My Europe”, I introduced a long term project about Street Photography in European Union countries, including 10 different countries I travelled across in June 2017. Well, as many fellow photographers may agree, sometimes a photographer goes somewhere on assignment and the creative bulb turns on and there is another project willing to come alive. That’s the case of the project “Eros”, the Greek word for “Love”.
This series was born in my head thanks to the photograph above about a couple walking in front of me holding hands while I was in Madrid, Spain. At first, I thought about including it into the “Spain” part of the “My Europe” project, however, as I looked at the image deeply, I came to understand there was something else in it and that it had to go on an individual series. And that “something else” was the simple love gesture we all recognise worldwide: holding hands.
It was that symbol of love and care the one which stroke me to take the shot, not the couple itself nor the individuals. The idea was starting to form in my mind and I decided to look for that loving sign everywhere I went, to show and share the love, no matter the country or culture.
Once again, my technique here is very simple, as I always look to shoot for what called me to the scene first. In this case, I focused on the hands from a rear view, as closed as I could get. Not only I looked for couples no matter the gender but also for parents with their children, as holding hands with kids has the meaning I wanted to share. In post-processing, I chose to have the whole series in black and white, so colours will not distract viewers from the main subject. Each image is titled with the word “love” in the language of the country where the photograph was taken, emphasising its worldwide meaning.
In an even more isolated society, where we prefer to interact online than face-to-face with real people, this gesture takes a lot of relevancy and my goal is to shout out for meaningful relationships, without making a difference between culture, religion, genre and language, as love is Universal.
“In my search for photographs, I have come to realize that the best pictures are surprises, images I subconsciously seek but do not recognize until they suddenly appear” – Constantine Manos