Intimate Portraits Of Couples In Their Bedrooms Ignore Gender And Embrace Love

Wanda Martin’s “Lovers” series focuses on personal details instead of societal norms.
Wanda Martin

In a scene that’s likely to look familiar to anyone who’s been in love, cherry-red lips brush up against close-cropped hair and a stubble-covered face nestles against a smooth neck in an intimate exchange of words and kisses.

It’s a portrait of a couple taken by Wanda Martin, a photographer whose series, “Lovers,” aims to take a close-up look at romantic exchanges, illustrating that they have some beautiful, base qualities that transcend gender, age and race.

“Initially my motivation was to investigate myself,” Martin said in an email to The Huffington Post. But the series expanded to include portraits of her coupled friends, staged as naturally as possible in their own bedrooms.

Wanda Martin

“Since my original motivation was completely personal, it made more sense to photograph couples close to my age, friends and other people I know who can act natural in front of my camera for a more genuine result,” Martin said.

She hopes, however, to eventually expand her project to include a broader spectrum of ages and races, further showing the boundlessness of romantic connection. For now, though, Martin says her aim was to “explore the nature of sexual fluidity and show the similarity between different kinds of (heterosexual and homosexual) relationships.”

She continued, “Obviously, I don’t think my project in itself can change the world, but I honestly think that if more photographers and artists would focus on the subjects of contemporary LGBT culture and gender politics it would have a huge influence over the acceptance of these themes in society. We naively think we live in a free world of equality, but then these things like what happened in Orlando still happen. It’s just shocking.”

Wanda Martin

Instead of dwelling on differences, Martin uses her portraits to celebrate the similarities we all share. That the couples she photographs seem not to have borders between them ― their arms tangle around each other’s waists, and their hair converges into a single, flowing stream ― further emphasizes her theme of togetherness and humanity.

“I just hope when people see my project they are not even focusing on the fact anymore that they are looking at a boy-boy, boy-girl or girl-girl couple,” Martin said. “Because it should be just so accepted and natural and they can see only the beauty of love of all kinds.”

Wanda Martin
Wanda Martin
Wanda Martin
Wanda Martin
Wanda Martin
Wanda Martin
Wanda Martin
Restrained

Photographer Captures Family's Social Media Habits In Eye-Opening Photos

Popular in the Community