More Than Words

Today is Valentine's Day, whatever that may mean to you. It's a tricky holiday that either is filled with romantic gestures, fancy dinners, and sappy love stories OR it is a day that reinforces loneliness, regret, and sadness. In my life, I have had Valentine's Days that embodied both of these scenarios which has led me with an urge to rebrand the Holiday to something a little more universal. True, that this "rebranding" only exists in my mind (I don't have the reach and/or power to actually rebrand a holiday that has been in existence since AD 496), but I still attempt to look at this day as more than just a reason to eat chocolates, sip champagne and stare googly-eyed into my partner's eyes (do people really do this?). To me, Valentine's Day has become a day that represents love of all kinds. Not just the love between two people, but also the love you have for everyone in your life. This means the love for your mother and father. The love for your children. The love for your cousins. The love for your aunts and uncles. The love for your grandparents. The love for your friends. The love for your pets. Essentially, anyone and everyone you love. Valentine's Day can be so much more than the hallmark holiday it has evolved into. It can be a great reminder to show and say how much we love someone who has impacted our lives in one way or another.

When I take pictures, this thought rolls into my mind as I look through my viewfinder, ready to capture people and their love. The goal is to portray the love of the family or couple standing before me so that the image reflects this overwhelming feeling of love with no words spoken. These images can serve as a reminder of love or a way to capture that feeling visually. Not everyone is good at saying how they feel, but you can't make up those looks of adoration that I see when I am photographing a child and their parent, a husband and wife, a kid and their dog, or the best of friends. These images are more than words, they are feelings caught during vulnerable moments of pure love. Here are some of my favorite images of love on this very tricky, marketable, intense, hated, and loved holiday.

Oh, and just in case the title of this blog had you thinking it was about the 1990 hit "More Than Words" by the amazing 90s long- haired duo Extreme and now you can't get it out of your head - here you go. And...if that got you reminiscing about more songs of the like and this one popped into your head too, you're welcome.

Happy Day of Love to all of you! I hope that you find time today to appreciate those in your life that you love or do something for yourself that you love. For me? Well, my valentine did get me some flowers and a candle that I am burning as I type, and I just keep watching this on repeat.