1. ‘Passionately Kissing Couples’ by Ben Lamberty
German photographer Ben Lamberty is interested in capturing strong emotional moments. He asked real-life couples and just good friends of his to volunteer for his minimalist black-and-white kissing project. A few of them are models, and all of them are creative personalities in their own right. The photographer noticed that it was more challenging for the real couples to display their intimate moments publicly than for two friends who did it just for fun.
2. ‘KISS’ by Maggie West
Los-Angeles based photographer Maggie West puts her models under colorful neon lightning and creates electrifying portraits of couples kissing in a futuristic hallucinatory setting. She combines provocative coloration of the city lights with moments of tenderness and passion, separating her models from reality and allowing pure feelings and sexual energy to prevail. Maggie’s project is a wonderful mix of sexuality and ethnicity that celebrates the diversity and freedom that the megalopolis has to offer.
3. ‘Kiss #1’ by Andy Barter
These meticulously staged aerial shots of intertwined naked couples look like the human embodiment of Yin and Yang, two contrary forces that are interconnected. The artist explains that he wanted to create “a single organic shape from two figures forming an elegant symbol of togetherness”.
4. ‘Kiss #2’ by Andy Barter
Andy Barter continued to explore the power of a kiss with this stunning series. This time, he captured his naked subjects as viewed from below. Again, the couples look as if they were blended into a single entity. However, they look like the mirror reflections of each other. It gives this project slightly disturbing narcissistic undertones.
5. ‘Urban Romance’ by Matt Weber
In a project that spanned more than 30 years, Matt Weber has captured romantic intimate scenes in the streets of New York, as well as the NYC subway. He’s managed to take candid images of couples expressing a variety of absolutely different, yet sincere emotions that are breathing life into street photography. His pictures pose questions about their subjects and their relationships. Are they happy? How long have they been together? Are they in fact feeling lonely? The city also plays a huge role in this series. Private moments captured in the fuss of the bustling megalopolis look like tiny islands of tenderness and love in the turbulent urban ocean of indifference. These quick, impromptu little kisses are moments that disappeared in an instant, but they will continue to fascinate us in the images by Matt Weber.
6. ‘Feel It’ by Rankin
Fashion photographer Rankin created this series of smooching teenagers for the Dazed & Confused March 2000 issue. The idea behind this project was to explore the vulnerable sexuality of teens. No labels, no constraints. Just pure joy and the carelessness of youth. Boy-girl, boy-boy and girl-girl couples revel in the freedom of being already not children, but still not adults.
7. ‘Return to Sender’ by Tommy Kha
Tommy Kha is a guy who won’t kiss you back. He takes a unique approach to self-portraiture by showing himself receiving a kiss from his friends, lovers and complete strangers, but not returning it. The photographer explains that he appears absolutely passive in the pictures to mirror the media stereotypes of an Asian man as an asexual and submissive person. His display of disinterest as an intimate character, creates a certain discomfort, and questions the role of the photographer and sitter, as well as the boundaries of one’s identity. Tommy also tries to explore how his partner looks and feels in this uncomfortable situation, as each of the images is clearly different, reflecting subtle ways of how a person displays his or her passion.