Valentine's Day is coming up again and it got us around to thinking about kissing. A symbol of love, it has been a recurring theme throughout all of art history and of course, photography has expanded it to make it all the more recurrent. Below, in Kiss and Tell: Lip-Locking Photography, we share some iconic images to get you in the mood of either puckering up, or, if you're single and camera friendly, of going out this Valentine's day to get some great kiss shots.
In mythology and art history one of the prevalent kiss stories is the tale of Psyche and Eros. The myth, which you can read here, has inspired many sculptures and paintings. Antonio Canova's Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss is definitely a favourite, although Rodin's The Kiss is gorgeous too.
In painting, we love the popular Klimt version of The Kiss, although Henri Toulouse Lautrec, Chagall, Munch, Brancusi and many other artists have depicted the kiss beautifully as well.
Famous Kiss Photographs
In photography, there have been many kiss images that not only depict encounters between two people, but are also political and social representations. The selection of emblematic kiss photographs that we have put in chronological order clearly shows this.
Street Photography and Social Media
Kissing is also a theme of interest to street photographers and we love Matt Weber's project in which he spent 30 years photographing kisses in New York City. More on him here.
A Few Tips for The Kiss Shot
If the kiss is staged, stage the kiss but not the couple. According to New York Fashion photographer Michael Craegh, passion cannot be faked, so for his fashion shoot Kiss, the models he worked with were shot with their boyfriends rather than with other models.
Also, to avoid awkwardness, wedding photographer Haley Sheffield suggests making a joke just as the couple is leaning in so that you capture a close laugh. Other tips she mentions include incorporating movement to the situation, such as suggesting a stroll, and starting from a distance rather than with close ups.
And always, use nice lighting!