After publishing this photo on Friday, and writing about the conversation that inspired it, I was both surprised and happy to receive a couple of really interesting, imaginative suggestions for future February Photo Fest posts from other people I know in the community. One came from @harleybangbang, who sent me this message the following day:
“Do the pictures need to be sexy sexy? Because I like the idea of simple, sweet images – even a picture of intertwined hands, or you kissing Livvy’s forehead. I think a stable, loving, healthy relationship is very sexy! And it’d be neat to redefine our notions of what sexy is…”
…and I couldn’t disagree with any of that! There are lots of things I find incredibly sexy about Livvy that aren’t connected in any way to her body, or to sex itself. Her energy. Her temperament. Her focus. Her optimism. Her drive and determination. Her appetite for life. Her love of the ridiculous. I could go on and on. We’re compatible in ways that I’d never been able to articulate or appreciate until I met her; that I hadn’t realised were missing from previous relationships until I found them in this one.
As I was thinking about HBB’s prompt over the weekend, my mind kept drifting back to the studio shoot we did last January. It was one of those ludicrous promotional deals where you pay peanuts up front, then get fleeced for hundreds of pounds at the end of it when they show you all the beautiful photos they’ve taken – and sure enough, we fell for it hook, line and sinker.
However, 13 months later I have no regrets. We’ve given framed prints from that shoot as presents to parents and grandparents, and a handful of them are currently scattered around our new flat – one is even the screensaver on my work laptop. Looking through them now makes me almost implausibly happy, which in itself is enough to justify the money we spent on them; beyond that though, the photographer captured something really true and timeless about Livvy (and, I think, our relationship) that day, which I know will still make me smile in 10, 20, 50 years from now, if I’m lucky enough to be around that long.
For today’s post, I picked out three of the photos that are (just about) ‘anonymous’ enough to share (after a bit of careful cropping and shading!). I actually used a different edit of the second image for a Sinful Sunday post last year, but decided to include it again now because it might just be my favourite one from the whole shoot. I don’t know whether these entirely meet HBB’s brief, but when I look at them I’m hit by a surging, swelling explosion of love for my future bride – the kind that can make you just a little bit teary – and that’s good enough for me.