Hearts. Flowers. Chocolates. Happy, young couples holding hands and splashing through puddles of rain together. You know the drill. The lead-up to February 14th trots out the same visual clichés to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Although the media is saturated with traditional iconography surrounding the holiday, people’s attitudes towards Valentine’s Day are changing and there is a growing shift in the status quo of imagery used to represent love.
From a creative perspective, art often imitates life. And in life, love takes many forms. Love isn’t relegated solely to the pink and red hues associated with Valentine’s Day. There are many more shades in the color palette of love. From the unconditional love a parent has for their child, the platonic feelings a person has for their best friend, to decades of romance shared between an older couple, there are a number of ways love can be visualized.
While classic Valentine’s imagery is no less iconic, consider departing from tradition this Valentine’s Day and tap into visuals that express a more modern, more inclusive sentiment. Here are a few Valentine’s Day image ideas to serve as inspiration.
A Refreshing Take on Love In Bloom
A young couple surrounded by wildflowers and truly enjoying each other’s company trumps store bought blooms and sitting across from one another at a table. Opt for a fresh take on romance that focuses on joyful, relaxed expressions of affection instead of imagery that feels staged.
Love Ages Well
Young lovers eventually grow old. Although the body ages, a true and eternal bond lasts. Images that show an older couple still deeply in love are equally as sweet and poignant as those depicting younger couples – and offer a refreshing, unexpected look at love.
Embracing Same Sex Couples
In the U.S. alone, the Census Bureau estimates 168,000 same sex married couples and 646,464 same-sex households. That number does not even account the number of LGBT individuals on the dating scene in the United States, let alone the world. Despite these numbers, there is a sore lack of Valentine’s images depicting same sex couples. Photographs of loving partners of the same sex show that love knows no gender lines.
Romance, Schmoemance: A Focus on Friendship — including Four-Legged Friends
Who says that Valentine’s Day is just for lovers? Many people are now including friends in the celebration of love. While Singles Awareness Day on February 15th (aka – Half-Priced Candy Day) hints at an air of cynicism towards Valentine’s Day by those without a partner, many singles choose to celebrate the day by pampering themselves or by letting their friends know how much they mean to them.
While friends of the two-legged variety are becoming an important part of the new Valentine’s Day landscape, let’s not forget about our four-legged friends, either. In 2013, of the $18.6 billion Americans spent on Valentine’s Day, $815 million was spent on pets. From adorable kitty sweaters in sweet shades of pink and crimson, to heart-shaped boxes of doggie treats, pets are now part of the new Valentine’s Day equation.
Photos depicting an unbreakable bond between gal pals or a rock steady bromance showcase that Valentine’s Day has meaning for best friends, too.
Love takes many forms, but is best expressed honestly, openly, and (when it comes to creative imagery) as realistically as possible.
Join the conversation about how to #RePictureLove on social media!
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