Concept & Forum

If you could complete the phrase “I love you because . . .” how would you do it? Why do you love who you do? How would you illustrate that actually spelling out the words “I love you because . . . (insert your reason here)” in the photo? I realize that it is sometimes hard to articulate why we love who we do. Therein lies the challenge (and the reward) of this project.

Here are some examples of ways you could write your reason and take a photo of it:
• With natural elements (grass, leaves, sand)
• Painted on anything (a wall, a window, a mirror)
• With food
• Henna/Tattoo on a body
• On a T-shirt
• In a typewriter

This list could go on for a long time but you get the idea. In general, the more unusual the approach the better! Additionally, I’m interested in showing only hints of the individual person in the photo: a hand, a shadow, or an out of focus face. This is to encourage the viewer to focus on the emotion and not the person. This is not a portrait session but a creative exploration and depiction of the love you feel towards another person – a lover, a family member, or a friend.

To summarize, the photo is a depiction of why you love a specific other person. The text of why that is must appear in the photo. Your face will not be in the photo and neither will the person you are creating the image about.

I know some people are intimidated or don’t think their ideas are fully formed yet. I want to emphasize that even if there is a glimmer of a reason or a thread of an idea you should start to work with it. I’m learning as I do this that it’s the little steps in the process of creation that creates the final product. So go ahead, take that first step. Many of us are so busy with our lives that we find it hard to set aside time to think (and feel) about why we love who we do. This is a call to take a moment and appreciate what you have and try to articulate it.

I greatly look forward to hearing from you. It is your soul-searching and the diversity of your ideas that will make this project successful.

With Love & Excitement,

Alexander Warnow

p.s. You can donate with Paypal below. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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  1. mark lewis


    You do beautiful work! Thank you,

    as a suggestion – have 2 levels – one is for your collaborative, deep, professional pieces, and a 2nd for people like me who would just want to put up a picture with an explanation. The user-generated part would bring traffic to your professional/beautiful work.


    Oct 10, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  2. good stuff!

    Oct 10, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

  3. Alex,

    Wow. This is coming together amazingly well, and all of the different aspects are making a rich tapestry of love! I like how you can view an image, and then below click to see a portrait of the person. Sort of the loving, struggling “soul” behind the image you’ve created together. And the stories you share about the creation of the images are both insightful, and add a richness to the image that helps to convey the depth of feeling motivating your participants. More than just creating photographs, you telling stories and conveying intimate experiences. Thank you.

    Oct 13, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  4. It is tricky to take on something so abstract and sentimental like Love. You’ve presented an ambitious range of images that all show strong collaboration, which is a sort of love in and of itself. Your photography is great, each image is inspiring and transmits a lot of the person/sentiment being delivered. You seem to have the rare ability to drive and guide your art and stay enough “out of the way” of it to allow inspiration and collaborative play make it something even bigger and better. Rock on. Looking forward to seeing it realized on Valentine’s Day. Thanks for your tribute to love.

    Oct 22, 2008 @ 11:51 am

  5. Susannah

    thanks for my ilyb! It turned out wonderfully.


    Oct 29, 2008 @ 5:41 pm

  6. Jessica Feezell

    Alex – This is truly inspired! I can’t wait for the book. Congratulations on creating such a beautiful project and capturing something so huge.

    Nov 07, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  7. Alex,

    What an incredible, inspiring project. I can’t wait to see more!

    All the best,


    Nov 25, 2008 @ 9:07 am

  8. I love it. The images with Calli and Anders were especially touching to me. I’m so reminded of all the ways I love my wife. When her inner star shines so brilliant, you can’t help but orbit around her.

    I must say, I longed for the participants thoughts on the photo as well.

    Pretty awesome.

    Jan 09, 2009 @ 1:04 am

  9. Precious, Precious… I really do Love it! Congratulations on making this creative dream a reality.

    Jan 17, 2009 @ 9:42 pm

  10. Nice work can wait to meet you in person and see all of you work. good luck w/ your opening

    Sahars mom

    Jan 21, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  11. Caren Plotkin

    You have touched us so deeply with your images and words of our daughters, Shelli and Melissa. You gift and talent will help us keep Shelli’s memory a blessing and remind us of the beautiful relationship that our girls shared with each other. We look forward to meeting you and thanking you in person.

    Caren and Ron Plotkin

    Feb 14, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

  12. from a cold empty spot …


    from concept to fruition!!!


    Feb 23, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

  13. Alex! Your concept and execution for this work is incredibly BEAUTIFUL and POWERFUL. The depth and exquisite, essential love embodied in every image is palpable alongside the very real stories of life, love and friendship or family. Even the painful, tragic stories are so permeated with positive connection and a realization of the ephemeral beauty of each other that they, too, impact me very strongly.

    Congratulations and may this project bring us all closer to LOVE.

    Your friend,


    May 22, 2009 @ 11:56 am