UPDATE: November 18, 2010: I’m excited to announce that over the next couple of months I’m going to be creating more ILYBs with people. If you’re in the Bay Area and want to collaborate on a creative expression of love with me then please get in touch.

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.

If you’d like to participate then read on . . .

This is a collaboration between me, the photographer, and you, the lover. You email your idea to me. We refine this idea back and forth over email and set up a date to get together and create the image. Please note: at this time I am only collaborating with people in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Here are some examples of ways we 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.

I’d also like you to forward this project to older and younger people in the Bay Area. Your parents, grandparents, nephews, nieces, etc. I want to represent a wide-range of people.

If you would like to participate then here’s what I’d like from you:

I love you because:
Idea for how to portray this:

To summarize, the photo is a collaboration between me and you about the reason(s) 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. However, when we are done creating our image I would like to take a portrait of you for display as well.

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 I would love to hear 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. All donations go towards production of the book. Your support is greatly appreciated.