All In The Eyes
I sometimes fall for people through photography. It’s easy to do, especially if you’re a bit of a shut in. In wanker-speak, I’m very “visually orientated” so it’s the aesthetic hook (“I can’t take my eyes off of them”) and capacity for contemplation that does it for me, but I’m sure many a stalker has gotten off on the control possessing a photo of someone gives you. (Laura Mulvey/male gaze scholars step in here, please.)
One of the reasons I enjoy taking photos of long term (happy) couples, is that they have a look between them, soppy eyed, reflective of a wearied, time-softened affection that still binds. I adore that look, and it makes me love the people who give it. It’s not an expression unique to pre-packaged couples though, there’s a variant of it from people who just plain fancy other people. You’ve seen it/unknowingly given it before, I’m sure, it’s glorious and sometimes that other person can be a photographer who catches that elusive countenance in action. I’m a bit thick when it comes to flirting, generally, I can’t tell when I’m being hit on, but more than once I’ve taken a picture of someone looking at my camera and on reviewing later I realise they have that look on their face. From my experience, that image is the best indicator that you have an interesting party in your future.
Conversely, for those who are already hooked up…when you notice that your paramour’s started throwing them eyes to other pesky photographers, well, your relationship is screwed. Sorry. It’s not happened to yours truly, but I’ve seen it pop up in other people’s Facebooks and thought “oh dear…”. The consequence was always doom. Lovely, explosive, doom…