We are blessed to live in a city that celebrates our unique Louisiana culture, but also different cultures from around this beautiful planet. This April, Lafayette celebrated the 33rd Festival International de Louisiane, a FREE festival that invites all to enjoy music, food, and art from around the world. During this celebration of all the things that makes us, as humans, different, we wanted to document the single universal aspect that seems to look the same.
Our mission for Festival this year was simple.... keep our eyes open and our camera's ready for any instances or displays of love. We packed up our son, Roän, to attend as a family and headed downtown. Festival is one of the most colorful and beautiful events our city has to offer, but our mission was to avoid getting caught up trying to documenting every detail of the day, food, stages, etch). Rather, we set out, specifically guided by human touch.
We expected to find couples dancing and hanging out. We hoped to find people willing to let us document and share their random kisses and cuddles... but the unconventionality of these mini love stories we actually found, blew us away. We found best friends holding hands like lovers. We found lovers with no expiration date. We observed more than just traditional PDA, taking note of babies loving their mommies and women loving themselves. We set out thinking we would be photographing couples, but thankfully were blessed with a variety of true love stories we didn't anticipate we'd find. Here are some of the responses and comments from our interactions.
"Oh, he isn't my boyfriend, I just love him..." - Friend
"My world got brighter when I started to love myself first..." - Woman
"I loved him before I knew him" - Mom
"Forever goes by faster than you think.." - Husband
I truly thought it might be "challenging" to find love and get permission to share it. It was the furthest thing from it! All too often we hear and share the most negative stories of the day. It's so easy to get caught up in dismal press or distracted by (insert depressing topic of the day here), but love and positivity is all around us. We challenged ourselves to open our eyes for a couple hours and couldn't snap photos fast enough.
Huge thanks to all the couples, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, best friends and all around wonderful individuals that graced us with their little love stories and allowed us to share them. Choose love, be open to it and share it every chance you get.
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