• PROOF:
  • February 13, 2015

Picturing Love: The Stories Behind 8 Indelible Images

Author
Jessie Wender

This Valentine’s Day, I asked eight National Geographic photographers to share an image they took that captured love. From a train compartment on the Trans-Siberian Railway and public showers on a beach in Rio de Janeiro to quiet morning moments back home in a familiar bedroom, here are their images of love and the stories behind them.

***

Picture of two women reading a letter in a factory in China
Photograph by Jim Richardson, Silk Factory, Khotan, Xinjiang, China, 1989

It’s been a quarter century since the day I spied on these girls. A long time since this moment came and went. It’s a love letter, of course. (Do I need to tell you that?) They should have been working. I am almost certain that the woman on the far left, just a vague blur in this photo, is coming to shoo them back to work, to carp at them in the way older people do, when they are resentful that the delirious love of youth will never be theirs again. The young man who wrote the letter is either very handsome or very clever—or both—and dashing, probably, in the way that Uyghur men out on the Silk Road in western China can be. (Did he say he would wait for her that night, out on the oasis street flanked for miles by tall poplar trees that tame the desert winds?) The young women are older by now. There are children. Perhaps there are grandchildren. Thousands of days (and nights) have come and gone. Perhaps they now look back on this moment of giddy love as naive and impetuous and reckless. But what other kind of love is there, that makes any sense?

I wonder if she kept the letter?—Jim Richardson

Picture of a mother embracing her son
Photograph by Marcus Bleasdale, Central African Republic, 2014

I spend much of my time photographing conflict or the effects of conflict on populations around the world. It is a space, one would think, where love would be difficult to find, but the contrary is true. Recently, when I was in the Central African Republic, I came across a young boy and his father who had been abducted by a rebel group. They managed to escape, but many were killed. We picked up the boy and his father and took them home to their village the following day. The instant his family and neighbors saw him was incredible. His mother took him by the hand and with tears pouring down her face, led him to their home. She sat him down and in the most tender way, she kissed him. He was alive, when everyone thought he had been killed. The love shown that day was the most important moment I experienced in my two years covering that conflict.—Marcus Bleasdale

Picture of a woman reading a greeting card in a cafe in Italy
Photograph by Jodi Cobb, Florence, Italy, 2005

I was in Italy looking for love. On assignment for a National Geographic story that sought to scientifically explain it and its three stages—lust, romantic obsession, and long-term attachment—I roamed the streets searching for photographs to interpret that soul-searing, primal swamp of desire that rearranges our brains and our lives. I nearly walked by the solitary woman in the cafe reading a newspaper. But something about the white ruffle of her skirt and the deep tan of her leg attracted me, and I made a couple of frames and walked on. I didn’t think the picture had anything to do with my assignment. But when I got home and looked closer, I noticed the headline on what was actually a greeting card: Ai Lov You. In the end, I found that searching for an image of love is very much like searching for love itself: The harder you look, the harder it is to find. But when you least expect it, it sneaks right up on you.—Jodi Cobb

Picture of a man with the covers pulled over his head
Photograph by Carolyn Drake, Andres, 2013

Andres, who has been my partner for over ten years, doesn’t particularly like being photographed. When I point a camera at him, his natural response is to cover his face or make a grimace that tells me to stop. I wake up early, often a couple hours before him. This may sound a bit unloving, but I sometimes go in to nudge him awake, wanting some attention. And sometimes, seeing the morning light pouring onto him, I can’t resist turning on the camera of my iPhone. This might be an underhanded way to wake him up—it’s the click of the camera that rouses him, not
me—but also, these moments are my only opportunity to take his picture in a way that feels natural. I have a whole series of pictures of Andres asleep in the morning. Love is a complicated thing. I see the pictures as an expression of love, but also of the selfishness in love.—Carolyn Drake

Picture of a family of young refugees in Kenya
Photograph by Amy Toensing, Nairobi, Kenya, 2013

“I have to be strong for my siblings. I am their mother and father. My stomach hurts often for the pain they feel. I just do my best to create a world in this one room where they can play and feel happy.” —Abdi, age 17

There are four million refugees in Africa and over 50 percent are children. The most vulnerable include orphans and unaccompanied minors like Abdi (center) and his siblings. When Abdi was a young teenager he and his five siblings were left alone when their mother died in a refugee camp in Kenya. For years, Abdi was their sole caretaker, “their mother and father,” in extraordinarily difficult and dangerous conditions. This photo was taken when I was working with RefugePoint in Nairobi soon after Abdi and his siblings found out they would be resettled in the United States. For me, this love is worth knowing and celebrating. I was amazed to witness it. It’s not shiny or heart fluttering—it’s difficult, beautiful, brave work.—Amy Toensing

Picture of people on the Transsiberian Railway
Photograph by Gerd Ludwig, Trans-Siberian Railroad, 1996

Years ago on assignment for National Geographic magazine, I traveled eastward on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, traversing the Ural Mountains. It was a time when U.S.-Russian relations were improving and Westerners were welcomed with open arms. The passengers on the train had been informed about my mission to photograph on the train and had been asked for their support. After a couple of days most passengers, many of them long-distance travelers like me, were quite used to the sight of me with my cameras. A couple that occupied the compartment next to me had always given me warm smiles, but we had not found a chance to talk. One day, on my way back to my compartment, through the closed compartment door, I could see them engaged in a lovely conversation. I assumed they possibly were newlyweds in love. I signaled them to please not move. For a short while, I became the proverbial fly on the wall, silently witnessing tender, flirty moments unfold in front of my camera. When I quietly left, they barely took notice. A day later the young man was gone, and an elderly couple occupied the compartment with the young lady. Only then did I learn that the couple I had photographed had just met on the train. I did not ask more … I wanted to believe in the fleeting moments of love I had seen through my camera. But was my impression real? I will never know.—Gerd Ludwig

Picture of a woman embracing a man on a beach in Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Photograph by David Alan Harvey, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015

Love is felt, not described. Celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary could be love, yet a hug from a stranger could also be love. Love is connecting. Perhaps even a brief feeling. A symbiotic rush. The beach showers in Rio de Janeiro are democratic. All races, all body types, all ages, all together on the beach and also often together in the beach shower. Rio is a Shakespearean stage of drama in its very essence. This is what I am trying to soak up visually with my “Beach Games” project. I want people to feel things rather than see things. This photo is intended to give this feeling of love on several levels. Not to be described.—David Alan Harvey

Picture of a baby rhino and caretaker in Kenya
Photograph by Ami Vitale, Kamara and Kilifi, Kenya, 2014

Kilifi is an 18-month-old rhino that Kamara is currently hand-raising along with two other baby rhinos at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya. Kamara spends 12 hours every day, sometimes in pouring rain, watching over the vulnerable baby rhinos. He loves these animals and calls them his children. He is part of the reason Kenya’s black rhinos, whose population had plummeted to near extinction, are doing so well here. Much needed attention has been focused on the plight of wildlife and the conflict between heavily armed poachers and increasingly militarized wildlife rangers. But very little has been said about the indigenous communities on the front lines of the poaching wars and the incredible work they do to protect these animals. These communities hold the key to saving Africa’s great animals. On Valentine’s Day, I think about how much people are a part of nature, and how we need nature to survive.—Ami Vitale

There are 251 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Sajid Khan
    February 15, 2016

    When defining wisdom none of the wisdom experts nor any of the

    dictionaries will say that wisdom above all is

    pure/emotionally-healthy love. As love is an emotion; so is wisdom an

    emotion. Even a child knows that love is a function of the heart. The

    heart is an agent of the brain; as it has 40,000 brain neurons. Thus

    wisdom is a function of the brain and heart. No wonder all these tens

    of thousands of books on wisdom do not make one wise; as these books

    try to teach the mind wisdom; when it is the brain that needs to be

    changed/healed physically. The focus has to shift to making the brains

    emotionally healthy.

  2. AvaR
    February 14, 2016

    I still find these photos beautifully mesmerising – thank you again for sharing this.

  3. Kara Irvin
    May 13, 2015

    Thank you for these beautiful photos. I always get a big leap in my heart when I see such wonderful photos. Thank you for capturing life.

  4. TrucThao
    April 12, 2015

    This really really the wonderful pictures which I have ever seen!

  5. Shir Savion
    April 6, 2015

    This is no less than amazing. Trully amazing.
    I have discovered a whole new side to NG, and never been happier.
    These photographs can actually make one feel love, as shown in the pictures. I admire this work, of all the photographers..
    Thank you!

  6. Sylvia Subramaniam
    April 1, 2015

    The photo of the baby rhino and his living caretaker touched me the most. Interspecies love is extremely important to our planet. The other photos were lovely too, but my heart fluttered with the last one. Thank you.

  7. Do Minh Hung
    March 23, 2015

    wornderful to know that love sometimes is just there.

  8. Deshi
    March 6, 2015

    Beautiful photographs and narratives that speak to your heart. Thank you.

  9. Chinthaka
    March 3, 2015

    Wonderful photos and even better narration. They show how much a simple photo can mean. Thank you.

  10. Marla Allen
    February 26, 2015

    BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you!

  11. Pamela Schirner
    February 24, 2015

    I love your stories and photographs.

  12. Rosa Barrera
    February 24, 2015

    I was so touched by all these images! Each photographer had an instant of magic in every picture! It provoqued in me so many emotions! How deep they made us see! I have seen many photos in my life, I even have organized several photo expositions in my life, but these photos just took me from a smile and from happiness to tears and then to happiness again! It was quite an unexpected experience! I really think it’s an excellent idea to keep working the subject of the discovery of love in so many places! I deeply enjoyed the photos but also the different stories behind the pictures! I felt real love in all of them! It’s a very honest work! We certainly need more works like this one in the web and everywhere! People need to remember what it is to feel love, to feel moved and to feel empathy for someone or something! A million thanks to National Geographic!

  13. Maria
    February 24, 2015

    These stories and photos put a smile on my face 🙂 and in my heart <3

  14. Jill
    February 24, 2015

    simply – thank you for sharing these beautiful moments – I am and I’m sure others have been inspired!

  15. Palaparthy ramakrishna
    February 24, 2015

    Thank you photographers you took us to the locations FREE. So good was the feeling.

  16. Henry Kafwembe
    February 24, 2015

    On the train, in a factory, in a refuge camp, love is everywhere. Look for it.

  17. Desh Bhushan Jain
    February 23, 2015

    Many lovely and sweet moments are captured in these photographs and one gets lost in his own earlier sweet moments and gets a nostalgic experience. Superb!

  18. Barry Shaffer
    February 23, 2015

    How beautiful & alluring! How would one photograph Happiness? That is my assignment later this year

  19. Jennifer Chapin
    February 23, 2015

    Absolutely lovely! What an oasis in a sea of ( largely) media negativity, thank you so much

  20. Marria Knight
    February 23, 2015

    Such love! So sweet! I especially like the rhino and keeper.

  21. Angelina Addy
    February 23, 2015

    Beautiful and touching; each picture tells a heart-warming story and the narratives tie them up even more beautifully.

  22. Jill
    February 23, 2015

    Speechless. Thank you.

  23. Hamza Umar
    February 23, 2015

    Real stories and true pictures make me feel alive. This is the reason I love NG. God bless you

  24. Avinash
    February 23, 2015

    LOVELY….

  25. Glynis Lailann
    February 23, 2015

    As they say in the classics “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

  26. Ben Ahmed
    February 23, 2015

    Beautiful captures. Amazing stories.

  27. Ashwin Kothari
    February 22, 2015

    Super sensitive photos….delivering the love, affection and care 5 years back I met a girl and fall in ❤ with her….her voice and care for me made me die hard for her…. Our talk started from social media and later on processed through phone calls and finally meeting made us come closure . Understanding is everything… Is the key to happiness, spending time giving value to your beloved make you special for them.. In nutshell affection followed up by both sides… Make a sincere relationship…

  28. JP
    February 22, 2015

    As much as I ‘love’ the pictures, the ‘words’ accompanying are equally ‘lovely’

  29. Maria Gattone
    February 22, 2015

    Simply THANK YOU!!!

  30. John Grimsley
    February 22, 2015

    Amy Vitale,
    It’s wonderful to see your work show up here. I have always been impressed by the sensitivity and grace portrayed in your work. I have tried following you since 2008-2009 when you were moving to Florida to go back to school. Hope you are as well as your work indicates. Blessings, John

  31. Satheesan nair.c
    February 22, 2015

    A well finished articles and photographs make me more aware of surrounds .. congers .

  32. Katrina
    February 22, 2015

    Just came across this article. What I appreciate most about these images is the diverse notions and experiences of love that they represent. Truly heartwarming.

  33. cheryl pelavin
    February 22, 2015

    All the love photos are wonderful, but the gentleman with the rhino hit my heart.

  34. patricia amundsen
    February 22, 2015

    Portraits of the beauty of the Human Spirit…fills me full of love…thank you

  35. Lorna
    February 22, 2015

    These are all touchingly beautiful and each shows love in a different way. Its not the seeing of them but the connection we can get of the feeling that makes these so utterly heart touching.

  36. eduard
    February 22, 2015

    Your photography tells stories and feelings which cannot be expressed or conveyed on words. Love your photography.

  37. Teyjah McAren
    February 22, 2015

    I especially like the last picture of our connection to animals. Thank you for the wonderful essay.

  38. Rachelle Forrest
    February 22, 2015

    HEART BEAUTIFUL!

  39. Maya
    February 22, 2015

    Valentine’s day is always special for my family as it was the day my adopted daughter officially became part of our family. This Valentine’s Day I posted a picture on Facebook that showed me holding my daughter the very first time we met physically. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and for the first time I realized that the three month old baby in my arms also had her gaze fixed on me. This to me – is love. I’m so glad to see pictures here that go beyond the usual romantic love – because there is so much more to love and life – than just that.

  40. Suresh
    February 22, 2015

    Stirs deepest of feelings…Truly amazing photographs

  41. Harrison Nimleh Sleweon
    February 22, 2015

    Your photographs brought me closer to every subject .I can see them,feel each of them,guess their thoughts and wonder is this what life suppose to be ?

  42. Reginaldo G Garcia
    February 22, 2015

    I look forward to Nat Geo’s Sunday Stills. I especially enjoyed this Sunday’s photoessay on “Picturing Love . . . ” Thank you!

  43. Barbara
    February 22, 2015

    amo, amas, amate oh well, 56 years since my last latin class

  44. James A. Wallace, C.Ss.R.
    February 22, 2015

    The power of a picture – the most common responses in the comments are “Beautiful” and “Thank You.” That’s what love brings into our lives – beauty and gratitude. So, thank you for all this beauty.

  45. Fabiana Boos
    February 22, 2015

    Wonderful! the images and texts touched my heart…I loved it!

  46. Fabiana Boos
    February 22, 2015

    Wonderful! The images Show what we feel about love and The texts are informação complete harmony with these emotions. Made me smile!

  47. CATherine ^..^
    February 22, 2015

    National Geographic: Please create a book of this article Picturing Love. When ones’ heart is lonely or feeling angry with those of this planet killing each other, eliminating beautiful creatures, this individual might only open to the pages of this book to be reminded of the love that continues to exist.
    Thank you one thousand times + for sharing this gorgeous, heart-felt collection of ‘Love’ moments. <3

  48. Tracy
    February 22, 2015

    Thank you for the sweet tears of joy.

  49. Andrew
    February 22, 2015

    Fabulous photographs. Beautiful and touching stories. Love can be expressed in so many ways …. simply beautiful…..

  50. Jean-Pierre Mongeau
    February 22, 2015

    Great to see so much love still exists despite our wars and differences. Great photos and stories!

  51. Diane A Savage
    February 22, 2015

    I live on the NGeo channel and these photos are just fantastic, especially the Rhino and keeper. These photos say it all.

  52. June
    February 22, 2015

    I love them all but with an extra feeling of love for the rhino and caregiver. These bring back memories we have not in photographs but in our minds. I will always remember a young prisoner of war returning to England and being greeted by his father. Who says the British are cold!

  53. kat
    February 22, 2015

    This are not just photo, it really make everyone to feel it.

  54. Lewis
    February 22, 2015

    Thank you National Geographic!

  55. Patricia Emerson
    February 22, 2015

    All evocative, but the mom kissing the son she thought she had lost forever— tears.

  56. Dung pham
    February 22, 2015

    Tuyệt….

  57. Rick Nichols
    February 22, 2015

    In a word, lovely. My favorite was the shot on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the world is rushing past just outside the window but they are only interested in the world behind each others eyes. Again, lovely.

  58. JoAnn Payne
    February 22, 2015

    What wonderful photos that say so much more than words can convey! Thank you for sharing them and their stories with us!

  59. Stu
    February 22, 2015

    Only love really connects — what a gift!

  60. John wright
    February 22, 2015

    awesome, my my eyes wet,lol

  61. Nekehia Quashie
    February 22, 2015

    I love love. It is all around us and we just have to pay attention to the little things. Thank you NG for these photos and the stores. They remind me of the beauty that surrounds us.

  62. mayank agrawal
    February 22, 2015

    True Love never be described, never be told, never be expressed, never be spoken. Only it can be feels like cold winds.

  63. Benoit
    February 22, 2015

    It’s so very soul 🙂

  64. Nikki McDonald
    February 22, 2015

    So many stories, so many kinds of love. All beautiful. Thank you for the photos and the words that go with them.

  65. mindy
    February 22, 2015

    wonderful variety of images of love

  66. Rose
    February 22, 2015

    I was so moved by your train story in particular; many years ago I met my love on a train-it was instant karma, to the point that when I departed at a different destination, he said to me, I’m going to marry you one day. We did marry, and had a wonderful family. Always believe in the possibility of instant love.

  67. Don L. Robbins
    February 22, 2015

    The photos are of private moments made public. I wish my love, Nuala Archer could see these. It is how she made me feel!

  68. Don L. Robbins
    February 22, 2015

    The pictures are of private moments made public. I wish my love, Nuala Archer could see these.

  69. Jacqueline Wong
    February 22, 2015

    Thank you, Nat Geo, for “celebrating what’s right with the world.”

  70. Pittiuomo
    February 22, 2015

    Harika anlatımlar

  71. Kathi Bailey-Allen
    February 22, 2015

    Beautiful pictures, but maybe the most interesting thing is how differently each of the photographers view love and how they chose to portray it.

  72. Myrt Rollins
    February 22, 2015

    Love is born and really is everywhere when you have the eyes to see!

  73. Batzion
    February 22, 2015

    The photo of Kilifi and Kamara is my favourite. I don’t know Kamara, but I love him for loving and caring for Kilifi.

  74. Marion
    February 22, 2015

    Amazing beautiful photographs. I was in Lewa Conservancy and the photograph of Kilifi and Kamara brought tears to my eyes. A beautiful bond and I am sure while saving an endangered species, Kilifi is saving Kamara as well….thru unconditional love. The photograph expresses it perfectly.

  75. Kevin Jones
    February 22, 2015

    Perfect! LOVE conquers hate!

  76. Monica
    February 22, 2015

    “Love is Life.” Those were my Mom’s last words just before she died.

  77. Lenie Morota
    February 21, 2015

    wonderful pictures. we can find love in the simplest things.

  78. Lenie Morota
    February 21, 2015

    beautiful *^^*

  79. Ranjitha
    February 20, 2015

    Love &let live-
    Heart warming pictures&stories

  80. Raymond Aniciete
    February 20, 2015

    Nice explanation, that love can express in different ways.

  81. Nyawira
    February 17, 2015

    Each photograph conveys what love means, each is compelling.We see love in every day life.:-)

  82. kb
    February 17, 2015

    WHAT YOU SEEKS, SEEKS YOU!
    ( RUMI) IF YOU SEEK LOVE,LOVE WILL FIND YOU…GREAT PICTURES

  83. Majd Hamad
    February 17, 2015

    Amazing.. I loved each picture and every word..
    The third was my favorite ..

  84. Ben
    February 16, 2015

    Believe it: Love never fails.

  85. Terry
    February 16, 2015

    Bravissima! The Russian couple was truly a moment. The rhino is compelling. Well done.

  86. Melster72
    February 15, 2015

    These EXPAND my concept of Love

  87. Radha
    February 15, 2015

    What a beautiful compilation of photographs, and the stories with them make them that much more poignant. Thank you for this wonderful photo essay on love – the universal language.

  88. Edward A. Talmo
    February 15, 2015

    A vision of mutual caring and love captured perfectly for all to share. Thank you.

  89. Caridad Corte Almeyda
    February 15, 2015

    Great job,so artistic and sensitive> Love is everywhere ,we just have to let it happen! I specially loved the one of Kamara and Kiliti ,it’s amazing how a baby rino is capable of be so thankful and happy with its caretaker,we all could be loving and thankful ! it is enough to keep us alive and happy ! congratulations for this wonderful job !

  90. Terry
    February 15, 2015

    The photos are amazing. Especially so as my son tells me the young Kenyan boy and his brother did indeed leave Kenya and have made a home in Ohio. They attend the school where my son teaches ESL. The law of seven degrees of separation at work, I guess, except this time it only took two. I know somebody who knows them. Wow. So touching.

  91. Mitali Sampat
    February 15, 2015

    Beautiful pictures. ‘Kamara and Kilifi’ is the sweetest click I’ve seen in a long time! Was holding back tears while reading some stories and smiling like a moron while reading others.

  92. Linda
    February 15, 2015

    Really good photography reaches into our soul and tells a story – thank you for always giving us the best – it’s what we should all strive for.

  93. saif
    February 14, 2015

    Incredibly touching stories n moments. Great photographs, great works.

  94. MARTHA PATRICIA JIMENEZ GOMEZ
    February 14, 2015

    HERMOSO, Y GRACIAS POR Q ATRAVEZ DE ESTO HACEMOS EL BIEN HAORA SI SIN MIRAR A QUIEN,MUCHAS GRACIAS
    TODOS SOMOS UNO…..

  95. Frances Breeland Evans
    February 14, 2015

    If only all the people of our wonderful world could see and feel this LOVE, instead of the hate that seems to be dominating so many!

  96. jill kahnert
    February 14, 2015

    Thank you for sharing these all of you. I find photos to be very personal. I would love to know more about Kamara and what I could do to help.

  97. Jose
    February 14, 2015

    Excellent!!! Lovely!!! God Bless!

  98. Jane Coombs
    February 14, 2015

    Eric Clapton said it best…Plant your love and let it grow. Thx for this reminder of love on our planet.

  99. Dorothy Beavington
    February 14, 2015

    Love comes in many forms. These photos reveal the depth and diversity of love.

  100. Sue Larson
    February 14, 2015

    “Love is all around us; and so the feeling grows” – the Kinks. Thank you, NG photographers, for these moments of beauty. <3

  101. Mahabuba Khanam
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful! <3

  102. EVELYN LOFTUS
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful inspiring photographs and proof that love is ever present in many diverse places

  103. Laly Rücker Said
    February 14, 2015

    Really beatifull

  104. Yolanda
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful!

  105. Anne
    February 14, 2015

    As an animal of all kinds lover, the rhino one got me. What a good man and that rhino knows. Animals know everything. My dogs love being showed love. Animals are truly amazing. Makes me want a rhino now ; )

  106. April
    February 14, 2015

    These days when love is so often trivialized, commoditized and cheapened by shallow renderings of what it’s supposed to be, this is such a beautiful reminder that true love comes in so many beautiful shapes and sizes and in so many different ways. It is at once unique and universal.

  107. Nancy
    February 14, 2015

    There is still so much love in this world and these wonderful pictures prove it!

  108. Altagracia Pena-Perez
    February 14, 2015

    Pictures of Love in all senses….incondiinal as mother’s love…unexpectect as mother’s nature. I am a beliver….when love is in the air, the camara captures hope!

  109. Dean Arnold
    February 14, 2015

    Spiritual uplifting observations.
    I Thank you.

  110. Sharon Foy
    February 14, 2015

    The very essence of photography is to capture the “story” or the “emotion” and portray it to an audience. These have all done that and then some. Brilliant work on all levels.

  111. Kannan
    February 14, 2015

    Lovely!

  112. Heidi
    February 14, 2015

    Wow. This made me remember all the little moments in time when I felt or saw love. Those little pieces that get lost in the frenzy of living your life but, like bread crumbs on the carpet, are still there somewhere.

  113. barb
    February 14, 2015

    Such a wonderful definition of love: For me, this love is worth knowing and celebrating. I was amazed to witness it. It’s not shiny or heart fluttering—it’s difficult, beautiful, brave work.—Amy Toensing

  114. Rohit Subba
    February 14, 2015

    The real life placed on photograph…natgeo luv ya.

  115. Suzanne Sutton
    February 14, 2015

    Thank you. Reading this I don’t feel at all alone today. There is love all around me. You reminded us that it goes so far beyond the red rose in a vase.

  116. Lea Ann Murphy
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful! Love is felt by all ages, stages of life, races, and species….in all circumstances. Thanks for sharing!

  117. Aishah Dawud
    February 14, 2015

    I loved everything about this. The pictures are breathtaking

  118. Kate Bolinger
    February 14, 2015

    I can’t help it! I love that young man and the rhino picture. If only we could all shelter and nurture the earth that way!

  119. Kelly mcclary
    February 14, 2015

    Disappointed

  120. Lillian
    February 14, 2015

    Love really IS all around, and a photo really IS worth a thousand words!!

  121. donna
    February 14, 2015

    Each beautiful photo and story line inspired me. Today is valentine day and this article reminds me …Love is. It’s not just when your young or with your child, not something you seek…it is always wonderful….and good to know….Love Is.

  122. Rick
    February 14, 2015

    My wife sent out a wonderful Valentine’s Day text to me and our two children this morning. She also sent the link to PROOF along with the following message ” If you want to see some wonderful pics and descriptions of love, go here….You will need some Kleenex! So sweet”

  123. Ray Klebba
    February 14, 2015

    Love, indeed, is a many splendored thing!

  124. Gladys Becerra
    February 14, 2015

    Simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing these lovely pictures.

  125. Jill
    February 14, 2015

    Wonderful pictures and stories! Beautiful way to start Valentine’s Day!

  126. sandra Kremer
    February 14, 2015

    The photos stand alone telling a story without reading the story lines. Beautiful photography

  127. Ann Farrell
    February 14, 2015

    wow

  128. farra
    February 14, 2015

    Strangers becoming lovers on the trans-siberian railway reminds me of the film Before Sunrise by Richard Linklater. Funny thing is I do have a copy of the Nat Geo Magazine 1996 issue and the moment I saw that photo by Ludwig, I instantly thought that those two were a “real” couple travelling together. Well, I hope that their story did not end up just like the film.

  129. Dawn Mitchell
    February 14, 2015

    This is sooo beautiful

  130. Melanie
    February 14, 2015

    I “felt” the love-thank you for sharing these memorable photo’s!

  131. Jis
    February 14, 2015

    Exceptional article. touching writing. wonderful concept.

  132. Nebula
    February 14, 2015

    Pictures are worth a thousand words. Thank you for this beautiful and heart felt article! 🙂

  133. Viorica
    February 14, 2015

    Fantastic! Love’s everywhere!

  134. Aya
    February 14, 2015

    when you love someone you really don’t care what is the color of the skin he/she got. its how you feel about someone that cares. i like all of this story specially Jodi Cobb post.

  135. Abbey Tanner
    February 14, 2015

    Thank you for putting a smile on my face and reminding me we’re surrounded by love and beauty, but perhaps not in the form we expected.

  136. Michelle
    February 14, 2015

    I love it! Highlighting how diverse and beautiful love can be. Thank you NatGeo

  137. Sharie
    February 14, 2015

    Love is powerfully captured in these photos. I choose to love if when it is difficult.

  138. eswar
    February 14, 2015

    yo be loved and to love is heavenly.

  139. Luz Ortiz
    February 14, 2015

    Touching!!!

  140. Vangie Garcia
    February 14, 2015

    I loved this article. Beautiful photographs and stories.

  141. Jo Marie
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful. I felt like I was part of the moment

  142. Jennifer
    February 14, 2015

    This article was so heart warming to read and touched on something about being human that is so deeply universal and yet ephemeral. The photos are just beautiful. Thank you so much for giving me this moment.

  143. Nancy Crabb
    February 14, 2015

    What a wonderful collection of photos telling the beautiful stories of love!!

  144. Atri Rumambi
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful photographs & wonderful stories. Happy Valentine’s day!!

  145. Joanne
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful, thank you

  146. Myra Murphy
    February 14, 2015

    Your wonderful photography kindle my love for this wondrous world.

    Thank you for sharing your talent.

  147. janique
    February 14, 2015

    beautiful

  148. Tukur
    February 14, 2015

    well captured and elequently explained

  149. Peter Morpuss
    February 14, 2015

    Looking at these photos is uplifting as it makes me want to go out and do some good.

  150. Tyler Lang
    February 14, 2015

    I love the comment “In the end, I found that searching for an image of love is very much like searching for love itself: The harder you look, the harder it is to find. But when you least expect it, it sneaks right up on you.”-Jodi Cobb
    It and these pictures have refocused my Valentine’s Day plans. Great article.

  151. paridhi athe
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful 🙂

  152. Vicky
    February 14, 2015

    Thank you for showing that love is all around us and that it exists even in the most difficult of experiences.

  153. Hugo Leote
    February 14, 2015

    Very nice!!
    Always Nat Geo!! Thanks.

  154. Mia
    February 14, 2015

    Wish everyone had someone to love and someone who returned this love. Thank You for the beautiful images – they add even more love to the day

  155. pooja goyal
    February 14, 2015

    awwsum photographs…photography is an aet that cn express love, emotions, laughter, tears nd evrything in the most beautiful way !!!

  156. Alice
    February 14, 2015

    They are simply touchy. Thanks for showing us those beautiful feelings.

  157. Holly Davisson
    February 14, 2015

    Very touching photographs! Such quality work always!

  158. Martha Nacarato
    February 14, 2015

    Love in all its shapes and sizes…thank you, National Geographic, for always twitching our heart strings… ❤️

  159. clare Stone
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful, made me smile

  160. Neety
    February 14, 2015

    Brilliant!

  161. Hue Washington
    February 14, 2015

    Love is truly an universal language. It has been conveyed lovingly through this amazing pictorial.

  162. priyanka
    February 14, 2015

    Awesome photos, each & every photos are captured with intense love …

  163. Heidi Liestøl Undheim
    February 14, 2015

    All wonderful! My favourite must be the one with Kamara and the baby rhino. Loving the colourful umbrella he so thoughtfully holds over the animal. Thank you for posting 😉

  164. saeed
    February 14, 2015

    So touching. Thanks national geographic

  165. dolleee
    February 14, 2015

    Couldn’t stop smiling…beautiful, both the images and the stories behind each one of them!

  166. sangeeta bg
    February 14, 2015

    so many dimensions of love, of life

  167. Viktoria Kreszanko
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful! <3

  168. elizabeth
    February 14, 2015

    beautiful

  169. NST
    February 14, 2015

    love is really not biased for gender, race, society, animal etc…very nice depiction of love

  170. Jackie
    February 14, 2015

    Awsome,, touching, very lovely way of expressing love. Congratulations !!!

  171. vance
    February 14, 2015

    Quite touching.

  172. Rohan Saikia
    February 14, 2015

    I hadn’t intended to open this link initially, but something inside me made me to and I am thankful that I did listen to my heart. These pics nade my Valentine Day. And as Jodi Cobb says when you least expect it, love sneaks up to you.

  173. Wen
    February 14, 2015

    Thanks for NG photographers sharing all the wonderful stories. I am very touched and inspired by people in the stories from Kenya. They make me think again what true love is. Please bring us more stories like these.
    — wen

  174. Maggie Keller
    February 14, 2015

    Love all of them but especially the pic of the older Brother and his siblings who were orphaned after their Moms death – yet the love and caring is what binds them amidst their struggles – he is their Hero…I can relate my older Brother was the same for me my caretaker – my Hero!

  175. Jessica Montaño
    February 14, 2015

    I’m overwhelmed after reading this. Thank you.

  176. sarah
    February 14, 2015

    Thank you for sharing your interpretations of love. The interesting thing is it is not perceived as love until it is labelled as “love”. Therefore, I believe love is everywhere, in all things as long as your eyes are not blind to seeing it.

  177. Natalia
    February 14, 2015

    “Quiero enamorarme cada dia, de la misma persona”

  178. Anik Mitra
    February 14, 2015

    Wonderful at so many levels… I personally liked the one which was photographed by Marcus Bleasdale at Central African Republic, 2014. Amazing…
    The more you think about this, the more you get emotional..

  179. maria ling
    February 14, 2015

    Absolutely amazing pictures n very touching comments on a significant day like today-Valentines Day!

  180. carolina erickson
    February 14, 2015

    Each one of these pictures are profound and unique, I loved them all, but my very favorite is the one between the mother and her lost son..I am still crying. Love truly is powerful, thanks for this incredibly beautiful reminder.

  181. Mónica Salvay
    February 14, 2015

    Bellos trabajos !!

  182. Nihar Kulkarni
    February 14, 2015

    Expresses the notion that love an entity in itself. The one which communicates, relates & connects all the beings.

  183. Maria Katherina Gumboc
    February 14, 2015

    Love is never shallow. Thank you NatGeo for sharing not only knowledge but also inspiration.

  184. Carol Carter
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful photos I could FEEL the love,thank you❤️

  185. mary
    February 14, 2015

    My favorite is the picture of mother
    and son. I can only begin to imagine how they felt!

  186. Arun-loner
    February 14, 2015

    Love is like a white cloud,you know its there,even when night covers it up.pictures are beautiful and inspiring.
    Inspiration is also love.
    Thanks

  187. Kathryn Carter
    February 14, 2015

    Extraordinarily beautiful

  188. Yael
    February 14, 2015

    Thank you, love will always be here!

  189. swati
    February 14, 2015

    A picture is worth a thousand words.. But often we tend to overlook the emotions of the photographer behind their work.. Beautiful stories of beautiful people.. We definitely need more of such mementos

  190. sri harsha
    February 14, 2015

    We seriously need more of these, right now I feel love is the only thing that can bring true happiness, be it the love between friends, family, or even the love we feel while we are around our pets..our world needs more and more of healthy love..cheers 😉

  191. Sheikh Tanveer
    February 14, 2015

    So beautiful… brings smile to your face and goose bumps to your body 😉

  192. jhoanna
    February 14, 2015

    I want to thank you for giving the opportunity to feel joyful with just viewing all forms of love. The pictures reveal such emotions and they have stories to tell.

  193. Stacey Casey
    February 14, 2015

    Truly wonderful, stunning, beautiful pictures and words. It proves our world is filled with indescribable loveliness.

  194. Kholoud Kassem
    February 14, 2015

    Love, the most powerful energy that exists on this universe is the reason for our survival at this time of destruction and killing especially in our part of the world.. Love is contagious so let us spread it to make the whole world a better place to live..Lebanon

  195. beti davies
    February 14, 2015

    This is the real love. The quiet moments. The open heart. The recognition of how we truly connect.This is why glamourous Hollywood love is so unrealistic.

  196. Pat
    February 14, 2015

    love exists within us all – a gift we give to ourselves and to others – anything that has a heartbeat is worthy of love
    Anyone who has a heart
    Could look at me
    and see that I love you …..

  197. Cato Crane
    February 14, 2015

    thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. love <3

  198. Sarie
    February 14, 2015

    Baie mooi fotos natuurlik

  199. Nthabiseng
    February 14, 2015

    Beautiful images and very inspiring.

  200. christian sapanza
    February 14, 2015

    Very moving stories. Great photos as well. The many faces of love, captured by the lens

  201. sailesh
    February 14, 2015

    breath taking stuff. Genius!

  202. cookie hall
    February 14, 2015

    Just lovely.

  203. Sabeeh Riyan Akhtar
    February 14, 2015

    I liked photo by Gurd Ludwig.Hearttouching words are essence of Love

  204. alex
    February 14, 2015

    Amor por la madre solo uno y por siempre.

  205. Kelly Graham
    February 14, 2015

    These photos are a gift. Thank you for making my world bigger and brighter.

  206. anonymous
    February 14, 2015

    Brilliant! Makes you feel happy about life !

  207. Linelle
    February 13, 2015

    Wonderful! Various manifestations and feelings of love. National Geographic, you never disappoint.

  208. Micha Pantle
    February 13, 2015

    Beautiful pictures! And yes you can see the love. Thank you for sharing.

  209. Betsy Browning
    February 13, 2015

    I aspire to be a national geographic photographer, always the best photos. These are proof as always. Beautiful.

  210. Claudia
    February 13, 2015

    Wonderful pics expressing love………thanks for shared , my favorites on train and the rinoceronte i love animals….,,

  211. Tanja Thate
    February 13, 2015

    Love is everywhere and has many faces but the western world has managed to turn it into a commodity and forgotten one thing … Love is not and will never be for sale!

  212. Paul Maartens
    February 13, 2015

    Beautiful!

  213. rocky chaudhry
    February 13, 2015

    beautiful

  214. Darnher
    February 13, 2015

    Unforgettable!

  215. J Peterie
    February 13, 2015

    Why else are we photographers? But to represent the heights of our humanity. Like more images on this topic:)

  216. Avi
    February 13, 2015

    beautiful!!

  217. Lishan Puwakovita
    February 13, 2015

    each one of these picture worth thousand words. kudos to photographers who captures heart touching pictures.

  218. Erin
    February 13, 2015

    Gorgeous!

  219. stephen w.
    February 13, 2015

    Wonderful!! Please don’t be afraid to say I love you. No one will catch you doing it. Give it a try. GREAT PHOTOS!

  220. Kate
    February 13, 2015

    2 of my favorite people are in this photo story. What a joy to see them again.

  221. Aleiya
    February 13, 2015

    Such beautiful photos, expressing love in different facets. And the stories behind them were good, especially the Trans-Siberian one. Made me stop and look back at the picture. Thanks.

  222. Claire Burkhardt
    February 13, 2015

    Thank you. Such beauty and vitality should be shared!

  223. Debbi Lynn
    February 13, 2015

    Simply beautiful! ❤️

  224. Felix Ortiz
    February 13, 2015

    Really inspiring. Makes me feel great.

  225. Janet Barrett
    February 13, 2015

    These artists have so beautifully captured some of the infinite faces of love in their photographs. The stories filled in the blanks and added that personal touch that made you feel like you were there. Beautifully done!

  226. Rita
    February 13, 2015

    Thank you.

  227. Ronnie Govender
    February 13, 2015

    Beautiful pictures….expressing true, natural love…..and nothing to do with Valentine’s!

  228. YIQING
    February 13, 2015

    these pictures are moving~

  229. Rhea
    February 13, 2015

    What beautiful people. These pictures are so sweet.

  230. Kathleen K Parker
    February 13, 2015

    Superb photos and wonderful emotions of love. My fav is the one on the train. So GREAT to read something happy on the Internet these days! Thank you! kkp

  231. Charlotte Dorudi
    February 13, 2015

    Thank you, this pictures made me happy

  232. Nadia Kaczmarczuk
    February 13, 2015

    A lovely diverse range of love images

  233. Paulo Batista
    February 13, 2015

    Amazing ! There is so much love,respect and complicity on this picture.

  234. Cecilia
    February 13, 2015

    We need more of these inspiration. Thanks for this gift!

  235. piku
    February 13, 2015

    Very innocent and honest

  236. Malabika
    February 13, 2015

    spellbound…each a touching saga of love in varied hues … From tender to difficult… From painful to happy

  237. Esther Lastoria
    February 13, 2015

    I felt the love in all of these photos. Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope everyone makes it the best one, yet.

  238. Erika
    February 13, 2015

    Great pics! Couldn’t hold my smile and tears! So much can be felt through them! Love the rhino cause that is trully the more innocent sight of love ! Love the three brothers cause sometimes upon the most awful circustance you found such depth and characyee and love ! It is amazing! Thank You for Sharing!!

  239. Junior Rivera
    February 13, 2015

    Awesome. National Geographic always my favorite.

  240. Gozde
    February 13, 2015

    made me smile, thanks…

  241. Claudia
    February 13, 2015

    So touching. Just lovely. Some talented people!

  242. George G. Wright
    February 13, 2015

    Beautiful! Beautifu! Pictures. No matter the situation love still exists.

  243. Heikki Leppänen
    February 13, 2015

    amazing pictures, especially trans Siberian and Kamara and kilifi, pictures rising up more than only picture.

  244. James Powell
    February 13, 2015

    Awesome observation on lo

  245. Jo Ellen Pearman
    February 13, 2015

    Wonderful, with no words needed. Happy Valentines Day to all.

  246. anne henning
    February 13, 2015

    love this post. particularly the trans-siberian photo and the words of David Alan Harvey

  247. Natasha
    February 13, 2015

    This is why I love National Geographic!

  248. anne launcelott
    February 13, 2015

    Love this post and the photos. I was smiling or holding back tears the whole time I read the stories behind
    the photos. Beautiful photographs, wonderful stories.

  249. Donna
    February 13, 2015

    Such great perspective on love. Everyone who sees and reads this should be changed somehow…kinder, more thoughtful, more aware of the love that surrounds them and that they can offer.

  250. Neal F. Rattican
    February 13, 2015

    This is a beautiful photograph, at several levels. Thanks!

  251. Mauricio Perez-Badell
    February 13, 2015

    Excellent!Give me more!

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