The beautiful—yet complicated—forms of love

  • Title: “The woman that I still am #2, 2010”
  • Title: “Mother is worried, 1996”
  • Title: “Eden and Emmanuelle, 2011”
  • Title: “Sensation, 2010”
  • Title: “Grandparents kiss, 1998”
  • Title: “Love, 2009”
  • Title: “Eran and I, 1999”
  • Title: “Bath, 2006”
  • Title: “Grandpa Looking Out at the Water, Naples, FL, 2003”
  • Title: “Dad and Slater on Fathers day, 2010”
  • Title: ““Jason and Farrah, 2006”
  • Title: “Cooper, Nolan, and Bailey, Armonk, NY 2004”
  • Title: “Mom’s Thanksgiving Table, 2004”
  • Title: “Grandma pinching Nolan’s cheeks, Chappaqua, NY 2005”
  • Title: “Matching Bathing Suits, Sagaponack, 2009”
  • Title: “Grandma and Dorothy, Mamaroneck, 2008”



Valentine’s Day, though originally associated with romantic love, has grown to celebrate not only the love shared between couples, but also the relationships between friends, parents and their children, old love, young love, sibling love, you name it.

Two photographers who have turned their cameras toward this all encompassing notion of love are Elinor Carucci and Gillian Laub, friends who share a fascination and inspiration in – to use a hackneyed phrase – the power of love. Both photographers have built formidable bodies of work photographing their families.

“The reason I began photographing my grandparents was very basic,” Laub says. “I wanted to capture their love on film. Families are complicated, but love is what binds us together, always.”

For Carucci, photography has not always only been a way to “enjoy my children’s love for me and demonstrate my unconditional love for them,” she told msnbc. “It has also helped me recover at times when I feel that I’ve failed them as a mother or sense their resentment of me.”

Carucci also made a body of work with her husband, and in doing so, admits that the act of photographing helped her to reconnect.

In both photographers’ work, the striking common thread is its powerful depiction of love, family, connection, and all of the distance and complications that are encompassed within.