Love is one of the most powerful emotions a human being will ever experience. The lovely part about love is that it encompasses so many different feelings and states - and most of them feel terrific, except for maybe unrequited love. The range of emotions that fall within the love category is vast and infinite so that everyone has a limitless amount of opportunities to experience this elevated state.
For example, even if you aren't in a relationship, there is love for a sibling, a parent, a child or a friend. And although each type of love is slightly different, it is all good, right? Many people assume that love of a mate will always be the strongest, and don't feel as though the other types of love count as much. The film industry has punctuated that stereotype since its inception - so we are used to seeing romantic love on the big screen, and if we don't have it in our lives, we feel like we are missing out on love.
However, we like to celebrate all kinds of love, so we researched some of the most treasured photographs and came up with 11 of our favorites.
11 Le Baiser de L'Hôtel de Ville, Paris
This is one of the most classic love photographs and was taken by professional photographer Robert Doisneau in 1950 for Life Magazine. The story behind the photograph is that years later one couple mistakenly thought that they were the two in the picture. Jean and Denise Lavergne had lunch with the photographer and revealed their suspicions. Doisneau did nothing to correct them, so they continued to believe their hunch and sued him for over $18,000. Another lawsuit arose from Francoise Delbart who, in 1993, asked the photographer for a share of all future sales plus close to $4,000, thinking they were in the photo. Doisneau finally had to reveal that the photo had been staged with budding actors Ms. Bornet and Jacques Carteaud.
10 Saying Goodbye
One of the side effects of war is that it amplified love between husband and wife, parents and sons, pets and their owners. So when it comes to saying goodbye, emotions run deep, as it is never clear if the partner will return home safely, if at all. This image is a perfect representation of the final farewell moments. It is loving and full of so many sentiments all within this partial shot.
9 The Last Kiss
World War II ended in 1945, but that didn't mean all men who were in the military actually relinquished their duties. The country was still in disarray for years after, so the National Reserve was still a vital arm of the military. This photo was shot in 1950 and shows a young National Guardsman kissing his wife goodbye before he goes off to fulfill his duty to his country. By the looks of it, he gave her a kiss she will never forget.
8 Bubbles & Bella
Bubbles, a vivacious 33 year old African elephant was brought to the Myrtle Beach Safari in 1983, after animal poachers left her orphaned. The Myrtle Beach Safari is located in South Carolina and offers a 50-acre piece of land for Bubbles to roam freely and safely. In 2007, the contractor that was hired to build a pool for Bubbles ended up leaving his dog behind. This didn't pose an issue for the elephant as the pair quickly formed a bond. The couple are now inseparable and spend their days together, swimming, playing and loving one another. To see more check out the video below.
7 The Kissing Sailor
Life Magazine has published hundreds of photographs that were taken by amateurs that captured some of the most powerful love moments in time, such as this famous shot taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 15, 1945 in Times Square (NYC). To hear Eisenstaedt's account of the day is truly heartwarming.
"In Times Square on V.J. Day (Victory over Japan) I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn't make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse."
6 6. Louis Armstrong
This stunning photograph captures one of the world's most well known jazz trumpet players, Louis Armstrong, playing for his wife in front of the Sphinx in Giza (1961), Egypt. Lucille (Wilson) Armstrong was Louis's fourth wife, who he married in the early 1940s. This was "Satchmo's" final marriage which lasted until he died of a heart attack in his sleep in 1971 at the young age of 69 - one month before his 70th birthday.
5 Animal Love
Love isn't reserved for humans - not in the least. Animals demonstrate and feel love more than most humans would acknowledge. They express their love much like we do, as you can see by this photo of these enraptured primates. Kissing and hugging is just as much a part of their love routine as ours and they are not ashamed to show it.
4 Till Death Do Us Part
This is the literal translation of those marriage vows, "till death do us part". This couple obviously took this to heart and when it was time for them to pass, they did it together. These skeletons were found in Italy, at a construction site outside of Mantua and are said to be around 6,000 years old. The lovers were discovered in 2007 in the village of Valdaro, exactly like this - facing one another with arms and legs entwined.
3 Family Love
This photo is so endearing. When you stop to look more closely, you can see that the baby is making sure both parents are being addressed. Its tiny little body is angled so that its feet are touching the father while he/she looks lovingly at the mother. This is the essence of family love - when everyone in the family feels connected on several different levels.
2 Senior Love
Young people often feel a sense of nostalgia when they see an older couple that is affectionately in love. Yet love doesn't stop happening just because the years go by. It is something everyone needs and wants all the way until they pass. This photograph depicts that long lasting love and respect that most people would be lucky to find.
1 Mother and Child Love
Love between mother and child is sometimes tenuous - particularly during those awful teenage years. But for many mothers, having kids opens up the world of unconditional love, which is something couples rarely feel for one another. There is said to be a special bond between mother and child because of the pregnancy - when they are practically one being. This photo shows this connection masterfully.