All you need is love
My Children call me “cheesy” but I call it “In love with love” . When you had your teenage years in the late 70’s and early 80’s you may be forgiven for being a bit “cheesy”. Actually it’s simple: All you need is love
Photographing couples, and especially couples holding hands, has become a somewhat of an interesting theme to photograph. It all started when I first went out to take some photographs on a snowy day at Belvedere Palace, Vienna, and I saw a couple standing so close to each other, so silently, motionless between the trees and hedges. This photograph is still one of my favourites, because of the memory of the moment and because of it being the start of an idea and a process.
Holding hands feels good
It is wonderful seeing couples walking hand in hand. Holding hands is a good feeling, when hands fit nicely, and we can walk along in the same direction while being physically connected. Without realising it, it turns out that holding hands is a physical and social action as much as a psychological one. The fact that we hold hands in some circumstances like scary or stressful situations has much to do with our positive response to touch. It’s also a fact that our levels of oxytocin, also called “the love hormone”, goes up when we hold hands. Our hands have a high number of nerve endings and this is the reason why we use our hands to touch. This would then also be the reason why holding each other’s hands, to make our palms and fingers touch, is such a wonderful feeling.
“There's something so real about holding hands, some kind of complex simplicity,
saying so much by doing so little. I love it.”
Investigations done by Psychology Today, found that touch is also an excellent communicative mechanism. Huge amounts of emotional information are sent between partners when they are holding hands. The beauty and wonderfulness of holding hands start as soon as we are born. It is called the palmar grasp reflex, and it’s when very small babies react to the touch of fingers by squeezing them tightly. In early years our hands are held by our parents, grandparents or caregivers. This is the reason why we link care and safety with holding hands. Just as it was communicated to us as children, it is an easy way to show affection and to communicate security to another person.
“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey.
At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.”
Hold my hand
This is my thing. This is what I see around me. When I think I have now seen it all, I just have to go to Stadtpark to realise that no two couples are the same. Apart from knowing about the physical and emotional effects of holding hands, I still think it one of the most romantic and beautiful things to see, and what makes me enjoy taking these photographs. It’s in the moment, spontaneous and true. Holding hands is the visible sign of love.
“Nothing, I learned, brings you into the present quite like holding hands. The past seemed irrelevant; the future, unnecessary.”
“His hand glides down my arm, folds over my hand. His fingers lace with mine, palms kissing. I can feel the fast thud of his heart through this single touch.”
― Sophie Jordan