Marc Perlish Photography | Blog

In Love

This B&W series emphasize the soulful, loving connection that the couples shared. Removing color untethers the photographs from the realistic view we are accustomed to. It draws our attention to a smaller set of expressive elements and details.


I requested that the newlyweds keep their attention on each other, and asked them a variety of questions while photographing their responses. Can you guess what questions I asked? Please leave your thoughts here on the blog.


Approaching portraiture in that way enabled me to capture the couples interacting naturally rather than posing for the camera.


When I was asked, "what should we do?" my replies included, "Get closer", "Look at each other", "Switch sides"...

"Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court, "Turned Around"

This installment emphasizes the body language and aesthetics of the couples with minimal if any focus on the face. I asked the couples to hold hands and turn towards the wall.


We rarely see photographs of people turned around because we are habituated to look at the face and eyes to connect and communicate with others when we meet. I believe that when the face is not the focus, we are freer to simply look at the aesthetics of the couple and how they fit together noticing other details that might be passed by when they are facing us. It is not meant to be unflattering or irreverent, it's simply a rare view and another way of experiencing the couples, like sculptures.


Do you prefer seeing faces and expression? Do you reflect differently on what you are seeing when there aren't any faces to see?  Does the lack of facial expression emphasize a different set of elements to consider? Please take a little time to leave comments here on the blog, I'd love to know your thoughts.

The Kiss, "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court

These kisses occurred in the midst of photographing and weren't encouraged or suggested. While I have many views of each couple, there are very few where they kissed and some couples didn't kiss while I was photographing. Very understandable given the intimate nature of kissing. There were always people behind me, much commotion and sometimes antics from the ever changing throng of people walking by. When asked "What should we do", my answer was always, "Get closer".

                    "The Bride of Frankenstein" is written on her t-shirt.




Holding Hands series from "Just Married" at Chicago Marriage Court

If you have been visiting my blog you've seen some of these couples already. In this series I asked each couple to stand and hold hands, suggested they communicate non-verbally and asked them questions while I photographed them. The couples looked the most natural in the first or second exposure. After comparing the early shots to those following in almost every instance the early shots were better. By "better" I mean that the photographs revealed something about who they are in a very direct, simple and unintentional way. As time passed the couples had more time to be aware of being photographed and to consider how to present themselves. We are all faced to some extent with the same issues when a camera is pointed at us. When we look into the camera it can quickly change what we choose to reveal or withhold about ourselves. 

This project was meant to be seen in its entirety and to present the fascinating elements, expressions, aesthetics and ways of being that couples share. The body language, attire, and little details, all come together to show us something ineffable about attraction and love.

Share your impressions, I'd love to know what you think.


Standing up at Chicago Marriage Court


This post is the fourth in a series of portraits I created at the Chicago Marriage Court. All the couples were photographed shortly after getting married in a waiting area steps away from the court office. I asked the couples to react and communicate non-verbally to statements such as, "Think back to when you first met", "Think of something unexpected that happened on your first date", "Think about something you don't agree on", etc.

I'd love to know your impressions. Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for visiting!


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