Are you in the mood for love? As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s likely that one of your clients will want you to be. Just like Christmas and Halloween, the way to nail this over-commercialised festival is to avoid cliches and hackneyed visuals and strip it back to the core element – in this case, strength of feeling between two people.

For inspiration on how to capture this in an image, take a look at US-based curator Lindley Warren’s online project The Ones We Love. Warren invited photographers she admired from all over the world to submit a photograph that captured the essence of a person very dear to them, and the results are pretty spectacular.

With a huge range in age, gender and type of love (romantic, platonic, familial), there’s a lot to take home both in terms of how to break with conventional tropes, but also style and composition. Some images are symbolic (like this beautifully atmospheric shot by Amiko Li, top), whereas others are more literal (such as Heather Sten's photo of her grandmother and mother, bottom), making for very raw and unguarded portraiture because of the deep connection between model and photographer.

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