Photographing #younglove with @juliaxanthos

To see more photos from Julia Xanthos and her on-going project photographing couples in love, follow @juliaxanthos on Instagram.

Between photo assignments, Julia Xanthos (@juliaxanthos) looks for love. As she bustles through New York City as a staff photographer for the New York Daily News, Julia stops to photograph couples kissing on park benches, hugging in the subways, holding hands on the train, and embracing on top of skyscrapers—all posted with the hashtag #younglove. “There are never enough pictures of people in love,” she says.

Even as a young photo student, Julia was drawn to taking pictures of people kissing. “In college, I really loved the fact that people would let their guard down if I put my camera up.” She adds, “I just always look for it. I don’t know why. It’s just there.”

The effect of photographing so many intimate moments has not been lost on her personally. “Taking pictures of people kissing has helped me heal my heart and also open it up at the same time,” she says. Recently, Julia got engaged and the feeling of falling in love is beyond words, or pictures, for her. “There’s no hashtag for it, I’ll say that. It’s just been the most beautiful experience of opening my heart up to somebody who is so incredible and is the love of my life. I don’t know any other way to put it.”


Some people spend their lives searching for love. Photographer Julia Xanthos manages to catch glimpses of it between newspaper assignments.

Throughout New York City’s five boroughs, whether on train platforms, in public parks or by coastal vistas, she has documented the raw, early stages of love—and in the process changed her own opinions on the topic. Xanthos, a photojournalist/videographer with the New York Daily News, has been working for more than a year on “#younglove,” a series of portraits of young couples displaying their affections publicly.


Young love is a very important stage in all our lives, wether we experience it as a couple or as an unrequited admirer. Very rarely does it develop into something further. But that’s what makes it special. It’s fleeting, as if it lasted in but a single moment. And despite how brief it is, it feels real; right, even. Because we were all young, we didn’t know any better. That made it pure, innocent, naive and simple to fault. And yet from this short-lived romance that was almost always meant to end, we feel heartbreak for the first of many times. Devastation as if our whole world would come crashing down because like I said, we didn’t know any better. And this teaches us that love isn’t always rainbows and roses. It tells us that love is many journeys, not just one.
—  Ryan Orleans