Lets face it. Love is an animal. Though my grandfather told me once that love is more like a bird, if you hold it tightly it dies, if you hold it slightly, it flies.
People often ask me how I capture such intimacy in the couples I have the honor of photographing. The key is looking from a different perspective. I don’t see them as who they are that day, happy and carefree. I see them as they will be tomorrow. I see them in the road ahead, in both the good times and the bad and all that they will endure. Together. Some days there will be love made on the kitchen floor, and others there will be sleepless nights on the couch. I have known both.
I received a letter once from an old friend. She mentioned that she recently had her heart broke and could only wish to one day find someone that sees her the way that my couples see each other. How would she know when she has found the “one”? Trust me when I say that tender gaze, that almost kiss, does not come without work. There will be joy, there will be pain. I have known both.
If you are reading this I want you to know that you are amazing. He is not. And this is my advice to you. Find a boy who calls you beautiful instead of hot. Who calls you back when you hang up on him. Who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep. Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead. Who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats. Who holds your hand in front of his friends. Who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. You will know he is the one because he will apologize first even if he feels he was in the right, because being right won’t matter if you go to bed angry. When you tell a joke he will laugh out loud.
He will constantly be reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have found you. He will turn to his friends and say, ‘that’s her.’
This is the bird that my grandfather spoke of. When you find this bird hold onto it but remember to give it room to grow. Room to breathe. Do this together. And when you find him, call me. I want to photograph it.
My name is Clayton Austin. I am just a man and I tend to see things better with my eyes closed."
“You’re single because you’re single. It’s not because you texted too much or too little or waited 33 minutes to respond because he took 23. It’s not because you met up with your ex that night at 5 a.m. that no one knows about, or because you kissed another boy after a date with a loser.
You’re not single because you spit food on that date or tripped coming out the the movie theatre. You’re not single because you hurt your first boyfriend really badly when you were 15 or because you have yet, to this day, to apologize. It’s not because you were secretly jealous when your friend got a boyfriend or that a guy you dated for two months now has a really cute girlfriend and looks really happy. And you’re happy for him. But still ill that he found someone before you.
You’re not single because you slept with your ex boyfriend. You’re not single because half the world found out when you didn’t even want to remember it yourself. You’re not single because you think the guy your friend wants to hook you up with is ugly or not tall enough. It’s not because you’re not willing to put up with someone who doesn’t brush their teeth on a regular basis.
You’re not single because your standards are too high. Good for you for having standards. It’s not because you didn’t like that really, really good guy who wanted to take you on a date and you just weren’t feeling it. And it’s not because you like to wear pajama pants as soon as you get home and wash all the makeup off your face. You’re not single because you didn’t learn enough from the past or would rather chill on a Friday night with your blanket and a cold beer than shower, get ready, and go out. You’re not single because something is wrong with you.
You are single because you are single. It’s really as simple as that. You haven’t made the connection with another heart yet. You can get dolled up, dress cute, cut your hair, dye your hair, tweeze your eyebrows, put on lipstick and you may still. be. single. You can go out to a bar hoping to meet the love of your life and not find a damn one in the place attractive. And it’s going to remain that way until it’s time for you to find one. Stop hoping for it. Start living the life that you do have instead of wishing for things that you don’t have. There will come a time you’ll meet a boy and you’ll have to give up some of this single freedom you currently have. Start being more thankful. Start doing that now.”"