Author:Naughton, Jake
Position:ON THE LINE - When We Were Strangers

Juan and I met eight years ago at a coffee shop in Washington, D.C. We had been messaging for weeks before that on OKCupid, trying to find a time to get together. Of course, when the date finally came, I was late and Juan had left his phone at home. But we found each other, and spent our first date in motion, walking around the city and feeling out the contours of what was forming between us.

At the time, I was an intern with dreams of becoming a photographer; but almost as soon as we met, I started photographing him, and us. The early pictures are as aimless and saccharine as you might imagine: our idiot smiles after the first time we had sex, goofy glimpses of Juan, closeup images of his lips. You get the drift. But quickly, things shifted. What started as an unconscious impulse rapidly became something deeper--a collaborative and deeply intentional project to understand what it meant, individually and in general, to be in love.

Though Juan and I are profoundly different people, we share a philosophy on love: It is work. It is hard. It is geologic in its aspirations but minute in its practice. It is perhaps the most difficult and most essential project of our lives. And so we wanted to document it.

The resulting photographs comprise our new book, When We Were Strangers--itself the first...

To continue reading