In 2009, London-born portrait and fashion photographer Chris Craymer launched his first photo book, Romance, which is a glimpse into the romantic lives of real couples found throughout his worldwide travels. The images embody the light, witty touch that is an important element in much of Craymer’s work.
When Craymer moved his studio base and family to New York in 2009, he was inspired to explore the state of romance in the US towards the end of the first decade of the 21st century. As he progressed on his journey, he discovered the scope and diversity of America and the changing landscape of romance, especially with the raised awareness of LGBTQ relationships in the media. His goal was to reflect a cross-section of relationships, including ethnically diverse, multigenerational and LGBTQ couples, where love and laughter were the uniting qualities.
The result is a series of tender, charming portraits in black and white and color, mixed with delightful still lifes, that together depict romance and relationships made in the USA. The photographs are gathered together in book form for the first time in Craymer’s beautiful new monograph, American Romance, that will be published by Damiani in May 2018. GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, will co-host a book launch party on Wednesday, May 9 from 6-9pm. Partial proceeds from the evening will benefit GLAAD. This is an invitation only event.
Lyn Slater and Calvin August Lom
Lyn Slater is the founder and editor of the popular blog Accidental Icon which she created because she was having trouble finding a fashion blog or magazine that offered an urban, modern, intellectual aesthetic but also spoke to women who live what she calls “interesting but ordinary lives” in cities. She has 486,000 followers on Instagram. Slater divides her time between teaching at Fordham University and posting on her fashion blog. She is also a 64-year-old grandmother. She lives in New York City with her partner of 20 years, the Sloan Kettering scientist-turned photographer Calvin August Lom.
American Romance explores the intimacy and connection between couples, and their love for one another. Craymer captures special, raw moments between couples who have a strong sense of personal style. The ritual of having one’s portrait taken forges a special trust between photographer and subject, and Craymer has found over the course of shooting couples throughout his career, it is as if a door opens during each photography session. Craymer’s portraits are unique and intimate – the reader senses Craymer’s connection with each of his subjects.
Svea Berlie and Jenny Rey.
Svea and Jenny are a married couple. Svea is a fashion model and Jenny is a hairdresser. They met in New York where they now reside. Their baby is their dog Presley.
“As a Brit, I can say I found that romance reigns supreme in this wonderful land. My book is a celebration of human interaction and what it is to be alive and engaged with another person,” says Craymer. “I create these pictures by encouraging my subjects to reveal the authenticity and intimacy of their relationships. I like to shoot on location in places that I can imagine my couples either living or visiting, as it allows me to tell their story in a romantic yet real way.”
Phillip Picardi and Dr. Darien Sutton.
Phillip is chief content officer at Teen Vogue, while jointly running “them,” a new LGBTQ focused publication he founded at the end of 2017. Darien is a doctor at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. They live in Brooklyn.
“For me, each shoot is a mixture of storytelling and portraiture merged seamlessly together. My aim is to create images that are inspirational to the viewer and treasured by the subject themselves. … The romance and love expressed between two people is the perfect vehicle to make pictures which can covey a number of emotions … I want to make pictures which can be sexy, funny, joyful and also powerful and even soulful.”
Maria Jose and Massima Lei.
Massima works as a model. Maria is a photographer and actress. They met in New York.
About the Photographer:
Chris Craymer pushed the boundaries of newspaper photography and celebrity portraiture early on. His enthusiasm for picture ideas and fashion styling led him to be regularly requested by celebrities such as George Michael and Wham! International in scope, he is represented in London, New York, and Paris and works for numerous editorial clients including American, British, Indian, and Korean Vogue; British, French, and American Glamour; numerous Marie Claire and Elle titles, and a number of independent magazines including Crash, Dansk, and Rodeo. He has also worked for many major fashion and beauty brands throughout Europe and the USA. His previous books include From the Heart (2016); In London (2012) and Romance (2009). For more information, visit: www.chriscraymer.com
GLAAD works through entertainment, news, and digital media to share stories from the LGBTQ community that accelerate acceptance. For more information, visit:www.glaad.org.
Hunter McGrady and Brian Keys.
Hunter is a Plus-Size model with an Instagram following of 427,000 followers.
Brian is VP, Associate Creative Director of Art at a New York advertising agency.
They live in New York.
All photographs are © Chris Craymer 2018