the truth behind the kiss | personal

aed3f1b1dfcfe0db0ec643c6075b3af37310f0have you ever seen this photograph before? if you’re anything like me, you’ve been obsessed with this picture for as long as you can remember.

ths iconic picture made me fall in love with photography. i loved this picture before i even really knew what photography was all about. i love everything about it. i love the moment captured. i love the passion. i love the celebration. i even have it hanging up in my room. and whenever i think of iconic photographs, this is one of the firsts that comes to mind.

in college, when i did a class project, i chose to do it on famous photographs throughout the ages. this photo is what inspired my idea.

when i was in my mentoring session with sharon, we talked about this photo and why i liked it so much. not only do i love the contrast in the photo, but i love the story behind it even more.

this photo was taken when the war with japan was finally over. people were in the street celebrating over this victory. it’s not just everyday that you see a whole group of people being excited about the same thing and celebrating in unity. it’s beautiful. out of those joyous people there was the one sailor who was walking around and grabbing people to kiss. he was kissing everyone within arm’s reach. but this particular woman he grabbed, made them famous! the photographer (alfred eisenstaedt) just so happened to see what was unfolding and grabbed a few pictures of this moment, but this was the only shot to turn out perfectly. rumor has it, after the kiss was over, the nurse slapped him.

crazy right? i used to think this picture was of two sweethearts reunited at the end of the war. instead, it was two strangers who never crossed paths after that iconic moment. that is why i love photography so much. each and every single moment captured has a story to it. photography is such a beautiful form of expression. and while i know it’s cliche, one picture really can be worth a thousand words.

i love the stories that one picture can tell. they have no words, yet tell so much. and that is why i’m so in love with it.

so yeah, long story short. this picture will always have a soft spot for me.

what about you guys?! is there any picture throughout history that always stands out for you? i’d love to hear about it! 🙂


  • I’ve always loved this picture too! When I found out the story behind it, I couldn’t help but bust out laughing! haha 🙂

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I’M  Ashley

a Richmond, Virginia WEDDING & PORTRAIT Photographer

I’m Virginia Ashley, but my friends just call me Ashley! I’m a wedding photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. Even though I live in RVA, I travel all over for photography, which is awesome because I LOVE to travel! I’ve been as far as California and have my passport burning a hole in my pocket!

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