You are 23 years old. You are sitting on an airplane, anxiously waiting to be jet-streamed away from the godforsaken place you call home. You’ve spent your whole life here, only wanting to spend it there. Wherever there is, doesn’t matter. But there isn’t here. You peer out the window, impatiently massage the stained upholstery of your armchair. A middle-aged flight attendant wobbles past you and stumbles into a passenger. You think she’s drunk. She’s probably drunk. You nearly regret what you’re about to do. Will you end up like her in 20 years? Lonely, drunk, working a job below your “credentials.” Stacking empty bottles in your empty apartment, trying to find fulfillment. Maybe you should’ve gone into the workforce like all your friend’s who just graduated with you. “Stop thinking that. Stop thinking that. If you get off this plane your 18-year-old self is going to hate your 23-year-old self.” You stop thinking. You stare into the plexiglass some more. “Anyone sitting here?” You look up. Your heart pumps even faster. Fast-forward 40 years: all those stupid romantic movie tropes showed up in reality, in your life. I’ll say it for both of us, now, you found love.

So life and love don’t really work in such a romantic way. At least not most of the time. People spend their mortality trying to figure out what makes love work. How do some couples make it while most of us are stuck flipping through self-help books, praying that he or she will bump into us in the hallway or carelessly run us over in the parking lot? Photographer, Jay Marroquin will travel the globe in 2013, not necessarily looking for the answer to this riddle, but photographing real life pieces of the puzzle we obstinately insist on solving. His project, Romance of the Photograph, promises to fill the viewer’s eyes with more than 200 pages of images and stories of love. Marroquin will interview more than 100 couples from more than 30 different countries. All the couples Marroquin hopes to interview have been together for a minimum of thirty years, and are of different sexual orientations, faiths, and creeds. Marroquin intends for these stories to inspire the upcoming generation: Those clumsily falling over their untied shoelaces in the acne stained age of adolescence, those in their twenty’s convinced that settling down just isn’t for them, and anyone else skeptic of that trite word we tend to bitterly laugh at or shoo away after some-odd failed attempts. And, in a culture where divorce rates are a quick-fix to patches of turbulence in what was supposed to be a lifelong commitment, these stories of enduring relationships are meant to remind us that love can see it through.

Below are two links. The first link will connect you to Marroquin’s “Indiegogo”page, containing information about how you can support Romance of the Photograph. The second is a link to Marroquin’s professional website where you can view his work to see the superb quality of photography you are funding, if you choose to do so:

http://www.indiegogo.com/rotp

http://www.jaymarroquin.com/