Stunning photos show how love is expressed around the world

‘Love is everywhere,’ photographed by Dan Florit Ametller. Dan Florit Ametller/Agora
  • Agora, a free photography app, has revealed the top 50 finalists of its Love 2020 contest.
  • More than 11,000 photos were submitted in the hopes of winning the $US1,000 prize on February 18.
  • Each image is meant to show what love means to the photographers through their camera lenses.
  • Votes can be cast now by anyone who downloads the Agora app.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Agora’s latest photo contest celebrates different kinds of love around the world.

The free photography app began the Love 2020 contest in January, encouraging photographers to capture what love means to them through their camera lens. After more than 11,000 photos were submitted, Agora has narrowed the competition down to 50 images.

Here’s a look at some of the most beautiful photos of love.

“A seat for two with a view please” by Luca Cornago

‘A seat for two with a view please,’ photographed by Luca Cornago. Luca Cornago/Agora

Cornago captured this shot of himself and his wife sitting by Lake Como in Bugiallo, Italy, during a sunset.

“It was a very cold day and there was also a lot of wind,” Cornago told Agora. “This photo brings back a sweet memory and makes me think of how important love is.”

“A wonderful moment never gets old” by Big Bounyalith

‘A wonderful moment never gets old,’ photographed by Big Bounyalith. Big Bounyalith/Agora

In Sydney, Australia, Bounyalith photographed a couple walking around what appears to be a nighttime carnival.

“Bananas love” by Febriansyah Tri Wibowo

‘Bananas love,’ photographed by Febriansyah Tri Wibowo. Febriansyah Tri Wibowo/Agora

Speaking to Agora, Tri Wibowo said the subject of their photograph is a mum who sells bananas at a market in Kendari, Indonesia, to provide for her children.

“It must be quite hard to take care of children while working at the same time, but she does it with a lot of love and patience,” Tri Wibowo said.

“Birds kiss” by Dikye Ariani

‘Birds kiss,’ photographed by Dikye Ariani. Dikye Ariani/Agora

“It is true what they say: love is all around us,” Ariani told Agora about the two green birds she photographed in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Brothers” by Kallyan Kundu

‘Brothers,’ photographed by Kallyan Kundu. Kallyan Kundu/Agora

Kundu used a black-and-white technique to photograph a child carrying his brother through Khulna, Bangladesh.

“Cat lady” by Austin Wu

‘Cat lady,’ photographed by Austin Wu. Austin Wu/Agora

Wu’s nominated image was taken at Inle Lake in Myanmar.

“I was visiting the monastery nearby when we stumbled upon the cutest stray kitten,” Wu told Agora. “My cat-lover girlfriend couldn’t resist but adopting it and bringing it back home with us!”

“Deltebre” by Jonatan Rius

‘Deltebre,’ photographed by Jonatan Rius. Jonatan Rius/Agora

This daring image, taken by Rius in Bali, Indonesia, shows a couple kissing as they share a swing.

“Love is all about enjoying your surroundings with the person you care about,” Rius told Agora.

“Dogs” by Anne

‘Dogs,’ photographed by Anne. Anne/Agora

In Düsseldorf, Germany, a photographer named Anne captured her two Australian shepherds as they embraced.

“These two are best friends who always go paw-in-paw,” she told Agora.

“Falling in love” by Swann Lynn Htet

‘Falling in love,’ photographed by Swann Lynn Htet. Swann Lynn Htet/Agora

Lynn Htet took his nominated photo at the Ngwe Saung beach in Myanmar. It shows the silhouettes of a couple as they hold hands during a sunset, with the sun visible through their arms.

“Family love” by Adeel Chishti

‘Family love,’ photographed by Adeel Chishti. Adeel Chishti/Agora

Speaking to Agora, Chishti said his photograph shows both “the pure essence of love between three sisters,” as well as their elders taking “great responsibility and pride in educating the youngsters.”

The image was taken in Kasur, Pakistan.

“Family love” by Yoann Goulard

‘Family love,’ photographed by Yoann Goulard. Yoann Goulard/Agora

Goulard photographed two children as they blew out candles on a birthday cake in Saulce-sur-Rhône, France.

“Family time” by Alex Clifford

‘Family time,’ photographed by Alex Clifford. Alex Clifford/Agora

Clifford’s black-and-white photograph was taken on the island of Jersey, UK. The image shows an infant, held in a woman’s arms, who wraps their hands around a different adult’s finger.

“Glory of love” by Barce Rumkabu

‘Glory of love,’ photographed by Barce Rumkabu. Barce Rumkabu/Agora

Rumkabu’s shot shows two people holding hands amid a colourful landscape. The image was taken in Papua, Indonesia.

“Golden love” by Emmanue Quaye

‘Golden love,’ photographed by Emmanue Quaye. Emmanue Quaye/Agora

Taken in Accra, Ghana, Quaye’s photograph shows two people embracing as the sun sets behind them.

“Father love” by Jordi Sark

‘Father love,’ photographed by Jordi Sark. Jordi Sark/Agora

In Barcelona, Spain, Sark photographed a father hugging his daugther in black-and-white.

“Happy With You” by @eightman

‘Happy With You,’ photographed by @eightman. eightman/Agora

A photographer who goes by @eightman online captured a couple as they looked lovingly at one another.

“I had to stand up on a chair and shoot the photo from above without knowing if I captured it well or not,” the photographer told Agora. “All I knew is I had the vision, and expected it to look that way. And it did.”

“Innocent smile” by Myat Zaw Hein

‘Innocent smile,’ photographed by Myat Zaw Hein. Myat Zaw Hein/Agora

Zaw Hein took his nominated photograph while visiting the Kyaukse Township in Myanmar.

“When I visited the primary school, I saw these two school girls laughing and having a sweet friendship moment,” Zaw Hein told Agora. “Feeling the love from a friend is very important at this age.”

“Just you and the sound of waves” by Olivier de Lécluse

‘Just you and the sound of waves,’ photographed by Olivier de Lécluse. Olivier de Lécluse/Agora

According to Lécluse, his image shows “two lovers enjoying the view from the blue chairs located in Nice’s world-famous avenue Promenade des Anglais.”

“If I win the contest, I will get a surprise gift for my wife to celebrate our 20 years of love later this month,” the photographer told Agora.

“Kiss” by Dedy Dhamiyanto

‘Kiss,’ photographed by Dedy Dhamiyanto. Dedy Dhamiyanto/Agora

“I was lucky enough to photograph my cousin’s wedding,” Dhamiyanto told Agora. “The way they were looking at each other was very moving – I’m glad I captured this moment on camera.”

Dhamiyanto took the image in the Central Java province of Indonesia.

“Love beneath” by Dominik Brebrić

‘Love beneath,’ photographed by Dominik Brebrić. Dominik Brebrić/Agora

Brebrić’s nominated photo actually shows himself and his girlfriend as they explored “a beautiful cove” in Ugljan, Croatia.

“Through this photo, I wanted to transmit the emotion of togetherness, even in the depth of the sea, knowing that we are not alone as the red starfish is under us to tell us that we are also part of this big loveable planet,” the photographer told Agora.

“Love bite” by Pranab Basak

‘Love bite,’ photographed by Pranab Basak. Pranab Basak/Agora

There’s a heartwarming story behind Basak’s portrait, which was taken in West Bengal, India.

“During the summer storm season in the rural area of Bengal, parakeet nests often get destroyed,” Basak told Agora. “This baby bird got rescued by this rural kid, who takes care of it with so much love and kindness.”

“Love is all you need” by Ksenia Zaiets

‘Love is all you need,’ photographed by Ksenia Zaiets. Ksenia Zaiets/Agora

Zaiets told Agora that seagulls cawed and waves crashed as she took this photo in Peniche, Portugal.

“This photo shows how strong love can be between two people,” the photographer said. “Despite the fact that there is a storm, one thing remains unchanged – lovers hold each other tightly by the hand. Love always wins.”

“Love is everywhere” by Dan Florit Ametller

‘Love is everywhere,’ photographed by Dan Florit Ametller. Dan Florit Ametller/Agora

Florit Ametller took this photo in Menorca, Spain. It shows a man embracing a woman dressed as a mermaid while underwater.

“Love is love” by Robin de Clerck

‘Love is love,’ photographed by Robin de Clerck Robin de Clerck/Agora

This nominated photograph, which shows two women kissing, was taken in Wijk bin Duurstede, Netherlands.

“Love my two children” by Bobi Nardi

‘Love my two children,’ photographed by Bobi Nardi. Bobi Nardi/Agora

“Labuan Bajo is a small village in Eastern Indonesia where most of its residents get their income from fishing,” Nardi told Agora. “In this photo, the mother was telling traditional tales to her kids.”

“Love on a clifftop” by Carl Brightman

‘Love on a clifftop,’ photographed by Carl Brightman. Carl Brightman/Agora

Brightman took this image in the Dorset county of England. He told Agora that he had been positioning his drone and “waiting for the light to change” when a couple “walked into the shot.”

“I wanted to convey the joy of such a great view and place, being able to share this special moment with a loved one,” Brightman said.

“Love story” by Andy Lam

‘Love story,’ photographed by Andy Lam. Andy Lam/Agora

Lam found this couple sitting on a bike underneath a tree in Tây Ninh, Vietnam while walking around on the first day of the 2020 Lunar New Year.

“The emotion I want to transmit in this photo is the beauty of teenage love – when you fall in love for the first time and feel this special vibration in your heart,” Lam told Agora. “This feeling is one of the most beautiful in our entire lives, that we will never forget. We should love more every day to make our lives happier and meaningful.”

“Love” by A. Rosenthal

‘Love,’ photographed by A. Rosenthal. A. Rosenthal/Agora

A. Rosenthal found her photography subjects at the Cologne Zoo in Germany. Speaking to Agora, she said she found the moment between orangutans to be “very moving.”

“The mother kept drawing the infant close to herself, taking care of it with all her love,” she said. “The little one was very playful and just like us, humans, it tried to free itself from the clasp of its mother again and again to explore the world alone.”

“I am convinced of this monkey mother’s deep love for her child,” Rosenthal continued. “Just as I love my child, she loves hers. For me, there is no greater feeling, no more beautiful and pure way to love than that of the parents to their children.”

“Love” by Nika Pailodze

‘Love,’ photographed by Nika Pailodze. Nika Pailodze/Agora

Pailodze’s photo shows a couple sitting in a dark room as light pours in from stained-glass windows, surrounding them with colour. It was taken in Tbilisi, Georgia.

“Love” by Òscar Penelo

‘Love,’ photographed by Òscar Penelo. Òscar Penelo/Agora

Photographed in Spain’s La Fageda d’en Jordà forest, Penelo’s image shows a woman holding a child in the air.

“Love” by Tatyana Aleinik

‘Love,’ photographed by Tatyana Aleinik. Tatyana Aleinik/Agora

Aleinik’s nominated image features a couple as they face each other in Irkutsk, Russia.

“Lovers Bridge” by Lee Mumford

‘Lovers Bridge,’ photographed by Lee Mumford. Lee Mumford/Agora

Speaking to Agora, Mumford said he photographed this couple under the Bishops Bridge in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Spain. He had originally planned to capture shadows as people walked through the alley, but ended up encountering a couple having their own photo shoot in the same spot.

“Instead of giving up, I took the opportunity to photograph something unique,” the photographer said. “Luckily the couple didn’t mind at all. Love is all around us if you know where to look!”

“Mum and son love” by Huy Đằng Phạm

‘Mum and son love,’ photographed by Huy Đằng Phạm. Huy Đằng Phạm/Agora

Đằng Phạm took this black-and-white image in Kon Tum Province, Vietnam, shortly after this child’s bath.

“I was very moved by the way they were staring at each other,” the photographer told Agora. “If I get to win the $US1,000, I will use it to fund a photo-book project about ethnic groups in Vietnam so that future generations shall never forget about traditions.”

“Mother love” by Jevgenijs Scolokovs

‘Mother love,’ photographed by Jevgenijs Scolokovs. Jevgenijs Scolokovs/Agora

Scolokovs photographed his wife and newborn son to show that a mother’s love is “the strongest link that brings humans together,” according to Agora.

“Mother’s love” by Mohammad Hedayet Sarker

‘Mother’s love,’ photographed by Mohammad Hedayet Sarker. Mohammad Hedayet Sarker/Agora

“They were enjoying the view from the window with absolute joy, playing and laughing together in their very own bubble,” Sarker told Agora about the woman and child seen in his photograph.

“Romantic morning” by Muhammad Jabir

‘Romantic morning,’ photographed by Muhammad Jabir. Muhammad Jabir/Agora

Jabir found this picturesque spot in Bali, Indonesia, which he described to Agora as “one of the most beautiful places for a holiday.”

“Rome, the city of Love” by Maky & Matt

‘Rome, the city of Love,’ photographed by Maky & Matt. Maky & Matt/Agora

As the photo’s name suggests, Maky & Matt captured this shot in Rome, Italy.

“Rome can be a pretty busy place, but we managed to get its main tourist attraction just for ourselves simply by getting up early,” they told Agora. “Rome is the city of love for us. It’s such a romantic city where you can’t help but dance with your significant other, give them a rose, and hold their hands.”

“The Kiss” by Anskar Lenzen

‘The Kiss,’ photographed by Anskar Lenzen. Anskar Lenzen/Agora

Like some other nominated images, Lenzen’s photograph focuses on love shared between wildlife. He captured the brown fur seals “kissing” in Namibia.

“The love of brothers” by Rynessa

‘The love of brothers,’ photographed by Rynessa. Rynessa/Agora

While working on a ranch to photograph horses, Rynessa came across two children.

“They were spending all their time together, but as brothers, they also fought and hugged each other,” the photographer told Agora. “The way they expressed their love to each other was so pure and innocent. If I win, I would split the $US1,000 prize with these two and use my part to pay for my school tuition.”

“The purest love and protection” by Zeb Un Nisa

‘The purest love and protection,’ photographed by Zeb Un Nisa. Zeb Un Nisa/Agora

Photographed in black and white, Un Nisa captured a person holding an infant’s feet in the palms of their hands. The photo was taken in Kasur, Pakistan.

“The strong bond” by Asim Ljaz

‘The strong bond,’ photographed by Asim Ljaz. Asim Ljaz/Agora

In Gujrat, Pakistan, Ljaz photographed a child “seeing her aunty for the first time in months.”

“I just came out of my car and heard her shouting for her aunty, then she just ran towards her for hugs and kisses,” Ljaz told Agora. “It was a magical moment of pure love. Aunties have a very special place in kids’ hearts.”

“To love” by F. Dilek Uyar

‘To love,’ photographed by F. Dilek Uyar. F. Dilek Uyar/Agora

Dilek Uyar told Agora that this photograph was taken to show how you can “get rid of all the chaos that surrounds you” by focusing on the “special feeling” of love.

“Time stops and everything else loses its importance,” the photographer said. “It was so hard to take this photo because goats don’t really abide by photographers when it comes to striking a pose.”

“Two en route” by Ainura Niyazova

‘Two en route,’ photographed by Ainura Niyazova. Ainura Niyazova/Agora

According to Niyazova, this shot of an Italian couple was taken “secretly” in Kazakhstan. She told Agora that she “couldn’t afford to miss such a shot.”

And if the image wins the Love 2020 contest, the photographer plans to spend the money on a “good full-frame camera,” which she says has been her dream purchase for years.

“Two lovebirds in a rainbow” by Florian Brioude

‘Two lovebirds in a rainbow,’ photographed by Florian Brioude. Florian Brioude/Agora

Upon first glance, this image appears to show people walking down colourful stairs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. By taking a closer look, however, you’ll realise that Brioude actually captured a couple kissing across one of the handrails.

“Ulos” by Korchnoi Pasaribu

‘Ulos,’ photographed by Korchnoi Pasaribu. Korchnoi Pasaribu/Agora

To capture this shot, Pasaribu visited an area known for its handwoven textiles, according to Agora.

“The craftswoman’s grandson hugged her from behind, and she welcomed him with a happy smile,” he said. “This is what true love looks [like] to me.”

“Wedding date” by Sam Seguso

‘Wedding date,’ photographed by Sam Seguso. Sam Seguso/Agora

Seguso’s shot is the only wedding-related image to make it as a finalist in Agora’s Love 2020 contest. The picture was taken in Venice, Italy.

“Wholeheartedly” by Jayesh Vijuda

‘Wholeheartedly,’ photographed by Jayesh Vijuda. Jayesh Vijuda/Agora

“It started raining as I was heading home,” Vijuda told Agora. “At that moment, I spotted a mother and her child trying to stay dry under a plastic blanket. They warmed my heart.”

Vijuda captured the moment while in North Sumatra, Indonesia.

“Woman and dog at home” by Eva Blanco

‘Woman and dog at home,’ photographed by Eva Blanco. Eva Blanco/Agora

Blanco’s nominated image features his friend Alba and her golden retriever.

“A dog is part of the family, and everyone who has a pet knows this feeling,” he said about the photo.

“You know nothing” by Kirill Golovan

‘You know nothing,’ photographed by Kirill Golovan. Kirill Golovan/Agora

Golovan’s image was inspired by Jon Snow and Ygritte’s relationship on “Game of Thrones.”