Here is the video (the transcript is below the photos). The Kickstarter has ended, but you can learn more about this project by clicking the links below.

Here are the stunning photos:

Clarification: Braden used models instead of real couples for some of these images "to protect the identities of actual LGBTQ members who might be in danger in certain countries should their faces be seen."

View transcript Hide transcript

Braden Summers: Why is it that the quality of commercial imagery of the gay community is less beautiful, than the fantastical illustration we see of romance for everyone else in popular culture and mass media. I'd like you to be a part of a conversation that challenges why that is on a global scale.

I'm Braden Summers, I’m a photographer based in New York City. I particularly love creating portraits and celebrating romantic moments.

Last year I found myself living a dream. I was in love, I was in Paris, and I was inspired by the old world architecture and fascinating people and their classic French style. So, I created a bunch of portraits and I shot couples dancing in the streets of Amats [SP] and women gazing over the city of Paris from balconies. It was amazing. After creating some images of hyper realistic Parisian couples and glorified portraits, my boyfriend had suggested that I photograph a gay couple, and I asked myself, as a gay man, why was that something that I had not thought of instinctively? In fact, why had I not considered this at all?

As an artist outside of my surroundings I draw inspiration from popular culture, other painters, photographers, filmmakers, and that's when I realized when I think of iconic romance, I could only envision straight couples. I could never recall an image of a gay or lesbian couple with the same powerful effect, and how could I? With the competition of years of a legacy of what romance is and what it looks like and who it’s for. All of my references for idealized romance were completely hetero-normative. It is of a man and a woman, we all know the story, we grew up with it.

We've seen it millions of times in commercials, movies and advertising for as long as the mediums have existed. Now, I know firsthand that there's a lot of love and romance in the gay community, and what’s lacking is representation of this in these mediums. Now what we do see of the LGBT community is often overtly sexualized and sometimes deviant. I want to show a campaign that illustrates the love and romance in various cultures around the world, that communicates all love is equal.

So, what do we need? Well, a modest operating budget of $20,000 will go a long way towards realizing this vision. It will finance a team of creatives, models, a producer, and production costs for each iconic shots. The plan is to travel to global destinations that capture the various cultures and romance the world has to offer. Starting in Paris, going to Mumbai, Beirut, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, New York City and Los Angeles. If we surpass our goal, I will continue to cities such as Mexico City, Bangkok, and Tokyo.

So, thank you so much for your help. I think this work can begin to change to perspective of what it means to be gay and in love with its execution and hopefully a large platform of more exposure.

Sorry. Just stop and start again

Male: No, just go.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

Braden was lovely enough to give me permission to use these photographs. He's great, so you can go Like him on his Facebook page and find out more on his website. I found this gem of a project on 5 Things I Learned Today. Here is Braden's great interview about the project too.

Flash Video Embed

This video is not supported by your device. Continue browsing to find other stuff you'll love!

In case you were wondering what matters to us, it's your privacy. Read our updated privacy policy.

Hey, Internet Friend. Looks like you're using a crazy old web browser, which is no longer supported. Please consider upgrading to something more modern—for a better experience, and a safer time online. We only want the best for you.

Download Google Chrome, and try it for a week. Don't think about it, just do it. You'll thank us later.