Photographer Olivier Ciappa started his "Imaginary Couples" photo series several years ago to address homophobia at a time when his native France was plagued by anti-gay protests leading up to the inevitable legalization of marriage equality. He shot straight celebrities including Eva Longoria and singer Lara Fabian, as well as a number of other actors, athletes and entertainers portraying positive images of same-sex couples.
"The celebrities that I shot are heterosexual, but it was essential to me that you would believe these imaginary couples and families they portray were real," Ciappa told The Huffington Post. "If you couldn’t identify with their love and feel it was real, then I would have failed. And to show that love is love, no matter who [is involved], the exhibition also features real gay families, straight ones, single parents, disabled, people of different skin colors and origins, different religion, young couples, old ones… All of these pictures, imaginary or real, have the same glamorous and warm monochrome style that makes them look not only appealing but timeless."
Despite being vandalized in Paris, the exhibit proved a big hit, traveling the world over and is tentatively scheduled to make its way to the U.S. this year, possibly Los Angeles. Click through the gallery to see some of the stunning portraits.
All Photos | Olivier Ciappa (via Huffington Post)