This Photographer Takes Photos Of People Right After Making Out With Them

The Makeout Project

Kiss and Tell.


Chicago photographer Jedediah Johnson has made waves in the world of images with his provocative series Makeout Project, in which he photographs subjects immediately after making out with them.

"I am inspired by the index," he explains. "That is the mark left behind as evidence of action or presence. Lipstick marks point to a very familiar intimate contact that I knew many people could relate to on one level or another. Plus, I thought it would be fun to kiss a lot of people. I was kind of right."

What should people take away from his work? On this question Jedediah waxes philosophical. "People generally take away the same thing they bring into it," he tells Aplus. "I'm just hoping people have an experience, make up their own story, ask some questions about kissing and what it means. For example, If Jedediah can kiss anybody, does that mean I can kiss anybody? Do I want to kiss everybody? Why do we kiss the people we choose to kiss? Why is it sometimes so hard to kiss the people we want to kiss the most." 

Why, indeed?

"My subjects are friends, friends of friends, children and mothers of friends, and strangers from the internet from time to time," Jedediah explains. All told he estimates he's kisses around 150 people. "I get a little nervous every time, but that's a good thing," he says. "If I didn't get nervous I don't think I'd want to do it." 

Of course, no one is pressured into anything they don't feel confortable doing. "If a subject doesn't agree immediately I don't try to convince them," he says.

Then again, one could argue that his images seek to beautify scenarios that imply exploitation—or even outright misogyny. By and large, his models are female, and the lipstick smeared across their faces looks a heck of a lot like blood. His hand, meanwhile, extended in a possessive, almost predatory gesture, adds an extra layer of creepiness, as do the blank expressions on many of the models' faces.

Not everyone he shoots is a woman, though, as you can see below.

All the images were shot on film. 

You can see more of Jedediah's work on his homepageAnd don't forget to share this with your friends by clicking below now.

All images courtesy of Jedediah Johnson.


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