Is courtship dead?  How big is the line between love, lust and infatuation?

Is there such a thing as a fairy tale romance?  If so, what happens after the happily ever after?


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Some wannabe love stories are mere forces of our imagination from watching and reading too many fairytales as children. This certainly creates unrealistic expectations in our real lives.

Nicci and Eric, the gorgeous couple above, have never met prior to this photo session. I’ve wanted to do a stylized couple shoot while in Paris and was lucky to have two strangers agree to play the part.

They walked into it with an open mind and no expectations, much like what an ideal dating scenario would be – minus a professional photographer directing them.

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With this session, I wanted to capture a couple ‘in love’ and at the same time explore the idea of how differently people often treat friendships versus romantic relationships. Courtship has varied between cultures, religions, and has evolved through the decades seeming to slowly disappear. If we enter a relationship without labels, listening to our heart and gut, then whether a friendship or a romance, it can go through it’s own natural evolution.

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Thank you Nicci and Eric for participating in the session without any hesitation and letting me put you in the most uncomfortable and ridiculous situations.

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I asked a couple who’ve been happily married for 26 years, to say the first 3 words that come to mind about love.

She said: boundless trust, open heart, joy.

He said: compromise, warmth, understanding.

Love evolves through the years and there’s no prescription or perfect formula. It can not be forced, directed or put in one-size-fits-all box.

Your real life can be better than a fairytale and there’s no need to create any magic or choreograph a perfect picture…because with the right person, it just happens naturally.

And we shall all live happily ever after!


Ania Volovique Photography  | |Paris – NYC – San Diego

Photographer’s Assistant: Katya H. | Paris

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