Photographers Mitch Kitter and Shalem Mathew are traveling across the United States as they photograph, interview, and collect video footage of LGBT couples and families for their Love is Love project.
After a successful kickstarter campaign, they've completed the first leg of the journey – hitting most of the Midwest and Alaska.
Once the trip is completed, the duo plans to create a photography book filled with the personal stories they collect.
Mitch and Shalem talked to BuzzFeed about the inspiration behind this truly epic road trip:
"A client of ours relayed a story about how she was turned away by local photographers in our area because they we're uncomfortable with photographing two women in love."
"Our [...] reaction was compassion, quickly followed by indignation. We wanted to show our community how beautiful love is in it's many forms."
"The project has grown and evolved organically over time responding to how we can best share love to more people."
"Currently we're asking people interested to fill out our couples questionnaire, from there we read each couples love story and meet them for a coffee over Skype to get to know them a bit before trying to put their love to picture."
"We want to add to the diversity of our couples and families as well, and include single parents, transgendered persons, co-parenting, and beyond."
"Taking a stand by showing something so intimate, so publicly takes courage and passion, and those are the people we're looking for."
"Physically, it is a challenge to travel an average of 400 miles a day, find locations to photograph the couples, and get enough sleep to hit the road the next morning and do it all over again."
"That said, every 5 a.m. wakeup is so worth it!"
Their favorite part of the project? Meeting such diverse families along the way.
We have some subjects that are students, some that are established in their careers, some couples have been dating for months, and some for decades. Most compelling are their stories of love, which we are so looking forward to sharing in the finished book.
"We hope this project gives people glimpse of something outside of their experience."
Which location has defied expectations? Salt Lake City, Utah.
We we're surprised in Salt Lake City at how warm and inviting the city was to us. From their LGBTQA centers to the beautiful couples and family we photographed there we were pleasantly surprised to feel the love in Utah.