Local photographer, Barbara Proud, also know as B. Proud, started taking pictures of same-sex couples in March of 2009. This was the beginning of a documentary project called, “First Comes Love.”
Barbara has photographed 39 same-sex couples and interviewed several on video for the documentary. She was also one of the featured artists from the Equality Forum in 2006 and was on exhibit at the University of the Arts.
Barbara gets the inspiration from her own relationship with her partner, Allison. The couple has been together for 23 years and are proud to say that they have been together longer than any heterosexual couple in their families. They are particularly excited about the recent passage of a civil union law in Delaware.
“The portraits that I make attempt to show the human and tender side of a relationship based on many years of love and commitment. I have chosen to exhibit the portraits in black and white to strip them down to their essence and to avoid the flamboyant nature of what typically is seen as the gay community,” Barbara said.
Barbara is working on creating a website exclusively for her documentary project so that it can have it’s own identity outside of her photography career.
To date Barbara has received two grants to help fund the project and she has also created her own on-line fundraiser. Barbara is seeking the funding so she can continue this work and continue spreading her message.
There are also 40 more couples who have contacted Barbara who are interested in participating in this project.
“This project focuses on the positive nature of same-sex relationships and highlights the similarities between heterosexual marriage and the GLBT experience. The project shows a side of the story that has not yet been told, the one that shows already existent, long-term, dedicated relationships, ones that are in no way a threat to families or traditional marriages,” Barbara said.
Barbara is still looking for same-sex couples to be photographed and interviewed for her documentary. If you are interested, you can contact Barbara at Barbara@bproudphoto.com.