Contributing Photographers - TheSmoochProject

It's about Love.

It's about Healing.

It's about Making the World a Better Place.

Smooch! Project Founding Photographer Bonnie Fournier is based in Minnesota, USA, and has made it her life's work to collect Smooch! photos since 2006. To date, the artist has gathered thousands of photographs from a wide variety of settings, ranging from the prestigious Walker Art Center to a renovated chicken coop on a goat farm. Bonnie gets a huge kick out of inviting people to  demonstrate their affection for someone they love and is grateful beyond words that the world is filled with beautiful, loving people.

In 2015, Bonnie began to invite select photographers from around the world to capture images of people from within their local communities for The Smooch! Project online archive. The project goal is to gather 10,000 photographs from around the world to fill an online gallery freely available 24-7 to anyone with an internet connection. Why? Because it's about love. It's about healing. It's about making the world a better place. 

Photographer Karen Van Wert is an Iowa farm girl at heart currently living in Minnesota, USA. In 2015, she accepted a unique assignment from The Smooch! Project: Photographing humans doing their best to plant a big smooch on one of several confused llamas. Working outdoors under a tarp, the photographer battled wind gusts, ever-changing lighting conditions, reluctant llamas and nervous humans who quickly learned just how challenging a simple smooch on a furry animal's cheek could be. Happily, there was no spitting (from the llamas, at least) and the photographer reported only one incident of getting kicked by a llama that took offense at her proximity (which, from this farm girl's perspective, was no big deal). Of course, Karen's photos turned out beautifully (as usual) and are proudly included within The Smooch! Project collection.

In recent years, Karen has challenged herself to use her photographs collected from around the world in creative and unique ways, developing a line of jewelry, desk calendars, floating mount mini-prints and more. She enjoys experimenting and combining different mediums and techniques to create a new work of art. You will find her beautiful work here.

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