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"I have a deep love for photography because when we are physically apart, we find comfort in photographs of us and our loved ones. When we are having a rough day, photographs take us back to a better place, remind us of how it all started, what we are fighting for, how much it is worth to us, and give us renewed strength. When we have lost someone dear, a photograph is a bridge over time and a memory that is forever ours to cherish. When things change, when we change, photographs preserves what once was. This is my why. I take photos to build bridges between time and space. I take photos in hope that they make someone smile and laugh, bring them comfort and strength, accompany them along their way, so they cannot doubt that they are beautiful, loved and unique."

Maverick grew up here in Vanuatu, while Vivian is originally from Germany. What were the odds of her finding her way to our tiny island? I can’t say, I can say for sure, however, that if it was fate who brought her here, got her and Mav to meet and fall in love, it did a darn a great job. There is something so simple about their connection. Something so deep and light all at once. It is everything love should ever be, it is made of countless little things, from the way they look at each other to the way they hold hand, snuggle up, and laugh together. I’ve actually known Mav since he was a kid to be honest, and seeing him like that with Viv, just really made me so happy for him, so absolutely sure he had found the right person, the one he was meant to be with. We took a stroll down the lighthouse, leaped over rocks, shared stories and dived into the perfectly blue rockpool nestled between pines. I took a few steps back, looked around, looked at them, and let myself be moved by this moment, and this couple. When I delivered them their photos, Viv confided that she was leaving soon to go back to Germany, unsure when she might be back in these uncertain times, and that the memories captured of them just being in love would make distance a little more bearable. This is what convinced me to submit these photos today.

Pictures by Valerie Fernandez

Instagram  & Website

Location: Port Vila, Vanuatu

Gear: Sony a9 + Sony 24mm f1.4 gm and Outex system for underwater

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