A few years ago I was shooting photos in Milan, Italy, the city where I grew up. It was a lovely sunny April morning. Blooming trees, a pleasant temperature in the air and smiling people walking in the bustling fashion shopping streets Milan is famous for.
Spring was it at its best. I was shooting a picture of a nice young couple seated at a small table against the window inside the trendy Armani Cafe. They looked like perfect models for my unexpected photo. Smiling each other, nicely dressed and so optimist in their natural way of being. I couldn't ask for more. The worldwide famous Armani's logo printed in the cafe's window above their heads was the cherry on top of a successful picture.
I was ready to leave when my eyes caught another interesting shot. Two cute guys seated on the staircase of an ugly but supposed be trendy fountain in the middle of the small square. They were kissing each other so tenderly as only in a sunny April morning you can do. Bustling and indifferent people walking by didn't care at all about their kissing. Typical of Milan!
I pointed my camera to take a picture of this lovely couple. Suddenly, I noticed I had to change my lens for a 70-200mm one as they were rather distant from me. I was afraid by the time I would have spent to change the lens that kiss would have been gone by now. Luckily, I was wrong. Once I mounted my zoom lens and pointed my Nikon at them, they were still nicely lips glued to lips. I don't know how long they stood like that lost in their love without caring about the world around. For sure, I had plenty of time to shoot a couple of photos and steal so their street kiss with my camera.
Once I got home in Barcelona, a week later, I edited the pictures of that lovely gay kiss. I turned one of them in black and white and decided to upload it to my portfolio on Instagram and more social networking sites.
I was sure the photo would have been rated positively, but, unfortunately, I was so naive in thinking so. Compared to many other photos of mine on line, the image of a beautiful and innocent gay kiss in Milan didn't get any comment.
Not only. It was the image with less iLike I got in my Instagram and Facebook's portfolios. Even a black and white image of a sleeping homeless on the bench I shot in San Francisco got more comments or iLike.
This made me think twice.
First, I had to be more humble and get less expectations from people about my posted images on line in the future. Second, and this hurt me a bit I must say, people are much less open mind than I thought. Where I saw only genuine and sincere love in that picture on line, lots of (probably homophobic) people have read something else instead: shame, fear of difference, disgusting act. This made me think many people around the world want to save dolphins in the ocean or share kitten photos on line. But they are not ready yet to accept an innocent gay kiss.