Photo: *** by Kirill Sokolov

Love: a simple four-letter word, but not necessarily an easy concept to convey in a photo. How can you bring love to life in an image? And how can you do it with a fresh eye?

We challenged photographers all over the world to answer this question and show us creative ways of capturing love in all its forms. And 500px members came through with photos that had so many different ways of looking at love: a quiet moment between a couple at a campfire, two puffins gazing longingly into each other’s eyes, and two hands gently overlapping. The photos truly captured the affection, tenderness, and connection that love brings out in us.

The judge’s choice, a photo taken by Kirill Sokolov, was chosen not only for its unusual angle and soft tones and colors, but also for the way it tells a story: we immediately picture a lazy weekend morning, when the kitty is trying to wake its owners up… a loving, happy moment.

*** by Kirill Sokolov on

The photographer, Kirill Sokolov, has been shooting weddings, portraits, and reporting for the past nine years. He enjoys working with “people, natural light, and lively emotions” and publishes mostly portraits on 500px. He dreams of a life of “more travels, different countries and people.” Sokolov told us how he captured his winning shot:

“This photo was taken as part of a family photo shoot of a nice married couple. I shot them as they are in real life. The shooting started very early at 5 a.m. and the first shots were devoted to a good morning with tea, bed, and breakfast. Behind all this, the cat watched. As a result, he came to us and I managed to make this shot.”

Follow Kirill Sokolov on 500px

Want more feel-good photos? Take a look at our runners up below:

Sunset Kisses by Valerie Quinn on

Magic by Tatyana Kovaleva on

Icelandic Horses by Carolina Cristòfol Garcia on

Hands by Marc Ulbrich on

Tiny stories by Rosana Zanetti Fait on

Full of love by Ruslan Grigoriev on

Old hand and young hand holding. by MERCEDESS on

Love by Murat Ozcelik on

Puffin love by Doug Plume on

Want a new photo challenge? Check out our upcoming Quests—then get out there and start photographing!