In March 2010, Kendrick Brinson and David Walter Banks were at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada with a group of photographers when a friend snapped a photo of the two. It’s whimsical and romantic; Banks sweeps Brinson off her feet as they share a kiss.
Two months later while working on a project in Lebanon, Kansas, Brinson and Banks decided to re-create the photo.
“We were both mesmerized,” Brinson said. “It was just so beautiful. There were no trees, just a field of bright green wheat.” They set their camera on a self-timer and struck the pose.
The image stuck with the couple and it soon became their way of documenting their life together, spawning a collection of photographs known as #Brinsonbanksing.
“I love patterns in photography, so we started doing it again and again and again,” Brinson said.
Brinson and Banks met in a photojournalism class at the University of Georgia. After graduation, they kept in touch as they each worked different newspaper jobs. While Brinson worked at a job in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, feeling “super overworked and lonely,” she and Banks began talking over Gmail chat.
“She was flirting,” Banks said, “and lured me out there.” They hit it off, started long-distance dating and were married in 2012.
After working as newspaper photographers, the two decided to join forces and establish their own commercial photography company, Brinson Banks.
“We both started off shooting separately, but we’ve always taken photos with each other,” Brinson said. “We discovered our love of working as a team.”
“We feed off each other,” Banks said.
#Brinsonbanksing is a natural outgrowth of their enthusiasm for photography, adventure and each other.
“We’re both explorers at heart,” Banks said.
The photos, which feature Brinson and Banks in the same pose as the Nevada original, are vibrant in color. They represent the couple’s travels to places like Puerto Rico, Mexico and Colorado as well as their recent move from Atlanta to California, each image tied to a treasured memory.
“(The photos represent) places we love, milestones in our life, chronicling us as we age,” Brinson said. “We have so many pictures of each other, but never photos of us together.”
In one photo, Brinson and Banks pose in a secluded spring surrounded by greenery. “Near Brinson’s family farm in Georgia we found this beautiful natural spring,” Banks said. “It was a pretty serene and surreal space to be wading around like that.”
After a student at a photography workshop led by Brinson and Banks titled their pose #Brinsonbanksing, they began to use the hashtag when they posted their photos on social media. Soon people around the world started taking their own #Brinsonbanksing pictures, modeling the same pose and using the hashtag. A search of the tag on Instagram shows people #Brinsonbanksing in countries like Brazil, Ireland and Costa Rica.
“I love flipping through the photos,” Brinson said. She often shares them on her own account.
“Someone from Caracas, Venezuela, posted one from his wedding,” she said. “I don’t know how exactly they know about it. It’s such a fun and joyous pose.”
“We’re very much into being in love and exploring,” Banks said. “It’s been a treat to watch other people along the way.”
Brinson and Banks see #Brinsonbanksing as an ongoing project. “I’d love to be 50 and still doing it,” Banks said. “It’s more fun as we get more of them, all the little memories. It’s one of those projects that will just grow greater.”
–Allison Love, CNN