Hugging. It’s an act we always considered normal until it wasn’t anymore. For weeks, we couldn’t hug some of our loved ones. Until now. With life in Belgium slowly opening up, the Belgian government announced it is allowing up to ten people in each bubble, and that it’s ok to hug them.
An emotional moment for a lot of people that inspired Happiness to capture these moments in photographic series. The images were made by Belgian photographer and Canon ambassador Lieve Blancquaert. She captured - in a safe environment - the first hugs between loved ones of all kinds: lovers, friends, grandmothers, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.
The images will be used both on social and in the public space. The concept of #FirstHugs will even be turned into a tv-program on national television, elaborating on the stories and background of the people that were able to hug again after such a long time.
Geoffrey Hantson, chief creative officer at Happiness said: “So many people were longing for a good hug after so many weeks of lockdown. Lovers, brothers and sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, parents and their children, friends, you name it… We all have somebody we want to hug big time right now, and Canon ambassador Lieve Blancquart really managed to capture the first emotion of that first hug after lockdown. We heard so many beautiful stories and we’ve all cried during this shooting. It’s interesting how something as simple as a hug can suddenly become something with such a big meaning.”