Featuring 100 stunning color photographs of queer, interracial couples taken by a renowned photographer for the New York Times Magazine, Time, Rolling Stone, and more, this incredible photo and story collection depicts modern love and relationships in all their joy, vulnerability, and affection.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, during a time of intense personal and political upheaval, artist, advocate, and photographer Ryan Pfluger set out to capture intimate images of queer, interracial couples, along with personal insight into their relationships in today's world. Featured together for the first time in Holding Space, this unique collection of modern love in its many forms across the spectrum of race, sexuality, and gender identity and gives space to these couples to share short, revealing stories about their relationships.
The photos in this collection, and the people in them, can be startling in their openness, playful in their poses, and tender to their core. Pfluger has captured the magic, honesty, and beauty of love in today's queer culture.
With a Foreword by Janicza Bravo and an essay by Brandon Kyle Goodman
About the Author
Ryan Pfluger is an artist and photographer based in Los Angeles, California, where they live with their dog, Sarah Connor. Born and raised in New York, they received an MFA in Photography at School of Visual Arts.
"In this intimate collection of portraits and essays, Ryan Pfluger offers the reader a glimpse into the lives and loves of queer couples across the country. Holding Space gives voice to a slice of Americana that is often erased from our national consciousness or relegated to the margins. The raw narratives that accompany breath-taking portraits transcend romance in discussions of loss, trauma, joy, and self-realization. This is a book for every person." – Phoebe Robinson, NYT bestselling author, comedian and actress
"[A] stunning glossy-pages coffee table book full of photos of queer interracial couples loving each other on their own terms....It's a gorgeous book full of life and queer artistry." – them.us
"Manifesting as a hybrid of non-fiction, memoir and photobook, Holding Space is a moving reflection on the challenging reality of intersectional relationships....The result is a rollercoaster of emotions, illuminating the tension between public and private, how the conditions of a relationship can be safe and hostile simultaneously, and how life’s biggest lessons are often learned the hard way." – The British Journal of Photography Online
"In these quietly stunning portraits, what is usually Ryan’s solo gift for visual alchemy instead becomes a partnership with each couple. They—and their connections to each other—are centered in a way that demands we feel their palpable power and beauty alongside their autobiographical and often deeply political self-reflections, which are so necessary in these times." – Sarah Jones, playwright, actress and poet
'Gorgeous imagery coupled with prose raw as unmilled silk transforms Holding Space into much more than a picture book. It is a sensual celebration of love, one that refuses to apologize for any of the boundaries of the past. Beyond the idea of subject and photographer, beyond the idea of race or gender or religion, and beyond the idea of judgement. Pfluger does more than hold space here for their subjects, they create space for each of us to remember to love ourselves.” – Xochitl Gonzalez, New York Times bestselling author of Olga Dies Dreaming
"By creating a vessel for the multitude of forces at play in any interracial display of intimacy, Ryan has invited people into the most affecting, honest essences of queer love.” – Bowen Yang, comedian, writer, podcaster
"In Holding Space, Ryan Pfluger explores something that feels increasingly forgotten in our isolated app-driven world: intimacy. Weaving his gorgeous, evocative images of couples with their own testimonies of love, loss, and personal history, Pfluger reminds us how vast and expansive the queer community is but also of our commonalities and shared experiences. Stunning, sexy, and emotional, Holding Space cements Pfluger as one of the most important chroniclers of queer life.” – Ryan O’Connell, author, actor, and disability activist
"In E.M. Forster's Howard's End, Forster writes, 'Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height.' In Ryan Pfluger's gorgeous book—with his gentle lens and exquisite light—the prose and the passion, the love between two people, is exalted. The images are clear and compelling, intimate, and deeply moving.” – Jamie Lee Curtis, Award-winning actress, activist, and writer
"Through his images, Ryan Pfluger does indeed succeed in holding space for the stories of the couples he photographs. Stunning, open, and intimate, they illustrate the vastness of the LGBTQIA+ community, offering representation that remains scarce in this world and creating a place to just be. The stories of those being photographed are crucial right now and always. When more efforts are being made to criminalize and silence us, it is work like Ryan’s that shows we are here and always will be. It shows the love and joy those forces will never contain.” – Elliot Page, actor, director, and producer
"A work of warm beauty—both intimate and majestic—that melds the eternal questions of how to be and how to love.” – Torrey Peters, author of the national bestselling Detransition, Baby
"It was so moving to me to read this book at a time when our community is under attack around the nation and the world. These portraits draw, one by one, a vivid and loving line through all of that, and by the end, I was suffused with a quiet awe and happiness, even hope. Pfluger is a photographer of rare talent, and this book is a masterpiece.” – Alexander Chee, bestselling author and journalist
"Holding Space lives up to and goes beyond its name, allowing the couples Pfluger photographs to not only exist on but transcend the page." – Vanity Fair