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Romantic X-Ray Portraits of Couples

By Hanssie on November 30th 2013

You probably would’ve never thought to put the words “romantic” and “X-Ray” together in the same title. X-Rays usually conjure up images of doctors, broken bones, hospital bills and insurance. Well, for their senior thesis exhibition at Musashino Art University, student artists, Ayako Kanda and Mayuka Hayashi did just that. Instead of the typical portraits of a couple in an embrace using a camera and a prop or two, Kanda and Hayashi used a CT Scan and an X-ray machine.

[REWIND: The Naked Lens, An X-Ray Look At New and Old Lenses]


The result is an eerie, yet intimate series of couples stripped bare, literally. “X-ray images usually show the finite nature of our bodies composed only of matter,” say the duo. “But these couples portraits reveal a pulse that isn’t normally seen.” The series won the Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Award.


Adobe Photoshop PDF

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Adobe Photoshop PDF

It’s pretty different and out of the box thinking for a senior project, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that portrait photographers needn’t go out and purchase an X-Ray machine just yet. You still may need the Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop DVD though – which, by the way, is on sale until Sunday, December 1st. :)

What do you think about this series?

[Via @Spoon & Tamago]


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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Ashley Wilson

    I absolutely love this idea. It’s beautiful and different. My husband and I would certainly love have these images done of us for art. Truly a job well done.

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  2. Bella Sottomesso

    I’m sure there was paperwork to cover everyone involved; client and photographer. I’m sure the clients knew what they were getting themselves into. It’s beautiful work. Great job and idea.

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  3. Meaghan W.

    I am going to assume these people were fully briefed on the risks of having a CT/X-Ray done. They consented to do this of their own free will, unlike when you go through TSA when you are forced to do this with the Rapiscan. I don’t find this unethical at all. You get to decide what you do with your body, including having it photographed with a X-ray for art!

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  4. Forensic Rad

    If not illegal, this would certainly be unethical.
    But the more important issue, and more worrying, is that any radiation dose increases the chance of induced cancer and the radiation dose from any CT scan is much higher than a normal X-ray.

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  5. Tom Nelson

    I’d be interested to know how these were made. X-Ray film doesn’t come in 6-foot size, does it? Perhaps for veterinary use? I’d guess that exposing people to x-rays without a medical reason is considered unethical and might also be illegal.

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