Photographer Jedediah Johnson is far from the first person to be terrified of making out. The rejection, the tongues, the dental hygiene -- there's a lot to fear! But he's one of the few people who have decided to transform the phobia into a delightful art project. He calls it "The Makeout Project."
Men and women, young and old, even a baby, all serve as subjects in Johnson's unorthodox photography venture. For each image, Johnson puts his hands around the subject's neck, skillfully rounds first base, and snaps the result. The project, which, in theory, revolves around collecting and cataloguing personal experiences, acts as an evolving record of a human interaction that ranges from thrilling to ordinary, terrifying to comforting.
"The kisses vary in length and intimacy," Johnson writes in a statement. "My subjects are all aware of what I’m going to do ahead of time, but in the moment of the kiss anything can happen. The lipstick mark I leave on my subjects invites viewers to imagine the circumstances surrounding the kiss." Intimate or casual, silly or serious, Johnson's project reveals a kiss is never just a kiss.
Johnson, who has kissed around 100 people thus far, is also out to change the perception of who we kiss and why. "I'm trying to sort of divorce kissing from an intimate act," he told DNA Info. "The idea that a kiss has to be romantic, I'm sort of trying to question that truth."
Aside from getting a lot of action, Johnson's endeavor has also scored him a museum exhibition at the Art Museo at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare. The exhibition runs from January 15 until April 15, 2014. Check out Johnson's make-out aftermath below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.