02/17/2015 09:50 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Post-Breakup Photos Capture Those Strangely Tender Objects Your Exes Leave Behind

When a relationship ends, what happens to the objects left behind? This was the question explored by photographer Sam Evans-Butler. In his series "Souvenirs," Evans-Butler captures a variety of subjects alongside a particular object, a memento of a past lover and a past love.

Nathaniel, blogger, “My ex used to be a ceramicist. After we broke up I considered breaking this bowl he made me for my 21st birthday, but it managed to stay with me for three more years, and now my ex and I are best friends.”

"I once saw a film in which a character kept a diary that was composed mostly of a list," Evans-Butler writes in his statement, "things that were pleasing, beautiful, fanciful and fleeting. It made me think about the objects that we are left behind with when a relationship ends, the memories they come to represent and the emotions they stir up."

The photo essay, originally featured in Hello Mr., is a vibrant archive of the inanimate things we maintain attachments to even after connections to their owners have been severed. How do objects bring back memories, tell stories, answer unsolved questions? In what ways can our belongings provide what other humans cannot?

See the bittersweet stories in full below, and if you're so inclined, post your own souvenirs on Instagram using #YourSouvenir, tagging both @hellomr and @needsupply. Hello Mr. and Need Supply Co. will eventually choose a "winner" of the hashtag competition, and he or she will receive a $500 gift card.

Sam Evans-Butler


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