Are These Photos of Shrink-Wrapped Couples Cute or Just Creepy?

Some people feel suffocated in a relationship. Others wish they were joined at the hip. Somewhere in between is the work of Japanese photographer Hal, whose Flesh Love Returns portraits of couples inside vacuum-sealed bags is either incredibly romantic or slightly disturbing.

Hal’s work focuses on capturing subjects in close quarters—sometimes squeezed together in bathtubs or other constricting spaces, but this series is something else entirely. No optical illusions or Photoshop here. The subjects are, indeed, vacuum-sealed together. And no, they can’t breathe once they are inside the bags. As Hal told The Guardian, this makes for a tricky and timely shoot.

“At first I have a discussion with the models. A rehearsal is then carried out outside the bag,” he says. “It is like assembling a puzzle. I suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner until there’s none left. This gives me four seconds to take the shot. In this extremely limited time I can’t release the shutter more than twice.”

Whether you find them creepy or endearing, one thing is for sure: They’ll certainly leave you breathless.

Kohmey and Keiko CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Kohmey and Keiko CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Nobuyuki and Chiemi CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Nobuyuki and Chiemi CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Kaede and Attci CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Kaede and Attci CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Marijntje and Jaap CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Marijntje and Jaap CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Eddy and Ashbee CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

Eddy and Ashbee CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHER HAL / FLESH LOVE

See more at his site.

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