there are different ways of dealing with a break-up. what probably isn’t on your post-break-up to do list is getting a portrait of you and your ex. still, that’s exactly what a 25-year-old dutch photographer hanna jansen asked ex-couples to do for her photo project: ‘I feel like we tend to glorify our current relationships and try to pretend our exes don’t exist. that has always felt really weird to me. despite the fact a relationship didn’t last, your ex has most likely been an important part of your life and you’ve shared something special together. I think that’s something you should look back on with a sense of pride. the ‘wavelengths’ series was my way of paying tribute to our past relationships. in its raw sadness and awkwardness.’

shari & tim



you’re probably wondering how she got people to join the project. ‘well… that wasn’t easy,’ explains jansen. ‘but luckily (for me), I had few friends who had just gone through a breakup. I think they were just too nice to say no to me.’

robbert & romy



‘during the photo shoot, we’d talk about the relationship they’ve had with their ex. I wanted the portraits to feel genuine and vulnerable.’ hanna photographed everyone separately, and after the shoot, she asked each model to draw a ‘diagram’ describing the course of their relationship that would end up in the background. hanna put these two lines in front of each other to make a ‘landscape’, forming two individual timelines of ups and downs. ‘it represents each person’s experience in the relationship. the inevitable difference in interpretation of their time together becomes very visible. not only to the viewer but also to each other. this certainly sparked some conversation when the ex-couples first got to see the final images.’

jorinde & robert



the result is a series with a bizarre mix of awkward and prettiness. the visual language of the series seems rather grand. the arch shape reminds us of religious imagery and the soft colors add a romantic feel. the portraits themselves seem almost iconic. yet the figures in them, especially viewed from up close, look somber and vulnerable. ‘a lot of people have told me they identified themselves with the ‘wavelengths’ project. it’s a very recognizable theme. I hope the series allows us to look at our past relationships in a different and more honest way,’ says jansen.

janina & ercüment


joran & simone

detail: robbert & romy


detail: joran & simone


detail: jorinde & robert


production process


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

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