Photographer exposes truth behind "picture perfect" couples

Is our sense of what makes a "good" relationship overly idealistic? Photographer Chloë Ellingson discusses her project The Differences Between Us, which gives an intimate look at some of the real problems loving couples face.

Despite all the picture-perfect images we see on Valentine's Day, real couples know that love has an ugly underbelly. In her photo series The Differences Between UsChloë Ellingson pairs the loving portraits we're used to seeing with the complicated stories that typically get cropped out. 

Today the photographer joins guest host Sean Rameswaram to discuss how real relationships differ from romantic ideals, and why she feels an "acknowledgement of the struggles" is important for society as a whole. 

What can't you see in this smiling portrait? 
Chris and Leah 

Chris says he finds Leah's aversion to conflict problematic. When Leah avoids confrontation, Chris doesn't know what she wants. "How I react to that is normally I'll get more insular and I'll spend as little as five minutes and as much as half a day in a zone coming up with my own narrative, or focusing on why this is becoming a bigger deal than it's supposed to be," says Chris. Leah's discomfort with confrontation is problematic because it fuels Chris's own insecurities and difficulties with trust. "Chris has been with someone who was unfaithful to him, and that's a difficult way to end a relationship" Leah says. "Obviously it leads to some residual feelings of mistrust."