BM 2014 Pt 7. Couples in Love

Welcome to my blog series chronicling Burning Man 2014! I am excited to share my personal gift to the couples and families in love I photographed on the playa. I hope you enjoy these romantic and fun Burning Man pictures!

If you are just joining us, click below to catch up on the entire 7-part series:

Part 1. Burning Man Photo Preview {Principles}
Part 2. My Chosen Gear {Nuts & Bolts}
Part 3. Cherie & Hedley {Sunrise Wedding}
Part 4. Matty & Peter {Caravansary Wedding}
Part 5. Personal Experiences
Part 6. Art & Camps

“Leave only footprints, take only pictures,” so goes a playa principal.

“Meet lots of new friends,” I add. Which is easy for me when surrounded by 66,000 people.

I’ve been excited about this set of images since the day I left the playa this year. Yet, with my busiest season as wedding photographer ahead of me (August – October), I disciplined myself to complete client work before wrapping up important personal projects like my portraits of couples in love.

“You may have Kool-aid after you finish your milk,” my Mom used to tell me when I was in diapers. Delaying what excites us takes discipline.

I’m excited to share what has been simmering on the back burner, my portraits of 65 couples. Click here to download your photo.

Love wins. Always.

For those couples I photographed, download your image in the gallery link below. Please credit @kernphoto on Instagram or


32 Responses to “BM 2014 Pt 7. Couples in Love”

  1. [ b ] — December 16, 2014 @ 1:31 pm (#)

    You’re the best RJ! Glad to know you!

  2. Deb — December 17, 2014 @ 3:30 pm (#)

    After spending the week with Railroad Mike & then seeing these fun/great pics, I want to attend BurningMan more than ever…

  3. Bungee — December 17, 2014 @ 3:47 pm (#)


  4. STU — December 17, 2014 @ 3:52 pm (#)

    I only wish we had found you to have ours taken….
    Stunning lighting and such delicate intimacy!

  5. Lycktonite — December 17, 2014 @ 5:14 pm (#)

    Fabulous photos, thanks so much for sharing – they’re pretty spectacular

  6. rachel — December 17, 2014 @ 5:37 pm (#)

    These are all so beautifull, thanks for sharing all the love!

  7. Scout — December 17, 2014 @ 5:39 pm (#)

    Such beauty – you have them so relaxed and your lighting is divine… >'<

  8. Annica Bryan — December 17, 2014 @ 11:26 pm (#)

    Thank you so much for taking our photo! I will love it forever! and ever! You captured a moment we didnt even realize was there.

  9. Diode Tensegrity — December 17, 2014 @ 11:51 pm (#)

    wow…my ex-x-x-x-x girlfriend is a burner, in love, in one of these photos. Who knew?

  10. Christine — December 18, 2014 @ 12:26 am (#)

    Dumb Q…how on earth do you get all of these couples looking so *clean*?? Are you filtering out the playa dust somehow?

  11. Alan W — December 18, 2014 @ 12:32 am (#)

    Amazing work again RJ! Glad I got to go there with you, Matt and Sean. And even help ya on one of the shoots. Thanks also to the Freaks Camp for the hospitality!

  12. Sound Man — December 18, 2014 @ 12:37 am (#)

    Whoa? How did the photographer erase playa dust from the lovers? Or was it because 2014 was THE DUST FREEST YEAR EVER? Just ask’n.

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  14. Trendar — December 20, 2014 @ 6:07 pm (#)

    Extraordinary pics, wonderful light and contrast, and great subjects. You made us all look beautiful.

  15. Kevin — December 20, 2014 @ 9:01 pm (#)

    Thank you ever so much! This will be a great Christmas present! Truly an amazing gift! Thank you again for pulling us aside.

  16. jefe — December 23, 2014 @ 10:37 pm (#)

    Extraordinary! Very nice work!

  17. Ger Loeffen — December 28, 2014 @ 5:23 am (#)

    Very nice work.

  18. F. Tyneski — December 29, 2014 @ 11:54 am (#)

    Smile giving – even on a Monday!

  19. Urknee — December 29, 2014 @ 7:12 pm (#)

    Beautiful photos!

  20. Marc Berg — December 30, 2014 @ 7:58 pm (#)

    Wow! I know RJ from Colorado. I had no idea how creative he is. I love how all of the images show individuals with strong personalities, different backgrounds, but definitely in love. All of this in a common location. This was probably the best venue to capture a wide arrays of couples.
    Considering this was in the desert heat, I am amazed at how clear and well lit all of his couples are. Very creative poses and backgrounds.
    These would all make an interesting book. Ever considered it? Like the book on Japanese fashions of Tokyo (FRUITS by Shoichi Aoki) with mostly random people and minimal text.
    Wonderful photos!

  21. Duncan Knifton — December 30, 2014 @ 8:34 pm (#)

    Great work.
    So envious of festival photographers. I had a taste of it this year at Bestival 2014 for my own personal work.
    But this is on a different scale.
    Loving your style, ethics and resulting images.
    Thank you for sharing.

  22. Brian K McQuain — January 30, 2015 @ 3:15 am (#)

    aw man this is awesome its loving freaky people

  23. Malou — February 13, 2015 @ 8:15 am (#)

    Nice photo’s @ burning man! Like it!

  24. Jess — March 16, 2015 @ 7:31 pm (#)

    This is beyond amazing!!

  25. Laszlo — May 21, 2015 @ 9:59 am (#)

    Great gallery!

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  29. Daniel Osterkamp — August 17, 2015 @ 3:46 pm (#)


    I wrote you beginning at the year and my application to document the BM 2015 was successful – yea!

    I just see that with the permission to document, I need a release form. Although I have a release form which is included in the EasyRelease App, I am not sure if the default release is a bit too much because it contains the full rights, including commercial rights which is “prohibited” by Burning Man Media.

    Have you taken the default release form or a skinned down one that had less clauses on it?
    Difficult to be prepped before if you maybe want to publish a book later on if Burning Man Media signs it off.

    Would be nice if you could comment on it.


  30. R. J. — August 18, 2015 @ 9:38 am (#)

    I would say consult a few references like John Harrington’s book, “Best Business Practices for Photographers.”He has some good ideas about what you might want to include. Consult legal pros, too.

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