Portrait Project

We founded CRAVE to make it easier for people to have the sex lives they desire. And one of the things we continue to explore is how wonderfully varied this is for people. There’s no one way to express or explore desire, and celebrating that is at the core of what we do.

Headlines about abuse of power and sexual violence have dominated the conversation in ways that we hope will ultimately be useful but are also quite dark. With the Portrait Project, we hope to counter that by shining a light on the joy people find in sharing themselves as sexual beings.

The idea is simple: Two black and white photographs, side by side. One of a person or couple as they presented themselves at the Folsom Street Fair, San Francisco’s legendary celebration of sexual pleasure, and one as they present themselves in their daily lives. Our factory sits on Folsom Street, so we are ideally situated to document our neighbors in both moments.

What we found in the portraits was more beautiful, tender, and fierce than we ever imagined. The dual nature of the portraits connects us all to those moments of vulnerability and joy that make us human, celebrating the participants both in their individual diversity and in their shared connection.

CRAVE co-founder and photographer, Michael Topolovac, in session with one of the project participants.