For some of us, spending time with our relatives is an excruciating experience. And many of us are so close to our friends it's easy to forget we're not actually related. Others still face prejudice for simply being who (or with whom) they love.
In his recent photo series — Des Famille(s) — French photographer Vincent Gouriou captures many of the infinite combinations of people and experiences that might make up our families. The results are incredibly moving.
"The series includes homosexual parents, transgender [people], single parents, and other families that don’t fit into our idea of what 'normal' is," explains Gouriou in an email to R29. So far, he's photographed nine groups of people he met in his life and through Facebook.
Although he's explored these themes of identity before, the inspiration for this particular series also came from real-world events. "A couple of years ago, there were a lot of demonstrations against gay marriage in France and it was a violent time for gay people here," says Gouriou. "So, this was a way to express my feelings about that and to show that families who are 'different' are also just like other families."
"Love and gestures of affection are universal," he says. "This is the basis of what a family is."
Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.