Kristin Archer. Photo by L.A. West

By Kristin Archer
Photos by L.A. West

Photographer, stylist and art director L.A. West asked me to step in front of the camera for her beautiful and haunting photo project Phantom Lovers. The collection of portraits captures her subjects in quiet introspection and each photo is accompanied by a quotation – a text that the person received from an ex-love.

L.A. describes the series: Some of the most intense relationships of our lives are formed by conversation had over text. The conversation is transparent and people are more comfortable sharing information they can write, rather than share face to face. Often enough, these relationships are temporary and you are left with feelings that took off too fast.

Kristin Archer. Photo by L.A. West for Phantom Lovers

“It may not be as we imagined once but we will always have a connection to one another.”

Kristin Archer. Photo by L.A. West

When asked what her inspiration was for the series, L.A. adds: Due to (but not limited to) online dating, most relationships today are built through texts. The relationship may be real, but some of our most definitive and real conversations happen through those texts. It’s a great medium to be transparent and share feelings. Unfortunately, relationships seem inevitably temporary these days and you are left with a novel of real feelings between two people that, at one time, were the objects of each other’s affection. Phantom Lovers pays tribute to those feelings by not letting those moments die in old phones. It gives one person the ability to highlight a moment in time that made them feel something real.

Kristin Archer. Photo by L.A. West

Hamilton has so many incredible backdrops for photos – L.A. and I hit up Gore Park and King Street, but the real winning shots were on John St. outside of historic Treble Hall.

Follow Phantom Lovers on Instagram for more photos including B-sides and behind the scenes from various shoots.

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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