we are 15

Lea Franke

2018 - 2019


First love affects the rest of our lives. We do not forget it. Sometimes it lasted longer, sometimes shorter or now and then the first love still lasts today. We associate strong memories with it. It is a unique fulfillment of a strong desire that we have never felt before, and it is not burdened with negative experiences.

To investigate this feeling, I accompanied Ronja and Lars during their first love and everything connected with it. They experience the effort, the happiness, they get to know distance and closeness and are faced with different decisions. A first love that is exciting, carefree and strong like any other, but still so different and unique.

The motivation for my work "we are 15" is based on personal circumstances. I have been in a relationship with my first love since I was 15 years old. The work was a chance to get an insight into a first love, even if it was not my own. It reminds us of this feeling of first love, gives insight into intimacy and naivety and leaves us with the memory of our own.

The exploration of the subject of first love is done through portraits of the protagonists, whom I have been accompanying for almost 2 years. The work is complemented by a photographic level of nature shots that symbolically reflect and evoke feelings.

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  • "First love contains many moments that you experience for the first time. Ronja and Lars experience them together"

  • "Fern in the woods"

  • "The house where Lars lives at night, his room is brightly lit"

  • "Ronja and Lars in the room of Lars"

  • "Lars fixes his scooter with which he visits Ronja regularly"

  • "They play together in the garden. Both do not do any other sport"

  • "Lars carries Ronja on his arm in front of a blossoming cherry tree, Ronja's favorite flowers"

  • "Reflections"

  • "Ronja and Lars jump from the diving tower in the forest swimming pool where they saw each other for the first time"

  • "They like to lie in bed together and scroll through Instagram"

  • "Ronja and Lars eat at the snack bar in the village"

  • "Wadden Sea at night"

  • "Ronja and Lars do not like to be separated"

  • "Sometimes the two go to the nearest town together"

  • "Ronja and Lars in the Deputy Forest"

  • "Ronja and Lars in summer together in the garden of Ronja's parents"

  • "They secretly practice together on the field for the driving license of Lars"

  • "Living in a village means that there are not many leisure activities. Ronja and Lars spend a lot of time in nature"

  • "Berry bush in the evening light"