Unfiltered Love: Couples Fall in Love through Photos on Instagram

For two couples, photos spoke louder than words.

ByABC News
February 13, 2013, 6:57 PM

Feb. 14, 2013 — -- She wasn't attracted to his list of interests. Nor his 140-character quips. Nor his finely polished profile page with a small photo of him. She definitely wasn't attracted to his answers to "What do you do in your spare time?"

Nope, for @hey_bails, or Bailey Gate, a series of photos were worth a lot more than the typical dating or Facebook profile.

Gate noticed @incrediryan's photos on Instagram, a mobile photo-sharing service, and immediately knew they'd have a lot in common. A common contact of theirs had created a #northwestisbest Instagram hashtag, which included lots of photos of the state of Washington.

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"I would see his photos and I started looking at others he had taken. I started following him and saw we both shared a love of outdoors," Gate told ABC News in a phone interview. "We started to comment back and forth on each others' pictures."

@Incrediryan, or Ryan Williams, took the next step. He found Gate's Facebook profile and sent her a message. After talking, they decided to meet near Seattle. A few more weeks and filtered photos later, Gate and Williams were dating.

The photos were different for @robinmay, or Robin Coe, and @Matthewjay, or Matt Flemming, but the story is very similar. The two of them started checking out each others' photos on Instagram in 2011 (Long before the service went mainstream or was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion). Coe, who lived in Toronto, was attracted to Flemming's photos of sunny Northern California. Flemming was attracted to Coe's snowy, wintery shots.

The two would comment back and forth on the photos and eventually Flemming gave Coe his email address. The two have been in a long-distance relationship for about a year now.

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Of course thousands of people have met through Facebook, Twitter, or online dating sites, but Gate and Coe say there is something more personal about meeting through photos.

"His pictures weren't artsy but he had a lot of outdoor photos and that's something I'm really into. I was attracted to the different things he seemed to be attracted to," Gate says.

"I think it's such a cool window into someone's aesthetic and someone's life," Coe said. "Mat is an avid cyclist and he takes photos of what he is seeing, I got to see what he was seeing through his eyes. I got to know a lot about him just through his photos."

Of course, now the two couples continue to take photos and post them on Instagram. They just happen now to be images of each other.