(This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine)

Stacey Baker has always been obsessed with how couples meet…

When she asked photographer Alec Soth to help her explore this topic, they found themselves at the world’s largest speed-dating event, held in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day, and at the largest retirement community in Nevada — with Soth taking portraits of pairs in each locale.

Between these two extremes, they unwound a beautiful through-line of how a couple goes from meeting to creating a life together.

“What is real love? How does it work?” says Soth. “In order to work on this question and to figure out how someone goes from meeting on a date to having a life together, Stacey and I went to Sun City Summerlin, which is the largest retirement community in Las Vegas. Our contact there was George, who runs the community’s photography club. He arranged for us to meet other couples in their makeshift photo studio.”

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