The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” is often used to describe how photos can have an impact beyond description. For Cheshire native Alex Krohn, seeing heart-shaped images allows her to reflect on what she has overcome, and also share positive messages with the world.
Through her Love Hearts Projects, Krohn collects photos and uses them as a source of inspiration. Locally, for the last three years, she has held love letter events where people write messages to friends, family, and others on postcards with heart photos.
This year’s event, held last Sunday, brought 70 people together at the Cheshire Parks and Recreation Department building.
“It feels great to see the impact that the pictures can have,” stated Krohn, a 2011 Cheshire High School graduate. “We have people from different political backgrounds and places sharing their stories. It is good to hear positive messages when there are people in the world going through tough times.”
Krohn began her project as a way to cope with the passing of her father, grandmother, and dog back in 2016. On Feb. 10 of that year, she encountered an emotional symbol while hiking through the snow with her friends at Roaring Brook Park in Cheshire.
“I found an icicle in the shape of a heart,” recalled Krohn. “That (image) inspired me to get through the hike.”
From that experience, Krohn started collecting heart-shaped photos.
“I was in a sad place and those images gave me what I needed to get through it,” explained Krohn.
After seeing how photos helped to pick up her spirits, Krohn became interested in sharing her story and experience with the world. She credits her friend Frank Roche for suggesting that she put pictures on postcards. Roche is the creator and host of The Postcardist Podcast.
“It was a great idea,” Krohn reflected. “I thought it would be cool to get good and personal news in the mail instead of bills and catalogs.”
In creating the Love Hearts Project, Krohn decided to share photos over Instagram (@loveheartsproject) and also asked people to submit their own shots for use through social media.
“At the beginning, most of the pictures came from me and my friends,” recalled Krohn. “For my first year, I had push myself to get 25 photos.”
In 2018, she had about 20 people attend her first love letter event at the Southington Community Cultural Arts building. Since she grew up in Cheshire, she decided to move the program to her hometown last year and had people get together at the Waverly Tavern.
“I love Cheshire,” said Krohn. “I think it has done a lot for me even though I don’t live here anymore.”
For last Sunday’s third annual event, Krohn had 1,000 post cards printed.
“Through social media and email, I chose 50 photos to use,” stated Krohn.
For an entrance fee of $5, attendees received five postcards. To start off the program, Krohn showed a video to explain the Love Hearts Project. Next, she asked the crowd what the favorite year of their life was and why.
“I thought that it would be a fun way to get people to reflect on their lives and start us off,” explained Krohn.
Sitting in groups, attendees were able to write well-wishes to friends and families on the back of postcards.
“I think a lot of people wrote that ‘I’m excited to see you’ and shared positive messages,” stated Krohn. “On every table, I also had a list of people who are in need of good wishes such as veterans, cancer patients, and others who are going through hard times.”
Krohn credits family and friends for their support and assistance with the project.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” said Krohn. “There is so much work setting everything up and getting the pictures together.”
Along with her inner circle, Krohn has enjoyed seeing her project grow and make connections around the world. She has become pen pals with a woman in Germany and also has people assisting her from places such as Israel.
“This project started as my story and it has become everyone’s story. I love that,” explained Krohn.
Proceeds from selling postcards, pens, clothing, and more all go towards planning the next year’s get-together. Krohn hopes to have at least 100 people participate in 2021.
“I had hoped to have live music this year and, even though it didn’t come together, that is one of my goals for next year,” added Krohn.
For information on upcoming events, visit www.loveheartsproject.com.