#FirstHugs captures the first hugs between loved ones after 12 weeks of lockdown

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Hugging. It’s an act we always considered normal. Until it wasn’t anymore. For weeks, we couldn’t hug some of our loved ones. Until now. With life in Belgium slowly opening up, the Belgian government announced we can allow up to 10 people in our bubble. And… it’s ok to hug them.

An emotional moment for a lot of people that inspired Happiness to capture these moments in photographic series. The images were made by Belgian photographer and Canon ambassador Lieve Blancquaert. She captured – in a safe environment – the first hugs between loved ones of all kind. Lovers. Friends. Grandmothers and grandchildren. Brothers and sisters.

The series is launched with a selection of 6, but will be followed up by more pictures and a film later in. The images will be used both on social and in the public space. The concept of #FirstHugs will even be turned into a tv-program on national television, elaborating on the stories and background of the people that were able to hug again after such a long time.

Geoffrey Hantson, Chief Creative Officer at Happiness said

“So many people were longing for a good hug after so many weeks of lockdown. Lovers, brothers and sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, parents and their children, friends, you name it… We all have somebody we want to hug big time right now, and Canon ambassador Lieve Blancquart really managed to capture the first emotion of that first hug after lockdown. We heard so many beautiful stories and we’ve all cried during this shooting. It’s interesting how something as simple as a hug can suddenly become something with such a big meaning.”


Client: Canon Belgium

Client Contact : Bruno Winnen, Filip Vandenbempt, Aris Arakelian

Agency : Happiness, an FCB alliance

Executive creative management : Karen Corrigan

Creative Director : Geoffrey Hantson, Katrien Bottez

Creatives : Roxane Schneider, Pieter Claeys

Account: Mattias Vermeire

Photographer: Lieve Blancquaert

Production : Dominique Turnbull, Arthur De Wachter