Here’s what couples look like when they sleep—in surreal time-lapse photos

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

Paul Maria Schneggenburger has always been fascinated with sleep.

“It’s an unconscious state of mind where scientists still haven’t really figured out yet what’s going on,” he said.

Early in his career, Schneggenburger would take pictures of sleeping people wherever he saw them: “On the park bench, trains, at the party.”

In 2010, he had the idea to take six-hour exposures of sleepers: first himself, and then couples, families, and anyone else he could convince to come into his Vienna studio. Shot on black sheets in a dimly lit room, the images are intimate and surreal.

“The Sleep of the Beloved” is an ongoing series. Schneggenburger invites anyone who is interested to contact him about recording their own sleep.

Check out a selection:


“The Sleep of the Beloved I”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved III”


“The Sleep of the Beloved IX”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LIII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LVI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LX”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXIII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXIV”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXV”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXVI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXVIII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXXI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved LXXIX”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved V”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved VI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved VII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved VIII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved X”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XIV”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XIX”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XLIII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XLIX”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XV”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XVI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XVII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXIII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXIV”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXV”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXX”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXXI”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXXIV”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber

“The Sleep of the Beloved XXXVII”

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Paul Maria Schneggenburger – Courtesy Gallery Johannes Faber