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Some top public art spots for Valentine's Day photos

The public art explosion that has consumed Buffalo over the past half-decade has been transformative.

It's breathed new life into developing neighborhoods. It's given underexposed local artists new routes to recognition. It's helped downtown escape its stubborn reputation as a desolate snowscape devoid of people and color.

But for young lovers and -- perhaps even more importantly -- wedding photographers? The recent influx of Instagram-ready murals, sculptures and installations has been a game-changer.

Some pieces, like Casey William Milbrand's "Greetings from Buffalo" mural, were designed with this precise purpose in mind. Others, like the ever-popular "Shark Girl" or the sculptures that surround the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, are simply too photogenic for couples to ignore.

Exactly what draws couples at the start of their relationships or marriages to these bright spots in Buffalo's landscape is one of the great mysteries of urban life. But popular they are.

Big thanks to Buffalo photographer Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer of City Lights Studio for sharing many of these shots:

Casey William Milbrand proposes to Jason Lloyd Clement in front of Milbrand's "Greetings from Buffalo" mural. Photo by Matt Kenny.

Kathyrn and Otello Tiano have fun in front of Frank Cravotta's lion mural on Delaware Avenue. Photo courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Christopher Romano and Nicholas Bruscia's "Project 2XmT," Silo City:

Kaitlin Theriault and Daniel Dziadaszek headed to Silo City for their photo shoot. Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Theatre District mural, Pearl Street and West Tupper

Alyssa and A.J. Lictus in the Theatre District. Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Alicia and Scott Kocsis pose with their wedding party in the Theatre District. Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Jessie Unterhalter and Katy Truhn's "Noodle in the Northern Lights," Theatre District:

Emily and Tim Hannigan embrace in the shade of "Noodle in the Northern Lights."' Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Alexandra and Scott Quenville's wedding party poses in front of "Noodle in the Northern Lights" on the side of Shea's 710 Theatre. Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Allen Street Mural Project, Allentown:

The bridesmaids for Alyssa and A.J. Lictus' wedding pose in front of a piece in Allentown. Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery:

Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Ian DeBeer's Spain Rodriguez tribute, Allentown:

Alyssa and A.J. Lictus continued their photo shoot in front of Ian DeBeer's tribute to Spain Rodriguez in Allentown. Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

The Old Pink, Allentown:

Photo Courtesy of Erica Eichelkraut Zilbauer and City Lights Studio.

Liam Gillick's "Stacked Revision Structure," Albright-Knox Art Gallery:

Nate Fanaro and Allison Wilton pose in front of Liam Gillick's "Stacked Revision Structure" for their engagement photo.

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