Picture shows a softer side of Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, circa 1968, courts Ann Davies while serving as a missionary in France.
Romney campaign
Mitt Romney
Romney campaign

(CBS News) Mitt Romney's campaign on Thursday released an old photograph showing the softer side of the presidential candidate, when he was in his early 20s and courting his future wife.

The image, first given to Time magazine, shows Romney around 1968 on the beach in France, where he was serving as a Mormon missionary. He is casually lying in the sand in jeans and a white T-shirt, without any shoes on, inside a heart drawn in the sand. The declaration "I love Ann" is written in big capital letters next to him.

Romney's friends helped him take this picture and several pictures in France for Ann Davies, whom he married in 1969 after returning to the United States.

Pictures like this one could help Romney turn around the low favorability ratings that have plagued him throughout his presidential campaign. The latest Quinnipiac/ CBS News/ New York Times poll released this week showed that voters in three key states hold more negative than positive views about Romney. President Obama also holds a significant lead in those states among women voters. The candidate this week is trying to appear more empathetic on the campaign trail.