Photographers capture a variety of portraits and landscapes, but it’s the personal photo series with beautiful images that make you want to laugh and cry that stick with you. They’re the ones that make you want to know more about the subjects and share them with others. These types of collections resonate most deeply with an audience, creating a connection that transcends standard art. They’re heartwarming, insightful, endearing, relatable, eye-opening, informative, and emotionally powerful.
We’ve rounded up some of the most inspirational photo series that we’ve ever come across to warm your heart. From the tale of a lonely grandmother’s spirits being lifted by her grandson playfully capturing her in a spandex superhero suit to the adventures of a globetrotting dog seeking to spread the joys of pet adoption, there’s something emotionally moving in each series to leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
1) Super Mamika
Photographer Sacha Goldberger puts a smile on our face with this series which initially began as a project to cheer up his 91-year-old grandmother Frederika’s face when he noticed she seemed lonely and depressed. By snapping shots of his mamika (Hungarian for ‘grandmother’) dressed as a superhero, the photographer boosted her morale and turned her into a viral hit.
2) The Tutu Project
When his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, loving husband and photographer Bob Carey put on a pink tutu and posed for the camera in an effort to raise both awareness and money for breast cancer research. The ongoing project is simultaneously hilarious and heartwarming. Carey says, “Oddly enough, [Linda’s] cancer has taught us that life is good, dealing with it can be hard, and sometimes the very best thing–no, the only thing–we can do to face another day is to laugh at ourselves, and share a laugh with others.”
3) Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat
Photographer Miyoko Ihara documents the adorable relationship between her octogenarian grandmother Misao and her cat Fukumaru. Misao first found Fukumaru abandoned in a shed, described as an “odd-eyed kitten.” While the cat had its own ailments and hearing disabilities, the two have continued to grow old together, enjoying the beauty of everyday life. The series shows the inseparable pair doing everything together from laborious farming to midday napping.
4) World Woof Tour
Photographer Joanne Lefson snapped shots of her adorable pooch Oscar, a rescue, all across the world in an effort to bring awareness to the global problem of homeless dogs and to promote animal adoption. The lovable hound spread his delightful presence all across the globe, reaching numerous destinations that one could only dream of visiting all in one lifetime. Ultimately, the series documents the rewarding life and globetrotting adventures of Oscar, after being adopted by Lefson.
5) Tippi of Africa
Wildlife photographers Sylvie Robert and Alain Degr share photos of their daughter Tippi who happened to grow up in the African desert where she became best friends with just about every animals. The series shows the young girl bonding with leopards, lion cubs, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, and more. Robert says of her daughter, “She was in the mindset of these animals. She believed the animals were her size and her friends. She was using her imagination to live in these different conditions.”
Helsinki-based photographer Wilma Hurskainen, the eldest of four girls, rounded up her three sisters to recreate some of their treasured family photos. Together, they explore the power of nostalgia and the bond of sisterhood. The Hurskainen sisters made time to meet up and reproduce their pictures from 15-20 years ago, despite having lived in different cities and even countries as adults. But, they committed to the nostalgic project, occasionally including their parents in their active trip down memory lane.
7) 2 People 1 Life
British couple Lisa Gant and Alex Pelling have vowed to marry one another over and over again as they travel the world together. Documenting their journey, the pair takes part in culturally rich and exotic wedding rituals in which they continue to profess their love for each other. The ongoing journey has allowed the couple to explore the world and gain insight on varied cultures that each celebrate the union of two people with their own set of customs. The ultimate goal is to get married, for real, at their favorite location, once they’ve completed their matrimonial expedition.