Sentimental Photos Explore the Touching Relationship Between Children and Their Animal Friends

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Russian photographer and doting mother Elena Shumilova is celebrated for her sentimental snapshots of her animal-loving sons. Her heartwarming work first saw success when photos exploring the bond between her children and their pets—including cuddly dogs and cats and equally-loved farm animals—went viral in 2014. Now, two years later, Shumilova continues to awe her audiences with her tender photographs of children—but no longer just her own.

Featuring boys and girls of all ages, her recent photos offer a glimpse into life as a child in the picture-perfect Russian countryside. Like her own sons, the kids photographed by Shumilova exhibit a remarkable bond with their animal friends—a bond that the photographer knows how to expertly capture. Bathed in warm tones and idyllically lit by the sun, each image is infused with a sense of nostalgia to evoke a timeless aesthetic. From the little girl and her bulldog who sit atop a vintage car to the cat who listens intently as a young boy strums his guitar, each sweet scene depicts a precious moment frozen in time—and one that any parent would love to hold onto forever.

In addition to the endearing innocence of youth, Shumilova also enjoys exploring the ins-and-outs of adulthood. Like her juvenile subjects, the older individuals she snaps are often expressively interacting with their animal companions. Presented through a wistful lens and shot with the same sentimentality prevalent in her touching studies of childhood, the dreamy photographs prove you’re never too old for a furry friend.

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All images via Elena Shumilova.

Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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