Heartwarming Photo Series That Will Make You Cry

One of the most startling effects of photography is its ability to touch a person's heart. Just looking at a photo can bring back fond memories or it can remind us of things we wanted to forgot. Today, we take a look at six photographers who have created powerful photo series that speak to the heart. They're photos you can't help but want to share, stories that bind us as human beings. In essence, they're images that will be forever burned in our memories.

1. Echolilia by Timothy Archibald

These moving images feature 5-year-old Elijah Archibald, an autistic young boy that has been photographed by his father, Timothy Archibald, as a way for the family to deal with the young boy's diagnosis. The way Elijah interacts with ordinary objects and communicates with the world around him is incredibly eye-opening. They're beautiful photos that show life from a different point of view. The series, called Echolilia, has been turned into a book with copies signed by both father and son.

2. Modern Wilderness by Daniel Zakharov

Daniel Zakharov is the photographer behind Modern Wilderness, a series of tragic photos of animals stuck inside a number of concrete zoos. Watch as animals meant to live in the wilderness, such as a cheetah, hippopotamus, and gorilla, look at their unnatural surroundings in a state of numb shock. These days, many zoo animals are born in captivity so they don't have any memories of their more natural homes. “By looking [at] them in the eyes,” however, Zakharov states, “one gets the feeling of recognizing their desire for true destiny.”

3. Dogs in Cars by Martin Usborne

Dogs in Cars is a unique series by photographer Martin Usborne that will touch you to the core. Usborne remembers when he was once left in a car at a young age and the feelings of uncertainty and loneliness he felt. “I don't know when or where or for how long, possibly at the age of four, perhaps outside a supermarket, probably for fifteen minutes only,” he states. “The details don't matter. The point is that I wondered if anyone would come back. The fear I felt was strong: in a child's mind it is possible to be alone forever.” Those uneasy feelings come bubbling back up again as the photographer re-experiences them through this series. Take a look at these dogs' faces and you'll see the sadness written all over them.

4. A Daughter and Her Cat by Andy Prokh

If you've ever owned a family pet, you'll find these photos by photographer Andy Prokh incredibly heartwarming. The Saint Petersburg, Russia-based photographer manages to capture some of the sweetest photos you'll find of a young girl and her cat. Of course, this isn't just any young girl. It's Katherine, the daughter of the photographer himself. Watch as the British Shorthair cat named LiLu Blue Royal Lada and the young girl do everything together from drink a glass of milk to play a game of chess. Each black and white photo is even sweeter than the last.

5. Haru and Mina by Hideaki Hamada

“My children are not only my little darlings but off-shoots of myself. When I look at them, I have a strange feeling. As if I am watching myself re-living my life.” Hideaki Hamada is the father of two adorable sons, Haru and Mina. He documents their everyday lives as they grow up in Japan. “Not too close, but also not too far away, as if I am watching them from behind,” he states. His photos show the two boys doing everything normal children would do from going to school to playing in an inflatable pool. However, each picture reads like a sweet story, fleeting moments that will soon pass, treasured memories captured by a loving father with tears welling up in his eyes.

6. The Battle We Didn't Choose by Angelo Merendino

The Battle We Didn't Choose is a heartbreaking series created by photographer and husband Angelo Merendino of his wife Jennifer's battle with breast cancer. Just five months after being married in Central Park, Jennifer was diagnosed with the disease and had to undergo extensive treatment that left her in chronic pain. After nearly four years in treatment, she passed away, leaving her husband behind. Angelo honors his late wife by humanizing the face of cancer. His photos show the daily challenges the couple faced and the range of emotions they felt including fear, sadness and loneliness. Most of all, however, they show the couple's love.

Which of these photo series touched you the most?

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