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A Mother’s Magical Portraits of Her Sons’ Adventures

By Hanssie on January 17th 2014

I’m a mom with a camera. I got my start in the photography business when I had my baby and couldn’t stop taking photos of her. Then, one thing led to another, and like many photographers who are also moms, somehow ended up with my own photography business. Though my favorite person to take photos of is still my baby, who is nine now, I don’t get to take as many photos of her anymore.

[REWIND: Mother and Daughter Explores Relationship Through Photography]

Elena Shumilova is no different. This Russian mommy and photographer loves taking photos of her two boys, Yaroslav and Vanya. She got her first “professional” camera in 2012 and has been taking photos of her boys, their day to day adventures with each other and their pets around the farm.


“I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos. I get inspired mainly by my desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is” Shumilova said in an article on BoredPanda.

As you can see in the following images, Elena loves to use natural light, preferring to play with the fog, snow, street lamps and setting sun to create a magical world where the growth of two little boys are captured under a mother’s watchful eye. Elena’s current equipment includes a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 135mm lens.

Her work really inspires me to grab my camera, go outside with my daughter and my dog and capture the beauty of her childhood before she grows up before my eyes. And maybe adopt some farm animals, too.

elena-shumilova-6 elena-shumilova-7 elena-shumilova-8 elena-shumilova-9 elena-shumilova-1 elena-shumilova-2 elena-shumilova-12 elena-shumilova-13 elena-shumilova-14 elena-shumilova-15 elena-shumilova-19 elena-shumilova-20 elena-shumilova-21 You can see more of Elena Shumilova’s amazing work on her Flickr and 500px pages.

[Via @BoredPanda]

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Elena Shumilova are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. durga prasad

    Wow, Mother matters… :-)

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  2. Jacob Jexmark

    Really great images!

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  3. Tino

    Perhaps Phlearn could try and recreate one of these looks rather than leaving us second guessing?

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  4. Grace

    Very heavy processing involved. Lots of plug in effects used. There are two different images at the end of her Facebook blog where there are dust particles floating in the air. If you have a closer look the dust particles are in exactly the same position in both shots. Also lots of selective blurring, lighting effects and vignetting had been added that is not from lens but from Photoshop plugins.
    Nice shots none the less, but a ton of tricks added to get the final image.

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  5. Ed Dahlin

    Stunning images and outstanding post procesinng

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  6. Brenda Baker

    I love love love all of the pictures. Amazing! Great work. Very creative!

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  7. Bobby Dart

    I’d love to have any on the post processing involved in her work to get that look. Anybody have insights?

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    • Bhuvana

      Add vignetting effect and always do your post processing in a better monitor(preferably large screen may be 21” screen). One most important thing is your imagination.

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    • Stan Rogers

      Adding a vignette is not entirely necessary; most (not all, most) of these images look like they were made with the 135 wide open, and it vignettes heavily all by itself, so it’s more a matter of just not removing the one that’s already there. The colour, too, is largely a matter of NOT correcting all of the interesting qualities of the light with white balance adjustments. That’s not to say that these are necessarily straight-out-of-camera shots (the dock picture shows what looks like some less-than-perfect local work), but that looking for a post-processing preset, filter or “recipe” will not do the trick. Start with a shallow depth of field, a subject grouping that’s more or less parallel to the sensor plane so it fits into the shallow DoF, framing elements, felicitous lighting, good composition and a sense of wonder. The rest is easy.

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    • Bobby Dart

      Informative, thanks.

      I can pick up some color-toning, de-saturation, and perhaps some midtone contrast adjustments too. Am I wrong?

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    • Elijah

      Looks like some blur, selective dodge and burn and maybe enhancing several colors.

      Trying to replicate the look of a 135mm wide open for full-frame will probably be the challenging part…. I only have a 85mm 1.8 :(

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  8. Jimmy Lund Henriksen

    Stunning, excellent work :-)

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