Stop What You're Doing and Swoon Over These Dreamy Pics of Kids and Pets

Russian photographer Elena Shumilova's shots of her two sons, Yaroslav and Vanya, interacting with animals on their farm evoke a fairytale world where little boys become King of the Beasts. The images are sweet, of course, but Shumilova doesn't dwell on her subjects' cuteness; instead she quietly captures the secret bonds that even very young children can have with their pets, as well as the natural and open way they interact with the world around them. Each image tells a dreamlike story set apart from the mundane concerns of grownups. Although she studied art in Moscow, Shumilova only took up photography in 2012.  She described to Yahoo Shine by email how she prefers to use natural light, which she feels gives "emotional depth to the image," adding that she takes an intuitive approach to her work. "I get inspired mainly by desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what it is." Here, eight of Shumilova's boy-and-animal photos that will melt your heart immediately. —Sarah B. Weir