With Father’s Day in full swing, I’m sure many of you already have plans to celebrate, with or without something photography-related included. Whichever the case, I’m sure you’ll find today’s featured body of work a touching visual story.

For Father’s Day 2017, Moscow-based photographer and art director Igor Novikov shot a heartwarming portrait series featuring photographer Max Lemesh and his young daughter Olivia. I now have it filed under my favorite family portraits, and I think you will too!

Depicting a beautiful father and daughter relationship

Novikov introduced this series as a “little story about a big relationship.” It’s such a fitting description given the context of how unique father and daughter dynamics are. As its title says, “The First” is a visual story of how fathers bring many important firsts to their daughters.

Novikov had the brilliant idea to present Max not only as a father, but also the first teacher, hero and love to his daughter. We see them having a great bonding time exploring the great outdoors. Max even looks proudly at how his adorable photography student for the day holds her camera. Those shots are easily the most charming moments in the series!

To me, it’s a great example of how photographers can highlight the unique elements of family relationships in their portrait. These could have easily been straightforward portraits that may still look good but wouldn’t have the same impact as a story-driven series.

A playful and poignant approach to visual family stories

This series coincides with the beautiful and heartfelt style that Novikov applies to his conceptual portraits. His family portrait projects are particularly worth checking out as well if The First has caught your attention.

I love how he incorporates a story that obviously gets his subjects engaged throughout the shoot. In turn, the project makes us viewers invested in how the story unfolds with each shot. It’s an effective approach, but one we don’t often see in many family portrait projects.

Novikov came up with a scenario that let Max and Olivia act naturally and have fun with each other. This allowed him to capture the genuine relationship between his subjects. We can definitely learn from this body of work, not only for family portraits but also for other portrait projects.

I hope you enjoyed browsing through this delightful Father’s Day portrait series as much as I did! If you’re curious about his other family portrait work, make sure to check out Igor Novikov’s Behance portfolio and follow him on Instagram.

All photos by Igor Novikov. Used with Creative Commons permission.