The Best Mother’s Day Gift

May 6, 2010
Photographer News

Aaron Joel Santos lives and shoots in Vietnam, and was recently hired for an unusual assignment, and one of his favorite as it turns out. He was contacted by a London photographer, ironically, to photograph an Italian couple who were coming to Hanoi to adopt their first child.

The British shooter turns out to be the brother of the adoptive mom, and was giving her a gift of a photo shoot to document this once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

According to Santos, “I thought it was a great idea and jumped at the chance to be a part of it. Also, it’s touching when a family hires me for something like that [in contrast to the magazine editors he typically works for]. There’s a large amount of trust that they’re giving over to me. It’s more personal.”

Aaron met the parents right before being whisked away to the official adoption ceremony, and he shot the whole affair. They even met up the day after for more photos, and came up with what I consider to be a touching body of work.

Aaron has more about the event on his blog, and I thought that one reader’s comment on the post probably made his day:

I love visiting your website and have been admiring your photos for about a year now, Aaron. As an adoptive mom, who travelled through China to adopt both of my children, I can promise you that Isabeau and Paolo [the parents] are the lucky ones! Best wishes to them and congratulations to you on the beautiful portrait you’ve created of their new life together:)

When’s the last time you heard that from a commercial client (not that it couldn’t happen, but you know what I mean)?

Happy Mother’s Day! Don’t forget that it’s this Sunday.


On a side note, Aaron said that he’ll be shooting in the northern mountains of Laos until May 20th, working on a few travel stories with a writer, in case anyone’s looking for a photographer in that neck of the woods. Luang Prabang, Vang Vien and Vientiane, to be exact.

-Neil Binkley

Tags: aaron joel santos kids laos vietnam