March 15, 2023

What does everyone is welcome in front of my camera really mean? Part I

Family Photography, Portrait Photography Services, Photographing children, Differently abled, Special Needs, Autism

Well, I am so glad you asked....

Something that you may or may not know about me is that I am a mother. Something that you may or may not know about me is that both of my children are adopted - my oldest son, Anderson was adopted at birth through a private agency. My youngest son, Kai, was our (foster) son beginning when he was just over a year old. When Anderson was about 5 years old we learned that he has Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and a host of underlying medical issues. Kai came from a home that experienced a significant amount of trauma (and that's putting it lightly). So needless to say, both of my children have needs that are much different than most of their peers. Anderson has a hard time looking at the camera (this is not unusual for individuals on the spectrum) and posing/sitting for photos for any length of time. Kai often enjoys having pictures taken of him, but sometimes he is visibly upset if he needs to do something that he really does not want to do. His body can tense up, he may cry and overall may have a strong reaction that doesn't match the situation. And sure, that applies to many children, but for both of our boys, emotions, and feelings can be overwhelming. They can both become dysregulated and it can be hard to get them back into a positive space. I bring this up because I know there are a lot of parents, caregivers, grandparents, etc. that don't even think about having photos taken of their family or friends for fear of how their children will behave or for how little time they can sit for. I firmly believe that all families and children deserve to have photos taken of them (if they are interested of course!). A good photographer will work to get to know you and your family to help make sure everyone is comfortable. Sometimes the best photographs that can be taken during a professional photography session are candid ones and unplanned photos. The ones where everyone is laughing and running around or where the kids are splashing in the water. Sometimes that's the best way to capture children, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. The same also goes for elderly family members - even if there needs to be access to seating areas, shade, a shorter session, etc. Everyone's needs can be accommodated, just let me know and I will do whatever I can. Everyone is welcome! My kids are now so used to having their photo taken that they don't panic when a camera comes out and in fact, both of them have expressed a pretty serious interest in learning photography! I call that a win!