I’m busy editing away on my first day of special needs mini-sessions and wanted to share some. It was a wonderful day to get to photograph so many special needs families. By waiving my session fee and minimum order requirement, I was able to offer something to families who may not normally be able to use me. It also removed the anxiety about their children’s behavior. If it was a bad day, then they wouldn’t be out any money – just 20 minutes of their time. But on this day, we had nothing but good experiences.
My first one was with this handsome guy. He has autism, but did a wonderful job doing exactly as I said, including holding his baby sister. He had the biggest smile – as you can see in the last one.
My next session was with these three brothers. The older two really got a workout from their youngest brother who has autism and is non-verbal and was very excited. He didn’t stop moving and walking around, so I would tell the brothers to be ready and grab him and get close whenever the youngest would come near. Though it may look like he sat still for some pictures, that is the secret to my work – he wasn’t. He would be in the act of rolling over a brother or to get off the bed, and we’d get a single shot. Because that is all it takes – just one.
These next siblings were very sweet. Older sister was just beautiful, and I couldn’t help but snap at least one picture of just her. Her younger brother also has autism and is non-verbal. When he walked in, I said ‘hello”, and he reached for his computer device, clicked on it, and a computer voice responded, “hello”. He was a little uncertain about just sitting for me, so I had him sit and then run back and forth from the couch to give his parents hugs, which made him very happy. We had one bad moment where he bumped his feeding tube on his belly which hurt, but after a little break he was ready to play with his sister again.
The next set of brothers cracked me up. The younger brother has high-functioning autism and was a crack up. I understood him very well because he is a big Minecraft player, which is my son’s favorite game, too. This boy also loves the color green. He wore a green shirt, had green glasses, and when I asked where the green socks were, the mom confided that she didn’t let him wear them that day. So as a reward for being good, I let him sit on my green chair at the end.