So you want photos of your child with special needs?
First and foremost, I just want to say, I see you. I too am a special needs parent as well. I know how complicated things can get. I want to make our photography session together simple and fun for you. I’m here to give you a great experience as well as beautiful memories to take home with you. I know for my own child, there are things that work and things that would never pass with him. Do you have concerns or worries that are keeping you from getting your portraits done? I understand and I have them too. Even as a photographer I have my portraits done and go through the same mental checklists to make sure everything goes smoothly for my family.
Communication is key. First things first, when you contact us, (your photographer), be very detailed about your situation and your needs for your family. Your child’s needs are the most important and will be completely understood. Many special needs children have trouble with eye contact, talking, fidgeting, meltdowns, and so much more. I understand and I am ready to listen and understand any complications. I sincerely ask to please explain this to me. To help others understand different situations is to help us all grow together. Does your child need to meet me before? I’m ready and willing to meet up! Does your child need me to bring something? I’ll see what I can do! Do we need to pause for any reason, I’m here to help and make your family feel completely comfortable. Please just let me know what you need from me and I will try my very best as I would for my own children!
Location, Location, Location! Special needs parents know their own children the best. I personally know what my son is thinking or feeling even before he opens his mouth to ask for it. You know where your child is most comfortable and that’s where I want to be! Sessions can be held virtually anywhere! Common locations are at your home, or a local park, but I have also photographed families at hospitals and therapy centers. This is why we can meet, call, video chat, or email beforehand. We will discuss what an ideal portrait session will look like for your family. We figure out together what sort of accommodations will make the day of your photography session successful.
Timing has to be right. Timing for your session has so many different meanings. Timing can mean how long the session will be. For a special needs child, the session has no time limit. I will work my butt off to get great shots and wait out any obstacle. There are too many unknowns to fit it all into a timed session. First off, they are children. Since when do children really cooperate? Also we have meltdowns, feedings, anxiety, or sickness. There is no limit these sessions and you should never feel rushed or worried. You just focus on your children and keeping them happy. Stress will be the killer of a session. Also, timing has to be right for the child in general. Do we need to reschedule? No problem. Is your child stressing too much for it right now? We can wait or reschedule, no problem. Is your child sick today or if I am feeling sick today, i’ll reschedule so as to not bring any germs to a child.
Understanding. Being a parent of a special needs child myself, I know how worried you can get when people don’t understand your situation. I understand and will have absolutely no judgement. Maybe your little one needs a diaper change, needs to hold their favorite blanket, or will not look at me in the eyes at all. I will not try to make your child anything but the beautiful angel they are. Too many times I see other photographers trying to hide things like body abnormalities. Why would you hide a part of someone who is perfect just the way they are? If they have a pacifier in their mouth all the time, why upset them and make them take it out? That is part of who they are. Even if your child won’t look at the camera, no worries. We will take candid shots of them looking at their parents, their siblings, their favorite things. As a parent I love my children and their personalities. I want to see them in my images. I know what it’s like. I am here to listen to you.