Special Needs in Photography

Being a mom can be a very hard job. And being a mom of a child with special needs can be even harder. I personally believe each of us ultimately has our own set of special needs. Children and adults who our society deems as “special needs” require supports, understanding, and help. As a result, they may need more assistance to learn and excel at things that come more naturally to others. And like all children, they need people to show them just how “special” and amazing that they are.

There is a saying that I have heard and even begun quoting myself fairly often. “When you have met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”

We are all unique

This is just to say that each of us is unique. And so, every person with autism is also unique, having their own difficulties and strengths. No doubt the same is true for every person dealing with Down’s Syndrome, or William’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Anxiety, ADHD, etc. I think you get the idea. In fact, it is my hope that you do.

I am not just the parent of a child with special needs. I am the parent of a special needs child and I am also a lifestyle family photographer. Due to this, it has become my passion to share the beauty of family and the love and connection they share. Additionally, I adore capturing families in all of their varied forms.

What we deserve

And so, combining all that I am and all that I love (and who as well), I want to share this with families who self-identify as having one or more family members with special needs. Our families are as “normal” as any family. We are also loving and caring and real. Our children deserve to see themselves — who they truly are — in images and to feel good about themselves. They deserve to see themselves in beautiful family photos — to know where and by whom they are loved, where they are safe and secure.

I believe the world needs to see our families. I believe the world needs to understand that normal is not just one way. As a result of this, I hope we all can begin to accept one another for who we truly are and all we want to be.

Self-Love Self-Portrait 2

In conclusion, if you are interested in a lifestyle family photo session and have questions, I hope you will feel free to contact me. I would love to chat with you. To that end, you can e-mail me by clicking this link or book a No-Obligation Photo Session Possibility Call.

4 thoughts on “Special Needs in Photography

  1. Michelle says:

    I think this is awesome! Wonderful idea and one that is much needed. I too am a mom of two sons with “special needs” and I appreciate what you are doing. We need more understanding people in the world. I will write down your info to schedule a family photo shoot in the near future. It’s been forever since we’ve had a family pic done. My family has also started a nonprofit social group for teens and adults of all-abilities. Of course with the current lockdown our activities have been put on hold. I do invite you to advertise on our group page though. It’s Facebook.com/clubemu.oregon
    My personal email is cheldavis1971@yahoo.com and I will list the club email below in the email box.

    Reply
    1. slyonmyrick says:

      Thanks so much, Michelle. I am glad you enjoyed the blog post. I do worry about how the world perceives and would relate to my son if he got more involved. I will check out and follow what’s happening with your social group. I would love to get him some “friends” who aren’t only online. Thanks for your comment. I look forward to staying in touch! I would love to know more about your boys. What did you like, love or not like about your previous family sessions?

      Reply
  2. Jessica smith says:

    We are a family of six and my oldest (7) has autism. She is gorgeous but hard to photograph and is prone to frequent meltdowns. Her siblings tend to follow her lead which makes photo sessions very challenging.

    Reply
    1. slyonmyrick says:

      Oh, that must be difficult. My oldest is just quiet and doesn’t smile much. If you ask him to, it doesn’t look at all-natural. I did work with a family with two girls once with diametrically opposed personalities and one would meltdown very quickly. It was a challenge to get just a few shots and I’m sooooo thankful that one of those shots worked for this family. Meltdowns are so hard and emotional. I’d love to know more about your daughter. I don’t know many girls with autism and I know it can present very differently than in boys and men.

      Reply

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