Photographing Families with Disabilities Since 2008
Houston Family Photographer
This post is personal- not only because I know and love this family, but because it is my own story:
Every single smile a celebration.
Every interaction, we coax out of him- a little more trust given each time.
Sure, he’s just a little kid and he wants to run and explore and play…but it goes deeper than that.
We are talking about disability and how to document ALL families authentically.
My own son having ASD and Down Syndrome presents it’s own set of challenges when it comes to preparing for family photos and what we might expect to get after the session.
Some things I think about before I meet any family…You never know what battles have transpired before the family has even arrived for photos. You don’t know how they will react or what might be asking too much.
You don’t know…so you must learn.
You wait and give them space. You listen to the family with love and grace. You have an arsenal of prompts ready to go and you have zero expectations. It’s simply unhurried time and watching for those connections to come out.
That’s hard, man. Not for me as the photographer, but honestly from the family perspective.
I’m on the other side of this, as a parent of a child with a disability, so I can always promise you my heart sees yours.
You worry and all the “what if’s” flood your brain. Never mind if they will smile for the photos- what about your other children or your real true connections or the faces you’re making just trying to keep everything together.
“will my child elope?”, “will the photographer understand?”, “what if they don’t want to participate?”, “what if they never smile?” (oh how we want that smile!), “what if we run out of time?”, “what if it’s too much for them?”
It is enough to stop any family from setting up family pictures. But I urge you to push through that feeling. Find someone who understands and who will give you that time. Your story is important and its begging to be told.
I’m honored to have been able to share in any memory-making because I feel all families deserve the chance to tell their story. Thank you for the chance to know you deeper.