Photographing Children with Additional Needs

I have recently done a little research on my Facebook page about your fears when thinking about booking a photoshoot. I received an email from a lady who informed me that their child was Autistic, she worried that her child may not sit and pose, or will become agitated or upset during the session meaning we wouldn't get any worthy images in the time frame. 

Sooooo..let me put your mind at ease - 

I have photographed children who have had a wide range of additional needs and disabilities, I have learnt so much from them, they have allowed me to capture their souls, personality and inner beauty, they are such inspirational kids who have made me smile from ear to ear.  

I understand your worries, so I will explain a little how I approach these sessions. 

Firstly, I engage with you, the parent/carer at all levels, you are the expert, you know their likes and dislikes, what excites them and what makes them feel uneasy. We will chat in-depth about this before your session.  I will ask about any sensory issues, what makes them happy, what are their fears. Knowing their interests before hand allows me to do a little research so I can chat with them in depth during the session. (I have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to zombies, scooby doo and trains :-)

If it helps, I can meet with your child before session so they become familiar with me, I can show them the camera, they can hold it and feel it and I will explain what is going to happen on the day, we can meet at your home, the local park or a place that makes your child feel comfortable. 

I generally use the great outdoors as my backdrop a chance for your children to explore, run around and generally be themselves, (if your home is more suitable we can totally work on that) I refrain from using flash at all times and will have the beeping sounds on the camera turned off. 

The sessions can take place at a location that your child is familiar with, at a time to suit you. I don't put a time limit on such sessions, I take them as they come, if it takes half a day, then so be it. My aim is to give you and your child a happy, calm experience, if your child becomes a little agitated, I will back off and take myself off for a while  or concentrate on any siblings until you give me the nod to come back. 

Please don't worry that I am going to make them sit and pose, quite the opposite, I will capture  their soul, their inner beauty and personality. I absolutely won't be requesting that they look at the camera and smile. 

I have a zoom lens which gives them the space to play whilst I remain unobtrusive and away from their personal space, if they are happy for me to move a little closer to them and get down to their level through the session then great, if not I will keep my distance. 

Please don't stress, we got this and we are going to have an absolute ball :-)

I want to give you those all important portraits that every parent deserves. 

Any questions, please give me a shout. 

Karen xxx