For couple of professional photographers you would think that we would have awesome family photos all over our home! I mean really, pictures is all we do 7 days a week 365 days a year! Nope! The last photo with all four of us in it was about 4 years ago. Not only is it hard to pay someone to do what you do for a living but it’s also that fact that after taking thousands of photos a month you have a style you like. All that being said it adds a layer of difficulty to the task when you are dealing with any kid with special needs, I’m sure you all feel me there! You learn to love the picture of your little one looking off into space as long as there is a good smile or making that face that they always make! That’s my style anyway, we have never been a fan of the Wal-Mart Portrait Studio ‘Turn Your Head To The Right & Smile’ style of photography. I hate that stuff! We did a promotion this fall where we did a massive amount of families in 30 min intervals in a pre-set scene. It was awesome! So why not throw our family in there, set the camera, & have someone push the button! (We have tried the timer function before & NOOOOOO way is that worth the trouble!) After seeing the end result as well as some others we snapped while warming up to do the family portrait I got to thinking how much easier it is now days than it used to be!
     I have photographed Jayden for a long time & we have photographed other kids on the spectrum, parents like it because they know I’m not going to get impatient or upset because I know what it’s like working with autism. It’s either a very slow stand offish process or a very high intensity in your face process! Either way they are some of my favorite shoots. I got to thinking, what have we done to work up to having Jayden take an amazing photo every time you point a camera in his face!

This was a fart sound induced smile!

  • The camera is always around! In one form or another we always have a camera & are shooting photos! After it becomes the norm then the camera is not some scary thing or a big deal at all.
  • Showing the picture! My own kids, sessions with kids on the spectrum, or even NT kids all the same I show them their picture! Let them see the end result & how great it is! Positive reinforcement!
  • No forced looks or smiles. This is actually easier for families on the spectrum because they are not so hell bent on an everyone smile & tilt your head to the left photo! Call it lifestyle photography, call it photojournalism, what ever just take it as it happens. That’s when the real smiles come. Then it’s just a matter of a stolen glance your way that’s captured to make an amazing photo. 
  • Snap, Snap, Snap! I can go into a session with NT kids & come out with 700 photos & work that down to 60 amazing images. I pay my mortgage with photography & my camera cost me more than my first cars combined so maybe you shouldn’t shoot 700 but always take a ‘Better To Much Than Not Enough’ mentality when it comes to shooting pictures. You can always delete the blurry ones & the ones of the back of their head!