Friday, December 19, 2014

Enjoy the smiles! The photo challenges of families impacted by autism.

Photos and autistics do not go together like peas and carrots - at least not in my experience. School photos, while always getting the best look of Sunshine triplet (who NEVER takes a bad picture ever) are generally crap shoots for Princess and Angel triplets. Catching Princess triplet in a candid smiling photo is also ever elusive.

A super fun time at Christmas tree farm.
That's why when I come across photos like the candids shot by a teacher during a class field trip, I can't help but want to share them EVERYWHERE. It's a natural, smiling shot of Princess triplet with her looking straight into the lens - great eye contact. This almost NEVER happens and this slice of HAPPINESS is too good to hide.

I know I'm not the only one who struggles with photos, not just with trying to get the typical picture postcard photo that in my world is a pot of gold found via rainbow, but also with the whole expectation for even owning that type of photo. I have young triplets, two of them have autism. I have a huge age gap between my oldest and my youngest three children and no one in between. On good days, Tripped Up Daddy and I can look more like grandparents than just older parents, because, well, we're just plain tired. Everything about our family is a little, well, a little odd. We don't fit into a box and sometimes I think photographers have a really hard time knowing how to even start with us.

Trips at two
So when there's a nice candid shot that I love, I share. And to other families who are impacted by autism, I strongly suggest seeking out a photographer who can also be a friend in your little world. You can achieve fun, beautiful, and honest photos that capture the loving memories of your family, but I think you need a photographer that will sign up for the long haul of a long-term relationship with you to make that happen.

Family pic - 2010
The endless tries to get 3 posed
on a couch at 3 years old.
Check with your local autism support groups for recommendations, interview photographers, check with friends, interview again, ask if you can do a trial run to help your kiddos get used to the whole idea. If you find a photographer who will come to your home, where your family will feel the most comfortable, that is invaluable. NEVER lose that photographer's number.

Family pic - 2012
I'm lucky. I have Sandra Ellen who I attended college with. Photography is her business, I'm just lucky enough to also have a relationship with her and she gets my family. I never had to go out looking for just the right photographer, she was right there waiting for me to call her. You may not be that lucky, but trust me, it's worth so much to develop a great photographer relationship.

Trips at 4

Sunshine triplet - 4
Lotte - Senior pic
Princess triplet - 4

Angel triplet - 4

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