Some children need the assistance of specialized chairs like the one pictured above.
Every day we go through our lives taking advantage of the simple pleasures in life from being able to get dressed in the morning to driving a car. Simple tasks that we go through daily without even thinking about. I recently had an assignment photographing special needs children that are up for adoption. These children, some of them will never know these simple pleasures. They have to go through their daily lives with assistance. Needing help to get dressed to some even needing help to walk. These children have been forgotten. Growing up in a world without feeling loved, without a family. I can't even imagine what these children have to go through.
On this particular day I had and assignment to photograph two children "Sam" and "Max". Sam needed assistance to walk, Max could walk a little easier but still needed some help. Both children had trouble holding eye contact and were jerking around frequently. I often deal with children on these shoots that have attention deficit disorder, autism, oppositional defiant disorder- argue, attachment disorders; often exasperated by their ages, cognitive delays, mental retardation, Health conditions such as cerebral palsy, blindness, g-tube feeding; other physical limitations such as wheel chair or walking assistance; some actually living in nursing homes unable to speak. It is important to understand that to these children being removed from their homes is a traumatic event, no matter what the circumstances. An alarming number of children come in to care more from neglect than abuse. And in the cases of delayed or physically impaired children, their conditions may have been far too complex to handle for birth families. Although many of them have experienced abuse and those actions have certainly impacted their emotional development, they all have hope.
I'm a regular contributing photographer for "The Heart Gallery" photographing special needs children in hopes of getting them adopted. It's a cause very close to my heart. The most important thing to remember when on a shoot dealing with these kinds of children is to find out what they're interested in. It's not a scary or intimidating experience, it's just like dealing with any other subject. They have interest and activity's they enjoy. I always enter a shoot of this kind trying to find out has much information as I can on the child. That way on the day of the shoot I can interact and have fun with the subject and try and capture natural expressions of joy.
Note: There are currently about 115,000 children awaiting adoption in the US.
Beautiful! I love this so much...
Karyn Anjali Glubis(non-registered)
Jonathan, your heart is very big and what you do as a photographer is greater than any model image out there. Although you are great at shooting models, this changes lives. Using your photography and amazing skills as a tool is so very, very valuable. Thank you for sharing this message!
Well done...! They're the most important shoots you do!
Interesting! More attention should be paid to those individuals who need us the most. I worked in medical center that served individuals that were differently able and was surprised to learn how much we had in common. Every day folk who just happen to require a little assistance. Glad you're involved
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