Faith and her family have been coming to see me since the fall of 2010. April (when these portraits were taken) was Austism Awareness Month. I missed posting these then but am thrilled to have a chance to do so now. With her parents permission I share the following.
I’ll never forget Faith’s mom writing me. Amy and I knew each other from going to school together when we were young. She wrote me to ask if I would be interested in taking their family’s portraits. She explained that it wouldn’t be a typical session for me as her youngest child, Faith, has severe autism. She wondered if I would be up for the task. There was no question in my mind! I told her absolutely! She wrote back telling me bits about Faith so I could know what to expect and how to best handle the session. I learned that “Faith doesn’t do well with a lot of extra noises, she doesn’t look people in the eye, she LOVES soft (plush like) things. She doesn’t respond to her name (but we still try, one day she will). She’s a “runner” because she doesn’t understand there’s danger and like I said earlier, doesn’t respond to her name… so if there’s anything outside it needs to be fenced in. She is absolutely terrified of “Dora the Explorer” and of “Pillow pets”….she has a Ninja Turtle that she carries in her hand 90% of the time (it’s her security blanket…so I’m WAY more than okay with her keeping a hold of it) I’m also incredibly laid back so is Tommy. Things don’t have to be “perfect” for us.” I loved that rather than worrying about trying to get a ‘perfect’ family portrait, Amy and Tommy just wanted their lives (and their children’s) captured. We had a GREAT session together that fall. Here’s one of my favorites of Faith from then. It just seemed to capture her as she was:
I next took the kids pictures (Faith has an amazing older brother Angelus who is just a riot to be around) in the fall of 2011 for our mini sessions. One of my personal favorites of Faith from that session is this one. I got to see the fun, carefree side of her during this shoot and loved watching her run, laugh and have fun.
I saw them again this past month during the spring mini sessions and even though Faith wasn’t feeling well that day she did amazing. She even wanted me to hold her during the session which absolutely melted my heart. I feel like the images captured that day are so telling and to me at least, very emotional. I feel like I could almost get a tiny glimpse into Faith’s secret world. And even though she can’t talk to me? Her eyes speak. And I find so much beauty in this child.
Here’s a few of my favorites of her from last month:
Tommy posted a status on Facebook tonight that made me tear up. He wrote, “Some people take pictures. Jonna once again absolutely nailed our children’s personalities in photograph form.” I cannot tell you how much those words mean to me. THIS is my goal. Do I want to create beautiful images? Of course. But mostly, I want to capture the essence of my clients. To me THAT is the real beauty. And that is the most important aspect of my job.
Thank you Amy and Tommy for trusting me to capture the hearts and souls of your children and of your family. I am honored to be able to do that for you just as I am honored by the opportunity to know Faith even a little.