I am excited to share that three of my children's portrait sessions this summer were donated to Family Connections of South Carolina, a non-profit organization supporting special needs children and their families. On each session day, we were fortunate to have comfortable weather to explore outdoors. Each session was about an hour long. The children that I worked with ranged in age from 9 months to thirteen years old. All were non-verbal, primarily understood Spanish, and one was also hearing impaired so building trust was important. We communicated using expressions and gestures, and their parents helped somewhat with specific directions. These young girls were just delightful; a little shy at first, but once we moved around a bit on the playground with their siblings and parents, each was able to acclimate to the surroundings and relax in front of the camera.
As you can see from this sampling of images, we had fun! A selected image from each session will be framed and placed on display as part of the LOOK! 2021 Photography Exhibit at Koger Center for the Arts in Columbia from the end of August through October. The exhibit is designed to capture memories of the lives of children with disabilities as well as increase awareness of special needs. Local businesses throughout the city of Columbia have been designated as "destinations" for the Look! Art Walk and will be displaying images from last year's Look! Collection as well, so the visibility of the program seems to be outstanding.
Even more heartwarming is the fact each family will receive a full set of artistically retouched digital downloads from their sessions to keep! The families were extremely grateful for this valuable complimentary keepsake. Bravo for a wonderful photographic project and the opportunities for education and resources that Family Connections shares to assist and empower children in need and their families.