It goes without saying that life can be incredibly stressful for modern day people. We spend long hours toiling away at our day jobs. We juggle community responsibilities with family responsibilities and the challenges that come with maintaining a personal life. The rhythm of our daily routines and responsibilities can sometimes leave little room to move when it comes to free time.
When we add a child with cerebral palsy to the mix, life becomes even more complicated. Elements like wheelchairs and special care needs can make life even more difficult to figure out at the time. Concerns like family photographs can be tough to fit into a busy schedule.
Many parents are even further discouraged from scheduling family photo sessions because they can’t imagine how the shoot will go. They’re worried about wheelchairs getting in the way or their child becoming stressed out or upset by the experience. Eventually, they let themselves worry their way out of going in for a shoot at all and miss out on the opportunity to preserve so many beautiful memories.
Choosing the Right Photographer
Getting beautiful shots of a child with cerebral palsy is a lot like getting wonderful shots of any other child. You need to start by choosing your photographer with care. Pick a professional that not only has a terrific portfolio full of shots in a style you love, but also has extensive experience working with special needs children. You’ll find that they’re incredibly patient and highly creative when it comes to making the photo shoot go smoothly for everyone involved.
I’m reminded of a time I photographed a family that included a little girl with cerebral palsy. I chose a beautiful location with easy access – in this case, a park with beautiful trees located close to a road. We simply drove up, carried this little girl to a gorgeous tree that I knew would look fantastic in the shot, and placed her underneath it. When we added the rest of the family (including the grandparents) to the shot, it was just magic. The shoot was truly enjoyable for everyone involved, including me!
The key to successfully shooting children with cerebral palsy is creativity. Choosing fantastic locations that make it easy to work with a child’s needs in mind is especially important. So is coming up with ways to get the entire family involved in a way that feels natural, is fun, and looks terrific on film.
Patience and involvement are also essential. When the photographer is calm, patient, smiling, and having a wonderful time, the subjects are going to be feeling the same way. In fact, many people are surprised at not only how wonderfully their shots came out, but at how great a time the entire family had during the entire shoot itself.
That said, it’s important not to let your worries or concerns about how your child’s cerebral palsy will limit the possibilities as far as a family photo shoot keep you from having pictures taken. For the right photographer, it won’t pose an issue at all.
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