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How to Photograph Children with Cerebral Palsy

Photograph Children With Cerebral PalsyLife can get quite busy and rush by most of the time, which makes it difficult for you to get things done such as portraits of your family. Life can become even busier and more rushed if you have a child with special needs, like cerebral palsy. Many parents find that they do not have much time or energy to get portraits done, and many feel too embarrassed to since their child will not act like other children. The good news is, it is possible to photograph children with special needs and it is something I love to do. Capturing families together is one of the most precious things to me. In this blog, I am going to explore three tips to use when seeking to photograph children with cerebral palsy or any other special need, or indeed any child.

1. Find A Place That Is Easy To Access

One of my clients was worried to get photos of her daughter because the wheelchair prevented them from being able to access some of the more popular photography locations. We sat down and talked about ideas and realised that there was a small, gorgeous park with a stunning grove filled with old trees. We decided to take the photographs there and carried the girl to the bottom of a tree and organised her family around her. It was easy to access, yet also gave the family some gorgeous, unique photographs. This sort of location can be used for infants and toddlers to hold them up and pen them in if they want to run away. There are various areas I know of that will work perfectly.

2. Have Your Child Wear Comfortable Clothing

This is important for children, whether they have special needs or not. Choose clothing that you know your child likes and is comfortable in, because this will help the portrait process go smoothly and give you some of the most gorgeous photographs of you, your child, and family. A relaxed child means the photos will look relaxed and beautiful. If you put them in white, you will be stressed about dirt marks. For children in nappy’s be sure to have a ‘onesie’ under what they wear so it doesn’t show when they play, fall down and as they run around.

3. Talk With The Photographer About Your Child

Before you settle on a photographer, you should always chat with him or her about your child. I love chatting with my clients and learning about them and their family. It also helps to learn more about the children so that I can arrange a perfect portrait session with you and your child. When it comes time to photograph children, it is always important to understand the individual child as each is a gorgeous, unique being. 

It Is Possible To Photograph Children With Cerebral Palsy and other special needs

If you are still hesitant about getting photographs done of your child, I want to encourage you that it is possible to photograph children with cerebral palsy. Give me a call, and we can chat about your child, the photographs you would like, and I can suggest some excellent locations for you to get unique, wonderful family portraits.

Meeting Maddie

I recently had the pleasure of photographing a lovely young lady called Maddie who has cerebral palsy. We met at a local park with her whole family including grandparents. 3 generations. We set Maddie up on some cushions under a big tree and got some wonderful portraits on a sunny afternoon. I learnt a lot about Maddie and discovered she has her own website about her life. I encourage you to go and have a look and support her in her future. You’ll find it at http://maddiesmates.com/

You can support Maddie and have lots of fun by coming along to a Trivia night on August 23rd.

Talk soon,

Margherita :)

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Related Posts:

Photographing Children with Special Needs – Part One

Getting Beautiful Photographs Featuring Children with Cerebral Palsy

Getting Beautiful Photographs Featuring Children with Cerebral Palsy

portrait-young-ladyIt 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!

Get Creative

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.

Talk soon,

Margherita :)

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Related Posts

Photographing Children with Special Needs – Part One

Photographing Children with Special Needs – Part Two