Making a Connection: Photographing Children With Autism

Anna1As a professional lifestyle photographer, Jessica Orlowicz of Peach and Port Photography takes stunning photos of families using nature as the backdrop. She also lends her talent to a non-profit organization called “Spectrum Inspired,” taking both color and black & white photos of children on the autism spectrum in free, individual sessions, where she strives to capture the essence and personality of each child.

“It’s sometimes rare to catch eye contact, which makes those images a little more powerful to me. The unique thing about photographing children with autism is that it requires a little more patience, but sometimes having a camera between you two takes the pressure off of them to interact directly. They can be their wonderful selves, and you’re just there to document it.”

But it’s one of her own children who serves as the inspiration for her photography. Anna, one of Jessica’s daughters is autistic, with a “complicated personality,” as explained by Jessica. “Some days the only way we connect is through the lens.” Whether sharing a quiet moment after a meltdown, or capturing a tender interaction between Anna and her sisters, it’s beautifully apparent that Jessica knows how to use her camera to connect to the very essence of kids with autism.

This unplanned shot illustrates how much my toddler loves and cares for her big sister, who is autistic and doesn't always accept touch. She was tenderly petting her and asking if she was O.K. in between strokes. ~ Jessica

This unplanned shot illustrates how much my toddler loves and cares for her big sister, who is autistic and doesn’t always accept touch. She was tenderly petting her and asking if she was O.K. in between strokes. ~ Jessica

 

Rachel L. MacAulay

Founder at Challa & Haggis
Still learning that there’s no such thing as perfection in parenting, or in life, though I don’t stop trying. Avid reader; lapsed wanderer; reformed cynic. I believe every day should be filled with children’s laughter.

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