The Hinckley’s – Special Needs Photography – O’Fallon, IL

July 17, 2012

Special Needs Sessions are becoming my favorite ya’ll!

Okay. I’m sorry. I realize I’ve said that about senior sessions and children’s sessions and family sessions recently too. So it carries very little impact. But I’m just a really happy photographer : ) And I can have as many favorites as I want.

And I’m counting this little dude as one of my favorites! Because he has the sweetest little face and because his name is Zachary : )

This is a pretty good example of how our Special Needs Photo Sessions work… Normally when someone contacts me to set up a photo session we select dates, times and locations based on what I know will be the prettiest light and the most fitting background. When we set up special needs photo sessions – we select those things based on bed time, snack time, happiest-time-o-the-day, happiest place, the avoidance of things that cause sensory issues (like, you know, dead grass grass from the worst drought in 50+ years).

Planning sessions based on those things can make shooting trickier – like in our chosen location for this session – it was bright and I do mean bright! and it was a crowded playground. So, not a photographers dream. But who cares! The little man was happy as a clam and that’s all there is to it.

These sessions definitely take on a documentary style. Someone should make a documentary of us shooting one because I’m convinced its hilarious to an outsider… Zac and I weighed down with loads of gear, running, jumping, ducking around playgrounds – shouting and cheering and in general resembling monkeys with cameras. Again, I say, who cares!

Zachary’s mom had warned me before our session that they had tried to have photos taken before and…well…it didn’t work. I promised her it would work this time. Then I lit a candle at church and prayed it would work. Not really. I knew it would : )

After a few conversations about what would be best for the kiddo (Zachary has Autism), we hit the playground and got to work. And it worked : ) Praise be!

There was also the world’s most amazing bubble machine involved and boy was that a treat for all of us.

Just to share a bit about Zachary – he’s 4 and a rockstar. He had just recently started talking in the several weeks before our session, so it was a blast to hear him trying out his words and repeating new phrases. Like when I stumbled upon some pretty filtered light and a gave a big “Ohhh yeahhhh!!” and he responded with a very hearty “Ohhhhh yeeeeahhhh”. Awesome.

I must say – if I were in charge of handing out parenting awards – these folks would be getting one. (But I’m not, so all they get are these photos.) Seriously though, parenting a kiddo with Autism is no joke, and we’ve met some people who do it incredibly well. These two were like pros. We were impressed. Hinckleys – go write a book or teach a class or something would you!

Check these out – I dare you not to love this little face!

Doesn’t he look like he’s disappointed that this blog post is over? : )

We’re now booking sessions for the very popular fall months! Hard to believe but if you want fall family photos, photos for holiday cards, etc, now is the time!


  1. shelsey medema

    super cute! :)

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