Just Hanging Out with Sarah

Working with a child with special needs is a unique and rewarding experience. I spent an afternoon with Sarah recently. Though she loves taking phone selfies with her siblings, she is less enthusiastic about posing in front of a camera. My goal with this session was to capture candid and real moments of Sarah doing some of her favorite activities. The best way to do this was to spend the afternoon just “hanging out” and  let Sarah be Sarah.

My 70-200mm lens was a blessing that afternoon as it allowed me to sit back in the corner of the room and give Sarah the space she needed to feel comfortable. Sarah loves vacuums, and she spent most of the afternoon meticulously taking apart every piece of the vacuum and putting it back together. It was fascinating to see how she knew every detail of the design of the vacuum.

As Sarah became more comfortable with my presence, she gave me more attention and the occasional eye contact. Her eyes truly sparkle. When working with someone on the spectrum, those rare moments of eye contact are such a privilege and blessing. Sarah seemed to enjoy the attention, and we were definite friends by the end of the afternoon.