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Family photography for parents of children with autism

Recently I have been asked about working with children who have special needs such as autism.  From speaking with friends I appreciate that autism is a spectrum and every child is unique.  I wanted to write a blog to show the ways in which I can be flexible to create an environment in which your son or daughter would feel as comfortable as possible so we can capture some beautiful images of your family.

Professional family photos aren’t for all. I am passionate about family photos and the memories they can harness for a lifetime.  I love looking back at newborn and baby photos of me (printed in a book unlike thousands of digital images today) and of my mum as a young woman.  I want professional family photography to be accessible as possible and offer the following;

  • I am a mobile photographer, meaning the photo shoot takes place in your home.  Hopefully being in a familiar place will make your child more relaxed and less anxious than in an unfamiliar studio.
  • I only ever book one session a day.  This means there is no pressure to get the photos within a short period of time like at a studio.  All my sessions are child led.  You never get the best out of children being overly instructive and prescriptive, so the aim will be to make it a fun and relaxed session.  If your child wants a break in between photos for a play or a time out that is no problem.
  • I will provide a visual story board for you to share with your child in advance as I understand these can be useful to help some children with autism visualise what is going to happen.  I offer a pre-session visit to say hello if that is something you feel would be useful.
  • I am happy for children to take a close look at the camera, touch and feel it and take pictures of me, or mum and dad, and view the images on the screen.
  • Most of the time it is necessary to use flash lighting. If you have a room at home that gets filled with natural light we can work with this to reduce the extra stimulus of flash or even try outside.
  • If it all gets too much then we simply stop.  I offer a free photo shoot so you simply pay for what you chose for your home but, if necessary, we can try again another day or not at all.


What I hope you take from this blog post is how flexible I can be to help you get the photo memories you and your family desire.  Give me a call and we can have a chat about what makes your little one unique and how we can build a session around them to make it relaxed and fun.  At the end of the day that is what helps get the best smiles from all children.


Written by Rebecca Downie – Photography for Little People by Rebecca

Rebecca is a fully trained photographer who specialises in maternity, newborn and family photography.  She lives in Lindfield, Haywards Heath, West Sussex.  Rebecca is mobile and will bring her studio to you and will travel across West Sussex to Horsham, East Grinstead, Crawley, Reigate, Redhill, Pulborough and all the lovely villages in between.  Offering mobile photography means a relaxing photoshoot in your own home in those precious first couple of weeks after baby arrives.