Everyone, meet Carlos. And his big brother Giovanni. I met Carlos in early October when I did the Down Syndrome Poster Project at the boys’ preschool. And I was soooo inspired by this little guy. I loved photographing him and I was so proud of the posters I made with his photos. In fact, his photos and posters often got me choked up and teary eyed whenever I talked about them. There was just something really moving about this kid.
I love how authentically he photographs. You can SEE ways that he’s struggled…but you can also see his powerfully joyful spirit. I loved how those two very real, universal themes were so clear in Carlos’ portraits. This kid is such a gem. I also loved the photos I got of him with his mama…and how fierce her love for him is. There is a part of me that thinks “of course she loves him, he’s her son”…but another part of me pushes that aside and sees how beautiful a mother’s love is. She was taking just as many photos of Carlos on her phone as I was with my camera. She would hug him tightly and giggle at his playfulness and I just loved watching them.
I am in another photography class this semester and it’s time to start gathering photos for my final project. In thinking about the assignment, I realized I really wanted to show portraits of Special Needs kids for my final (and not just *my* Special Needs kids). And I really wanted to work with Carlos again. So I contacted the school about contacting Carlos’ mom. They called her to ask for permission to give me her number and she was thrilled I wanted more photos. :) When I called her she patiently and strategically made sense of my rusty Spanish and we made a plan to meet.
When I dream big about my photography…this is what I dream about. This is what I want to capture. I want to get better and better at honoring and celebrating the uniqueness of all kinds of kids and families. And after working with Carlos again, I’m hopeful that it really might happen. :)
To see more of Carlos and his shoot, check out my website here.