A LOCAL photographer has launched a new project that aims to capture beautiful and positive photos of children with special needs.
Through her Beautiful You project, Aimee Cook will be providing free photo sessions and images for special needs children.
Mrs Cook said she felt compelled to create positive photos that served to overcome the labels and stigma attached with disabilities and disorders.
“A lot of my friend have children who have been diagnosed with different disabilities and conditions,” she said.
“When researching the different conditions, a lot of the images are really negative, I wanted to do something positive.”
Mrs Cook said that three children had already been a part of the project, which had received really great feedback.
“Parents have been really excited by the images I have been capturing, they are excited that someone is doing this for them.”
Mrs Cook said that in her experience, she had found that parents of special needs children were often nervous about getting a professional photo shoot.
“A lot of parents are nervous to spend money on it, when they might not get what they are after or worse be judged because their child doesn’t behave.”
“I have no expectations of children, if they scream, they scream, there is no judgement.”
She added that parents who were spending lots of money on services for their child, could find it difficult to afford a professional photographs.
Mrs Cook said that through the project she hoped to help families capture beautiful images of their children and also help society learn about these children and celebrate their smile.
“I have often wondered why these children are not celebrated more through photography, why do images often capture the struggles rather than the triumph? Why do photographers ignore their unique personality and focus instead on their disability?”
“Over the years I have photographed a number of children with special needs and have found them to be among the most beautiful, loving and happy children I have ever met.”
She added that she said she was excited to meet new families and share their stories.
“I hope it helps change the way our society accepts and celebrates these children, even in just the smallest way, one photograph at a time.”
For more information on how to participate in this project please email firstname.lastname@example.org