Photographing Beauty on the Spectrum – Dallas Frisco Family Photographer – Me Ra Koh
Scarlett walked into our studio and came right up to me.
“I’m not sure what I think about this photo shoot.” Her eyes darted around taking in every detail. “And I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing,” she added, then walked away.
I loved her at once.
How can you not love someone who is that honest?
Scarlett is on the spectrum, and mom was nervous.
Her mom wasn’t sure how Scarlett would do with a studio photo shoot. She is on the spectrum and feared the shoot would trigger anxiety. Brian and I embraced this beautiful girl where she was at. We let Scarlett warm up to us and her surroundings–taking her time. Eventually, she was laughing and joking, being silly, and most of all, feeling safe.
I’m so thankful for all the different shoots we’ve done with kids on the spectrum from the Nate Berkus show to family clients over the years. Each child has taught me something beautiful about life.
Scarlett is a dreamer who doesn’t let the world box her in. As you read, you’ll see how she is her own, unique, beautiful person.
What Mom Wanted
Before the photo shoot, when I talked with her mom on the phone, she expressed a desire for Scarlett to see that she’s beautiful. “My daughter is turning 13, and I was wanting something special for her. Something that when she looked at it, she would know just how beautiful she is to me!”
Doing Discovery calls with both mom and Scarlett’s aunt, we dove into all the dynamics that make up Scarlett’s beauty. Scarlett loves dirt bikes. She is creative. Her determination is unstoppable.
Both her mom and aunt said they love watching her draw, her ability to focus is powerful. Dinosaurs are a passion; she’ll draw them all day. With her long chestnut brown hair and single mindedness, she tunes the world out and sinks into a space of creativity where there are no boundaries.
We can all learn from Scarlett right now. In times of uncertainty, our hearts need creative space even more. After Scarlett left, I felt more inspired to tune out the world and create. That’s the gift this young woman gave me.
Mom’s Google Review Brought Tears
Weeks later, when I read her mom’s Google review, I was brought to tears. “My daughter is on the spectrum and suffers from anxiety and I was prepared to have a few issues. However, both Me Ra and Brian were so amazing with her and I have not witnessed her that comfortable. When we finished and got in the car to go home, she told me that the experience was EPIC! Thank you both so much for the memorable experience. We will be back!”
What Scarlett Thinks about the Wall Art
When her mom came back later that day for the Reveal & Design Consultation, she said Scarlett told her the photo shoot experience was “EPIC!” One of the BEST compliments ever!
In her mom’s words…
With her black army boots, black ripped jeans, motorcycle, dinosaur loving, creative self, Scarlett is BEAUTIFUL and feminine in her own unique way. To hear that Scarlett looks at the wall art and says “I’m pretty!” on her own initiative makes me want to cry. That is the power of photography and wall art.
Wall Art becomes something tangible that kids can see and experience feeding their self esteem multiple times a day.
Wall Art Before & After Reveal
A few days after their wall art install, I texted mom to see what it felt like to walk into their kitchen and see Scarlett’s dynamic, beautiful soul.
Her mom texted back and said “Best feeling doesn’t cover it. I just find myself staring at them. They are breath taking, honestly. And Scarlett walks by and says “I’m pretty!” You captured exactly what I had hoped!”
Resources from Scarlett’s Mom
If you have a child that is on the spectrum, Scarlett’s mom shared some wonderful resources with me to share with you. Two websites to check out are;
She also said there is a funny comedian named Michael McCreary who is also on the spectrum and wrote a great book called Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedians Guide to Life on the Spectrum.
Best Advice to Other Parents
When you meet a mom with a beautiful heart like Scarlett’s mom, you want to share her with everyone. I asked her what her best advice is for other parents with children on the spectrum. Her answer was powerful;
“My advice is lots of love and lots of patience. I have had to learn to adapt and know it’s okay to not be perfect. Sometimes it’s messy, but it’s a mess of love and goodness.”
Thank you Stefanie for trusting us with your beautiful girl and for sharing her story with all of us. She is a wonder and inspiration to us all.
This post, Photographing Beauty on the Spectrum, was written to validate and encourage all parents who feel nervous about family photo shoots. Your child is fearfully and wonderfully made. You deserve the best experience and nothing less than that.
Do You have a Child on the Spectrum?
Do you have a child on the spectrum? Has family portraits always been something you desired but were unsure of? We’d love to serve your family through this meaningful photographic experience.
Click this link to schedule a Discovery Call with our wonderful team. Through a series of thoughtful questions, together we’ll discover your child’s strengths and the super power they give the world. All this will shape a safe and unforgettable photo shoot.
This will be an experience unlike any other. We’re so excited to hear about your amazing child!
Family is a Work of Art
See the Inspiration Behind More Photo Shoots, CLICK HERE.
Scarlett, you’re awesome! I love the dirt bike and drawing. The world is definitely yours for the taking.
Me Ra, beautiful post.
What a beautiful girl! And what a great story of triumph and the power of what photography is capable of! This is why we are photographers!!!!