Getting a good photograph of all the kids all looking at the camera is a challenge in itself, as parents and photographers we know this too well. For a child with autism, this can be a very overwhelming and upsetting experience, especially if they are in a new environment and with people they do not know.
When appointing a photographer, it is important to make them aware before the shoot that a member of the family is on the autism spectrum. Let the photographer know what their sensitivities are – does the session need to remain calm and quiet, are they sensitive to flashing lights etc… The photographer needs to gain their trust, so let them know subjects they like to talk about.
We recently welcomed the Cartwright family to the studio. Mum made us aware at the time of booking that her son has ASD. She mentioned that he loves fishing, which Phil is a keen fisherman himself. When they arrived at the studio, he was a little shy and not very keen to get in the studio. To give him time to get used to the studio environment, Phil chatted with his sister and got her excited about the shoot. Once he could see that his sister was comfortable and happy, he soon became involved. Throughout the session, Phil kept it quiet and calm. When asking him to get in different positions, if he wasn’t happy or keen, Phil altered the pose to how he was comfortable. The end result was a great set of images, that Mum was over the moon with. Here’s the review she left on our facebook page:
“I brought my 2 children here my eldest has ASD and Phil made sure the studio was quiet and calm he talked through everything with my son and managed to capture some lovely photos of both children. Previous to the photo shoot I sent an email with my sons hobbies etc. So he knew exactly what to talk about with my son. Would highly recommend the studio and the photos were lovely. Thankyou”
We recently welcomed the Seabright brothers to the studio for a photo shoot experience. Mum had won a Family Photo Shoot gift voucher at their school’s Christmas fete, that we had donated to.
The brother’s, aged 7 and 5, stepped out in front of the camera looking very dapper indeed in bow ties. Phil had great fun with the boys, even getting shots of them hugging (not strangling) each other. Whilst they changed in to a more casual outfit, we changed the backdrop to get some great shots on the blue.
When mum, dad and the boys returned to view the photos, they were all over the moon. After a lot of debating, they managed to select their absolute favourites to take pride of place on their wall at home.
January is notoriously a very quiet month for photographers, but January 2019 seems to have taken a busy turn for us – happy days! Here’s an update of what we (Phil and Vicky) have been up to.
Taking Image Viewings to a New Level
It’s taken some time, 2 years to be precise, but we have finally moved Vicky (me) in to the 21st century!! I am the first to admit I am not very technical savvy, and doing image presentations on the big screen used to drive me nuts. I would get so muddled up and angry with the software during image viewings that I wanted to throw the laptop against something hard (mainly Phil). So I decided to move to a more traditional approach by using proof prints. Which had its advantages – main one being no confusing software – but it was still not versatile enough to really demonstrate how amazing your family portraits will look at home. So, after lots of research we have finally found a user-friendly ‘Vicky-friendly’ software. The big screen TV is back, with slideshow to music, easily select your favourite images, and even see how your images will look in you own room at home. The first family to test it out on was the Clifton family. They chose a stunning 4 image multi-frame and were able to see how it will actually look.
Photo Shoot Session with the Hall Family
One of our first shoots of 2019 was with the Hall family, who came to the studio on 7th Jan. The shoot was a Christmas gift for the grandparents with their two grandchildren aged 7 and 4. When they arrived, straight away mum made Phil aware that one of the children is on the Autism spectrum. This allowed Phil time to talk to mum to find out a little more about likes and dislikes, and how to get the best out of him. The shoot was great fun and a great experience, which showed in the final images. Grandma and Grandad were over the moon.
Wedding Fayre Season
Wedding Fayre season is upon us. With newly engaged couples over the festive period, starting to plan the most magical day of their lives. On Sunday 20th January, we exhibited at the beautiful Middleton Hall. Along with great local wedding suppliers, we were greeted by loads of excited Bride’s and Groom’s to be. We’re looking forward to being at Lea Marston Hotel on 3rd March, and Ramada Sutton Coldfield on 24th March. For our top tips on how to ‘survive’ wedding fayres, click here .
Down Syndrome isn’t what makes it tricky, it’s the photographer…(and maybe the parents)
Please raise your hand if you have ever thought, ‘family photo shoot that just isn’t going to work for us’. OK I don’t think your alone. Pretty much any family with a child under the age of 14 has those thoughts. To feel a little apprehensive about attending a shoot at your local family photographers is a perfectly natural reaction to the concept. Well there is good news, with your understanding of your child’s needs and a photographer who is willing to be educated, it’s easy to achieve those beautiful family portraits that will be the envy of all your friends. Here we are going to walk you through our own experiences which should be helpful when you head into the studio.
The easy bit
Most children with Down syndrome have excellent social skills, and keen to explore their new surroundings. Visual supports like looking at other peoples photos, help them understand what to expect. The photographer should use these key elements to build a rapor and gain their trust.
The not so easy bits
If your child uses non-verbal, expressive language to communicate, try to develop that to assist with providing instruction / guidance during the photo shoot. Maybe you use Makaton signs? Practice the sign for sitting, smiling etc…
Sometimes, the ability of children with Down syndrome to process verbal information is not as good as their ability to hold and process visual information. The processing and recall of spoken information is greatly improved when supported by relevant pictures. It is a great idea for the photographer to have other peoples photos ready to hand to show them how they want them sit and pose. Patience and a calm environment is a must, it’s not unusual for children to get overloaded by the excitement of it all.
Just to conclude
We were very nervous about writing this blog and have tried not to generalise too much. Everyone is different, and we ourselves try to adapt to the individuals needs. Remember photographers tend to be sociable creatures. Their main objective in life is to produce the best photographs they can for their customers. With this in mind please approach the subject head on, educate and inspire the photographer to create a photograph that contains the very essence of your child. If you wish to discuss further please get in touch here.
Photo Shoot to Celebrate Family Special Birthday Year
We recently welcomed the Essex family to the studio for a family photo shoot session, to celebrate their special birthday year.
Both mum and dad turned 50 this year, and their daughter turns sweet 16. To mark this mile stone year, the family came for a photo shoot session for some beautiful family portraits. The session was really relaxed and great fun. When they returned to view their images, they selected a 4 image multi-frame that will take pride of place in their home.
To add that extra personal touch and fun this festive season, send your family and friends an awesome Christmas card with a photo of your clan in their Christmas jumper.
Christmas is a very popular time of year to update your family portraits, not only for yourself to cherish, but they also make very special Christmas gifts. This year, we are asking all of our families to bring along your Christmas jumpers for that fun, unforgettable photo for Christmas cards. You could make it a family tradition?
You will receive the full Philip Charles Photography experience, producing stunning photographs of your family. Incorporating a few shots with your festive outfits will make it all the more fun.
This Christmas, bring your family to the Philip Charles Photography studio to update your family portrait.
Not only do you get to place beautiful portraits of your family on your wall, the photos make excellent Christmas gifts for the rest of the family, especially the Grandparents.
During the one hour session, you will receive the full photo shoot experience, which is enjoyed by everyone, even the most camera shy, and the ‘I don’t like having my picture taken’ one’s amongst you. With a variety of coloured backdrops and Phil’s many years of experience, we will produce a stunning collection of images for you to choose from. A separate changing is available, therefore you are welcome to bring a change of outfit. Maybe bring along a Christmas jumper?
Here’s just a few images from the Stephen’s photo shoot session.
Professional Photography Studio for Family Photo Shoots in Atherstone
Philip Charles Photography relocated their professional photography studio last year, June 2018, offering family photo shoots in Atherstone.
Established for over 10 years trading in Tamworth, we made the decision to relocate a couple of miles down the A5 to the lovely market town of Atherstone. Over the last 12 months we have welcomed many, many families of all ages and generations.
One recent family we had the pleasure to shoot was the Moreton family. Mum, dad and their 10 year old son came to update their family portraits. The session was great fun, and produced images that we are all really pleased with. Below are just a few of the images from their shoot.
We recently welcomed the Hughes family to the studio for two separate photo shoots, a couple’s shoot and a shoot for the kids.
We did the couple’s shoot first, which most importantly was to get some amazing portraits of the happy couple, but also as a taster ahead of the kids shoot a couple of weeks later. One of the family members experiences anxiety and was very nervous about the photo shoot session. Coming for the couple’s shoot allowed them to experience our photo shoot session and explain in detail when they got home of what to expect and the process.
On the day of the kids shoots, they all arrived looking very smart indeed, ready to strike a pose. Mum came in for the first couple of shots to ensure everyone was happy, which they all were. Phil soon had them all laughing and relaxing in front of the camera. He even managed to get a few shots of the 16 year old smiling, even mum said she forgot he had teeth!
Both shoots were great fun, which resulted in fantastic images that everyone loves. Here’s just a few from the two shoots.
Special Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dad to Cherish
Don’t forget, this year’s Father’s Day is Sunday 17th June 2018.
If you are looking for something different and more special to give Dad this year, a family photo of his little cherubs (or monsters) is sure to bring a tear to his eye.
You can bring the family along in secret and surprise him at the studio just before the shoot, or you can give him one of our Gift Vouchers. Our photo shoot sessions are fun and relaxed, with plenty of laughter. Even the most camera shy will enjoy the experience.