Specialist Studio Practice 3 – Shoot towards project

19th March 2016

Zach & Katie

I contacted a lady I know well and photographed her and her children – brother and sister Zach (age 7) & Katie (age 5), at their local park where they like to play regularly. My aim was to capture them naturally interacting with each other and their surroundings, and the connection they share. Zach & Katie’s story is amazing because they were both diagnosed with severe autism at a young age and were told by professionals it would majorly affect them for the rest of their life. However as they’ve grown and developed they have gotten better and better and their parents (Sharon & Alan) have had so much faith through their journey and have seen God work amazingly in each of their children. Now, looking at Zach & Katie, you would not guess they have autism. They are still on a journey and it is still tough but they have exceeded all expectations put on them and their development so far. Both Zach & Katie have wonderful little personalities and I wanted to encapsulate this in my photographs so I got to know them a little bit more as I played with them and talked to them too before photographing them.

Here are my images from the shoot:

At first I felt some of the images were a little posed and their mum kept telling them to smile at the camera which made them aware I was photographing them. However as time went on they got used to me being around and played naturally with each other and other children in the park. I feel though that my strongest images within this set are the ones I took of them sat talking together on the bench. I did manufacture this shot in a sense (by asking them to sit together on a bench – as they are so active and tend to run in different directions when at the park!) however I then waited to see what happened between them and that’s when I got the authentic connection between them – Zach started telling poo and wee jokes which had us all giggling! But I loved this because that’s just Zach at the moment, he’s at that age where he finds the concept of bodily function hilarious! That’s the realness about children that I love. I also like the shots where Zach puts his arm around Katie and talks and laughs with her closely, as well as making funny faces. I get a sense that his personality is coming through more in these shots. The shots where he is whispering to Katie & she is pulling away is also a great moment as it is quite typical ‘brother and sister’.

I feel this shoot was a success because I captured some great moments, however now I will need to select down for my final images – thinking about my ‘REAL’ concept and capturing something that’s authentic.

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