What can a portrait convey?
Even with the best of intentions, it’s easy to make a snap judgment about someone based on their features, characteristics, or even an associated label. When I take someone’s portrait I hope to provide a glimpse into who the individual is at the moment the image is taken. The viewer then has the opportunity to create their own interpretation.
The Faces of Autism project invites its audience to view the faces of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and see them as they are, without predefined ideas of what it means to be autistic. With this project, there is a focus on the unique attributes of each individual.
The exhibit has an added dimension of including behind the scenes footage of the photo shoots. During this time I work to create a connection with my subject, which is the most important thing to me, necessary to create a good portrait, and what separates portraiture from other types of photography.
We hope those who attend this exhibit leave with a sense that we are all more alike than different and that anything is possible with strength, support, and perseverance. One thing I know for sure is the differences in how an ASD person's brain works may make them more, not less, qualified to understand, accomplish otherwise unsolvable tasks, and perform in extremely creative ways.