Care is needed when photographing children with special needs
Here is a lovely review a friend wrote recently:
The background story.
A friends son has Autism and Tourette’s, so found it too overwhelming to have photos taken at school. The environment was too noisy and he didn’t like having his photo taken in front of other people.
This was too much for, lets call him Peter, so his siblings have their memorable school photos but he doesn’t because the environment wasn’t suitable for him.
Photographing a school photography session for a child with special needs.
This is why last year, for the for first time they came to Claire Wilders Photography in Southwater, near Horsham. For a bespoke school photo session. Peter came in and took his time to settle in slowly. The session was then taken as his speed. He was a little star and had his photos taken with his siblings and together they got some lovely photos of them ALL together. It took a bit longer than the “allotted time” but that’s okay because it’s about creating a memory for the family and they deserve to have that photo, just like everyone else.
So now they have that “normal” school photo.. like everyone else.
BUT…what is normal?
Is Peter not normal because he doesn’t like his photo being taken or is he completely normal because he doesn’t like his photo being take? He just has extra needs. Every person on this page has had completely different needs because no child is the same.. even twins!
MOST children HATE having their photo taken..
Children, like Peter that have special needs may find having their photo taken a struggle because it’s too noisy and too intrusive. Others hate sitting down too long BUT don’t most children? Things children don’t like about photo sessions include having to look at the camera, hating their outfit or not liking a stranger making them do this and do that. Some just hate having to be near their brothers and sisters!
But this doesn’t mean they can’t have their photos taken. It’s about adapting to the children.
This could include; playing with their toys, running around the woods or reading a book. Helping them to settle in, in whatever way they need. The session can be at your house, the park, their sports lesson, wherever they feel comfortable. (It also doesn’t cost you more if it’s in the local area)
Any photographer will tell you kids photo sessions are very rarely a dream because children are not little robots.. BUT you will have some gorgeous photos at the end of it, showing their personality!
Mini Family Photo Sessions in Horsham.
Mini sessions are great because these only take around 20 minutes so families aren’t expected to “perform” for ages. Outdoor Mini Family Photography Sessions allow your children to burn up some energy on the walk to the location. It’s also possible have a quick play and relax before the camera comes out.
Please do get in touch or feel free to head here to have a look at the Families Photography Page.
None of the children on this page are models.
It’s about capturing emotions and personal moments. Whatever they are; cuddles, splashing in a puddle, wearing a princess outfit.
Together we will decide the best environment to capture the perfect photos of your family.
Peter asked his mum if I can take his photos again this year because it’s much calmer for him and he prefers this to the crazy school environment.
If you wish to keep up to date with future offers and information you can also like my Facebook page by clicking Claire Wilders Photography
Can you believe the summer is over and its only 11 weeks today until Christmas!
BUT… between now and then is my favourite time.. Autumn. Autumn photography sessions are one of my favourite family sessions because this season is just gorgeous. The light at this time of year is just stunning and it is the perfect backdrop for your family.
Around Horsham and Crawley there are some lovely places to spend a glorious autumn day with your family or dog. I thought I would share a few of my favourites, plus a few of my dedicated followers have given me their ideas too.
For more information on Family Sessions please click here
My favourite places to visit:
Tilgate Park, Crawley, is my absolute favourite park! No matter where I have lived no park has ever been as good as Tilgate.
Not only is it absolutely stunning but there is so much to do. Whether it is building dens and climbing the trees in the woods, walking round the lake and having a picnic or visiting the nature reserve. Other things to do here include Go Ape, play park, rowing boats, Smith and Western. It is so easy to spend the day here and is a wonderful place to tire out the children without spending a fortune. Parking is £1 per hour but all proceeds do go back into the park and for the nature centre it is only £4 for an adult and £3 for age 3-16yr olds.
Buchan Park is a place where I spend many days during my childhood climbing trees and having picnics.
This is definitely a back to nature kind of place. There is ample free parking and its only a short walk to a beautiful lake and the perfect paths for kicking leaves or walking the dog.
Sheffield Park this National Park is absolutely stunning in the autumn.
The colours around the lake are like no other. There is no tree climbing in the actual gardens but they do put on events for children to do throughout the year. However, there is a natural play area a short walk away and this includes a den area and soon to be replaced huge swing!
The lake provides a great place for swimming and water sports during the summer and then year round is the Dinosaur Park. A great place to spend the afternoon with lots to entertain the children. In the summer it gets extremely busy with families picnicking either around the lake or in the dinosaur park but as the nights close in and days get cooler it definitely gets much quieter.
Petworth Park is another National Trust place which is home to hundreds of deer.
There is a paying car park (free for NT) which provides easy access to the park. It’s a beautiful place to sit and watch the deer or wander along the many paths around the park.
“No, that’s WAY too much pressure! Imagine photographing the wedding and messing it up? That’s the brides day ruined…no memories…I couldn’t take that kind of pressure.
Then there is the other side from “Wedding Photographers” who will tell you…
“Don’t do it unless you are totally ready!!”
“Everyone thinks they can be a photographer but it’s way harder to be a wedding photographer!”
“Never photograph a friends wedding, that’s just asking for trouble!!”
“You need to get training before you even attempt it!”
“Being a guest and a photographer at the wedding never works”
So, I never did…
Why did I photograph my first wedding?
A wonderful friend of mine was getting married and asked ME to be her photographer! Of course I said no. Was she crazy… I couldn’t do that! But she insisted…
“It’s a relaxed affair, think of it as a garden party! I just want to capture something from the day and have some memories of my friends and family coming together to help me celebrate.”
Ok, I could photograph a party, that’s ok! So we agreed, I would attend the wedding as a friend but also take my camera (let’s be honest, we ALL take our camera to the wedding anyway!)
And that was it.
I was going to photograph their wedding at Leonardslee Gardens in Horsham, West Sussex!! I had already done their baby photos and that went like a dream, so I knew Holly was just as relaxed as they came!
Holly never changed! She was absolutely wonderful and put ME at ease! I was so nervous before the day but that was all me, nothing but calm came from my wonderful bride to be!
So what happened next….. You’ll have to wait until the next blog to find out what it’s like photographing your first wedding! Wish me luck!
If you would like to visit my wedding page please click HERE
Why are mothers day photography sessions important? Let me ask you a question? Are you one of the organised people that can think of awesome presents months in advance or are you the person that leaves it to the last moment?
Whichever you are, I can help…. because I am running photo sessions to celebrate Mothers Day. We are all getting older and know that our parents won’t be around forever. But do you have any recent photos of you and your mum? Or of you and your children? We all have the excuses, I want to lose weight, I hate having my photo taken but what if you didn’t have the photo to look back on? How would you feel?
You today are who your children will look back on and your mum today is looking her best. Lets capture those beautiful memories with a Mothers Day Photography Session.
Whether it is for:
Your own mum (or dad, if from a single parent family.. it’s a celebration remember), wife, girlfriend, nanny or grandma. Daughter and her family or even just your children. The choice is yours.
I have sessions available…
How does the session work?
This day is about celebrating all mums, regardless of the age of their children, and all the amazing thing they do for us.
Whether you would like a voucher to be given on the day so that you can come at a later date as a family… or booking it prior to Mothers Day so that you can give the gift on the actual day. The choice is yours. This is a celebration of mums so feel free to bring three generations of families. I want your Mothers Day Photo Session to be memorable day providing wonderful pieces of art that you can proudly show on your wall for many years to come.
Where are the sessions held?
Depending on your family size session can be held at your home, in my home studio or outside in the garden or local park. When booking a session together we can discuss the options and which one will work better for your family.
Wall Art will also be available to purchase and will include a 10% discount to celebrate our mums!
Please click HERE to visit the Family Photography page for more information. If you would like to get in touch please mention Mothers Day.
There is a very good reason why I decided to offer Bespoke School Photos in Horsham and the surrounding areas.
Each year I have photos of my children in their school uniform standing together, ready to start the year. In many areas brothers and sisters attend a primary school and then a secondary school. They get to have their photo taken at school, as individuals and as siblings.
In Sussex , we have primary schools but we also have infants and juniors. So quickly children move from infant school to the junior school and they no longer have photos together. As a child I remember looking at my school sibling photos where we were all sat together. I loved to see how much we had grown but in this area there isn’t that opportunity.
I have decided to run some short sessions where you can bring your children and they have both their individual photos PLUS their sibling photo together. It doesn’t matter which school they go to. They can all be together in their individual school uniform and all for ONE price. PLUS, you will be there so you can ensure that you children are clean and tidy, uniform is smart and their hair has been brushed. Feel free to bring an item they love from school if they wish to have this in their photo to, whether it be reading a book, standing with a cricket bat or football, or even their musical instrument.
How does a bespoke School session work?
The session will last about 10 minutes and I will be run over a few dates. These include after school sessions and some at the weekends, as I know it is REALLY hard to pin children down when there as so many clubs!
Now I have to say, this was the trickiest part. EVERYONE wants something different.
Some clients only want a photo of one child whereas some had three children and wanted prints of each child plus sibling photos.
Others wanted actual prints for the grandparents too. Whereas some wanted it for themselves only. A few people said only images on disc to print yourself. Some definitely no disc, some with mounts, some without…. see the list was endless…. ! My brain was a bit overloaded because I wanted to make these affordable to everyone.
At school each set that comes home is for one child so you have a price per child and you can choose which set works best. Here it will be ONE price PER family. You just need to choose which option works best for you. I am happy to discuss other options if you need different sizes etc or mounts.
Upon purchase these images will be automatically downloadable for you to keep, print and share as you wish. These are fantastic because you can order your file and share it with everyone!
1 Image supplied as high resolution file to produce unlimited copies
3 Images supplied as high resolution file to produce unlimited copes
All edited Images supplied as high resolution file to produce unlimited copies
The prints sizes that I provide are an ideal size and perfect for sharing. I do not provide tiny little thumb size images.
1 10×8 inch OR 2 7×5 inch Prints
3 10×8 inch OR 5 7×5 inch Prints
All images printed to 7×5 inch prints
(This one can be tailor made to fit family requirements, e.g if you didn’t want all photos printed you could substitute two smaller prints for one larger print. Great for larger families and/or sharing with family members)
If you would like to purchase white mounts as extra please inquire for prices and details
For more information on Claire Wilders Photography please click HERE
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