Kristin Chalmers Photography » the blog of Kristin Chalmers Photography

Broad Spectrum – Andrew

When people find out that I’m a photographer they usually ask me the following questions.

1. How long have you been shooting?

2. Canon or Nikon (Nikon if you must know)  And then they want to know about what model, full frame or crop?  What kind of lenses BLAH BLAH BLAH

3. What do you shoot?

My answer is this:  I shoot weddings for a main source of income and I love it.  I shoot food because it’s a little more predictable and I get to eat the subject at the end of the day.  I shoot kids because I’m good at it and I do fine art portraiture of people (mostly children) with Autism, because it’s the most important work I have ever done.

From time to time, people find me and know that I offer portraiture on a sliding scale for families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.  This is an ongoing project that will culminate with my Kickstarter project hopefully launching  by the end of this month.  A session usually works like this.  I come to your home or location of your choice and I just hang out and capture what the subject will give to me.  I often have to remind people that they need to realize that just because their child/friend/family member isn’t smiling doesn’t not make it a good photo of them.  I also tell them to banish all their previous visions of what the perfect photo of their child/friend/family member SHOULD be.  The subject may not be able to deliver that dreamy smile they’ve always dreamed of having.  My job is to be apart of THEIR world and get it on film (so to speak since we are in a digital world now)  This is how the subjects “let me in”.  I don’t try to make them do something they may simply be unable to do.  This works about 95% of the time and it’s the most rewarding feeling ever.  The session sometimes only last about 20 minutes because that’s all the subject has to give.  I work fast and usually get something great within that time.  The families of these kids pay me what they can.  Sometimes it’s a lot and sometimes it’s enough to cover my baby sitter.  Sometimes it’s nothing but gratitude and thank yous.  That stuff is priceless.

Here are some shots of Andrew.  He was one of my first subjects and watching him grow and excel has been a delight to see.  These samples are from two sessions I did over the past year.  They are extremely different in every way.

Andrew’s mother, Laurel, works tirelessly as an advocate for families affected by the injustices that exist in today’s public school system when it comes to a child’s needs how the school districts are handling / or basically not handling them.  She knows her shit, that’s for sure.   She is a single mom raising 4 kids on her own with very little help.  Click here to find out more about Laurel and the services she provides. Someone needs to pay for this woman to go to law school because she would kick ass!

Why do I do this?  I have a son with Autism too.  My camera saved him.  Click here to read more about that.

 

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[…] Broad Spectrum Project […]

Kim Mimnaugh - March 7, 2013 - 5:42 pm

Kristin-
Amazing work!
I have worked on and off on a similar project.
http://kimmimnaugh.blogspot.com/
I hope to come to your gallery show.
Congrats!
Kim Mimnaugh
kmimnaugh5@gmail.com

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