School Pictures, Refocused on the Special Needs Student
As a parent of a child who is medically complex, I feel so very fortunate to live in a state with such an abundance of special education programs. For my son, we really only looked at three schools, but as I build my list of schools and programs and service providers to contact as a School Photographer, I am blown away by how long that list is getting. Add to that the SEPACs (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) for each public school district, and then the regional Collaborative programs. I hope to be very busy!
A lot of schools, public and private, were unable to offer school photos this past year due to COVID restrictions; many special education programs do not offer school photos at all. Some feel that their student body is too small for a corporate photography company, and others feel like it's just too difficult with their population. I've only just begun reaching out to potential clients, and the feedback I have gotten is amazing! One receptionist told me that they don't offer School Pictures, and I asked if I could just send her something to look over...she graciously agreed to forward my information to the director and it turned out the director was thrilled to learn that I offer this service! How awesome!
Offering School Photography for the special education student is what sets me apart from other photographers, and more importantly, it is so incredibly fulfilling to me. I love the challenge of getting a great photo of students who are not so easy to photograph, and I am humbled by how appreciative the families are...I know how I feel when I see an amazing photo of my own kid, because he is NOT easy, let me tell you!
What exactly sets me apart? I am flexible with scheduling and I reserve at least two days for any given school or program. I shoot outdoors. Rather than move students through a line to sit in a chair in front of a standard backdrop, I work with staff to learn where each student is most comfortable- on the playground? on a hammock? in the garden? This is how I capture the true personality of each student. I followed one little boy all around the building and up the ramp to the doors because he wanted to see who was inside. Props are great too- if a student has something he or she loves to hold or carry, let's keep that in the frame! I'll even bring some of my own fun items to share. Just like the incredible schools and programs in our area, I accommodate the student. When we are at ease, we can be ourselves, and that is the most beautiful kind of image we can capture of our loved ones.
Please feel free to contact me, I would LOVE to partner with your child's school or program!